Deacon Amos “Stanley” Millsap, a Permanent Deacon in the Roman Catholic Church, passed away on May 15, 2020 at the age of 89.
He was born on September 26, 1930 to Amos Irvin Millsap and Lizzy Bell MacDowell Millsap in Brady, Texas. He was raised in Brady, San Angelo, and Abilene, Texas, where his first paying job was selling newspapers on the streets when he was 10 years old. He said his best day, and also the worst, was the day Pearl Harbor was attacked.
During high school, he worked in a butcher shop and then loading 100 lb. blocks of ice into trucks by hand using ice tongs. He said that he eventually was able to lift a 100 lb. block of ice in each hand and place them onto the truck.
Stanley graduated from Abilene High School in 1949, and earned a football and track scholarship to McMurry College in Abilene, Texas. After two years of college, his formal education was interrupted by the Korean Conflict. He served as a Staff Sgt in the Air Force’s Strategic Air Command, flying out of Merced California.
Stanley grew up across the street from Naomi Dueese Gilbreth in Abilene, Texas. When both were all grown up, he literally married the girl across the street. The entire family took the train out west and the ceremony took place in Naomi’s aunt and uncle’s home in Los Angeles California on June 26, 1954.
They welcomed a son (Stacy Dee Millsap) into the world in May 1955. After receiving an Honorable Discharge in 1956, he returned to McMurry College to complete his degree. Now having to support a family, when he wasn’t in class, he was working in the West Texas oil fields. Through hard work and determination (and the help of his wife, Naomi) he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 1958.
Stanley worked as a Safety Director for General Dynamics in Abilene, Texas, and in March of 1959, Stanley and Naomi had a second son (Scott Allen Millsap).
Stanley took a job with the Safety Department of Reynolds Aluminum in 1961, and moved his family to Corpus Christi, Texas. The family joined Second Baptist Church in Corpus Christi, where he was Baptized into the Christian faith in 1962.
He served as a Sunday School teacher and was active with the Youth Ministry. Stacy and Scott’s friends were always welcome at the Millsap house, and Stanley was always quick to fire up the BBQ grill to feed a bunch of hungry kids. He was active with the Boy Scouts, Little League, enjoyed hunting and fishing, and restoring old Volkswagens.
Stanley could typically be found tinkering around on something out in his garage with the doors wide open, as the neighbors would frequently drop by for a chat. He was everyone’s trusted friend, and was the go-to “Mr. Fix It” for the entire neighborhood.
Stanley and Naomi converted to Catholicism in 1980 at Most Precious Blood Parish under the guidance of Msgr. William Kinlough. Stanley was ordained as a Permanent Deacon in October 1983, and assigned to Most Precious Blood Parish, and as an Advocate for the Diocesan Tribunal.
He was named Associate Director of Formation of the Permanent Diaconate in February of 1986, and became the Director of Formation in June of 1986.
Stanley served the good people of St. Philip the Apostle Parish from June 1984 to April 1989, and served as Administrator of St. Anthony Parish in Violet, along with its missions of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Clarkwood and St. Vivian in Petronilla from 1989 to 1991.
He was appointed Vicar for Deacons, Diocese of Corpus Christi in 1991, then became Secretary for Deacons in 1997. He also worked as the Director of Human Resources for the Diocese of Corpus Christi from 1993 to 2005.
In 1999, Holy Father, Pope John Paul II bestowed upon Deacon Stanley Millsap, and also his wife, Naomi Millsap, the “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice” award, which literally translated means “For the Church and the Pope.” This award is given by the pope to reward those who “deserve well of the pope on account of services done for the Church and its head.”
He retired from the diocese in 2008.
Stanley felt a special kinship with St. Joseph through his love of Jesus and his love of working with wood. Over the years, he built hundreds of wooden toys for the children of Driscoll Children’s Hospital.
He also helped coordinate the service of the different therapy dogs by working with the doctors to find the best match for the children. He saw some amazing results from this special ministry, which he found to be especially rewarding and fulfilling.
Stanley was preceded in death by his parents, Amos Irvin Millsap and Lizzy Bell MacDowell Millsap, brother, Charles Irvin Millsap, and a sister, Gayle Laverne Millsap.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Naomi Dueese Millsap, son, Deacon Stacy Dee Millsap (wife Rhonda), son, Scott Allen Millsap, and brother, Wilford Doug Millsap (wife Carol).
Visitation will be Wednesday, May 20, 2020 from 6 to 7 pm at the Corpus Christi Cathedral. A Rosary will follow at 7 pm.
The Funeral Mass will be celebrated Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 2 pm at the Corpus Christi Cathedral followed by a private interment at Seaside Memorial Park.
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