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Edward Bronson Harrington Staley

Jan 6, 2014

Edward Bronson Harrington Staley, age 85 of Cascade, Md., died on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 at Quincy Village in Quincy, Pa. Born on Friday, April 13, 1928, in Baltimore, Md., he was the son of the late Edward Gideon and Katharyn Harrington Staley, and brother of Ellen Staley Levie of Bel Air, Md.

He was an ordained parish minister, a radio and television announcer and producer and an educator.

The Rev. Mr. Staley’s childhood was spent primarily in the Baltimore suburb of Woodlawn, attending Woodlawn Elementary School and, during a three-year period living in North Linthicum in Anne Arundel County, attending Linthicum Heights Elementary School. He attended Catonsville High School and graduated from Forest Park High School in Baltimore in February of 1947.

His higher education credits were earned at Towson State College, Johns Hopkins University, Morgan State College, and Hagerstown Community College. His graduate level studies were undertaken at the Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1963, and later received the Master of Divinity degree.

He and his wife, Mary Helen Marshall Staley, were married in 1954 in Baltimore. They had two children, Dorothea Ruth Staley Loser, of Gapland, Md., and Theodore Marshall Harrington Staley, of Ellicott City, Md.

In 1948, Mr. Staley began his work in broadcast as an announcer at WMCP in Baltimore, where he later served for a period of time as station manager. He developed a series of educational radio programs in the 1950’s, “Students View the News,” broadcast on WWIN and utilized by Baltimore public schools for eight years. The program was expanded to television, where it was seen on WMAR-TV and later on WJZ-TV, where he also was employed as an announcer. He also served as announcer and producer at WWIN and WITH-FM in Baltimore and WLAN in Lancaster. In the 1970’s in Hagerstown, at WHAG-TV, he recorded announcements for a number of years, beginning not long after the station went on the air. Later, at WJEJ-Radio in Hagerstown, he also gave daily morning reports of events and activities at local schools. More recently, he expanded his radio appearances, creating a series of brief daily features on WJEJ, “Today’s Conversation Piece,” researching, writing and recording these in his retirement years.

From 1954 to 1958, Mr. Staley served as director of the Department of Radio and Television of the Maryland Council of Churches, for whom he produced and appeared in broadcasts at a variety of radio and television stations in Baltimore. His seminary studies were undertaken in 1959, and following his graduation in 1963, he was ordained to the Christian ministry in the United Church of Christ, a denomination whose heritage includes the Reformed Church in the United States, where he was nurtured as a child.

In his parish ministry, Mr. Staley has served at Jefferson United Church of Christ in Jefferson, Md., from 1963 to 1967; as associate minister in religious education at Trinity United Church of Christ in Waynesboro, Pa., from 1967 to 1969; and as part-time parish minister at Christ Reformed Church, United Church of Christ, Shepherdstown, for nearly 40 years, from 1969 to 2008, after which he was appointed minister emeritus at Christ Church. During the first nearly ten years of his service at Christ Church, Mr. Staley also served as part-time minister at Grace United Church of Christ in Kearneysville.

Serving the West Virginia parishes part-time permitted Mr. Staley to begin his work in education in 1969 for the Board of Education of Washington County in Hagerstown. He served as a director and producer in instructional television for 16 years, as well as narrating numerous segments of televised lessons. The latter eight years of that time, from 1976 to 1984, he wrote, produced and appeared with students in a series of telecasts entitled, “Let’s View the News,” which he had adapted from his Baltimore creation. These were utilized in Washington County classrooms and occasionally seen on WHAG-TV in Hagerstown. A series of televised field trips to points of interest in and around Washington County were also produced for classroom use.

Mr. Staley’s last years with the Board of Education saw his involvement with the Department of English for Speakers of Other Languages. As an ESOL instructional assistant, he worked among students with limited English proficiency who had recently come to the United States with their families, speaking a foreign language in the home. He also wrote booklets and produced videocassettes for these families to introduce them to living in Washington County and narrated other recorded exemplary English instructional materials for use by ESOL students.

Moving from Jefferson, Md., in 1967 to a residence near Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., Mr. Staley and his family later relocated nearby in 1971 and made their home in Cascade, Md., on Military Road near Highfield. He held membership in the Spina Bifida Association of Western Maryland, the Baltimore Streetcar Museum, the Metro Washington Old Time Radio Club and the Washington County Retired Teachers’ Association.

Survivors include the Rev. Mr. Staley’s wife, Mary Helen Staley; his daughter, Dorothea Staley Loser; his granddaughter, Christina Ruth Loser; and his son, Theodore Staley.

The Service for a Celebration of the Completion of a Life will be held at Christ Reformed Church, United Church of Christ, 304 East German Street in Shepherdstown, on Saturday, Jan. 4, at 1 p.m., with Rev. Ronald C. Grubb officiating. Friends will be received for one hour leading up until service time. Friends will also be received at Douglas Fiery Funeral Home, 1331 Eastern Blvd. N, Hagerstown, Md. today from 6-8 p.m. Inurnment will be in the new mausoleum at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Frederick at a later date. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Christ Reformed Church in Shepherdstown or the American Cancer Society. Funeral arrangements are being coordinated by Keeney and Basford Funeral Home in Frederick, Maryland and the Douglas Fiery Funeral Home, Hagerstown, Md. Please visit Mr. Staley’s online memorial by going to www.keeneybasford.com or www.douglasfiery.com.