Stabler—Edward P. Stabler, 94, on August 16, 2023, peacefully at home in Camillus, N.Y., in the presence of his loving family. Ed was born on May 30, 1929, into a longtime Quaker family in Scarsdale, N.Y. He attended Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pa., later earning his doctorate in electrical engineering from Princeton University in New Jersey. While in graduate school, Ed met Helen Cross, who became his wife of 67 years.
Ed spent his career as a professor at Syracuse University in New York in electrical engineering and later in computer engineering. He mentored many young people through his teaching. Ed loved his work, especially his sabbaticals at NASA, Yale University, and Cambridge University. In the mid-1970s, Ed undertook a collaboration with the Romanian ballet, designing the program used for the first polytempic ballet (music in which two or more tempi occur simultaneously). He traveled to Romania and then to Paris for the ballet’s premiere at the Centre Pompidou.
Ed was a longtime member of Syracuse (N.Y.) Meeting. Over the years, he served the meeting in nearly every position possible. Ed embodied the Quaker belief that one should let one’s life speak. In September 1971, when New York State troopers fired on prone incarcerated men during the Attica Prison Uprising, Ed helped found the Quaker worship group at Auburn Prison. He continued to worship at the prison regularly for decades. Ed also began a long career of volunteer service with the Alternatives to Violence Project, both inside and outside of the prison system. Rather than seeing this time and effort as a sacrifice, Ed viewed himself as the beneficiary of these opportunities.
Ed and Helen loved children and delighted in their presence, both their own and the children in their meeting. Whenever a child needed attention, Ed was there, with a twinkle in his eye and a puzzle or a toy tucked in his pocket. It helped that he had a flair for inspired mischief.
Although those close to Ed treasured his sense of humor and compassion, and regarded him as an educator, humanitarian, and family man, others knew him as a competitive athlete. His great love was long-distance and trail running, and he ultimately became a national figure in master’s marathon and half marathon events. Ed later took up orienteering and attended meets all over the country. Modest to a fault, he regifted all his trophies and patches or hid them in a bin in his wood shop. Ed also enjoyed sailing, golfing, and skiing.
Ed lived a life of unconditional love. He taught adults struggling to read, and worked with refugees who had been relocated to Central New York. He was a Quaker ARCH volunteer (for the Aging, Resources, Consultation, and Help program), and volunteered for Contact Community Services, Hospice of Central New York, and other organizations. Following retirement, he donated computer consulting services to organizations supporting people with disabilities. In 2015, he was named Onondaga County’s Senior Citizen of the Year.
Ed’s support of his loved ones was unwavering. He was always on the lookout for adventure, had a contagious sense of humor, alternately dry and silly, and started fun everywhere for everyone. He loved life, and life loved him back.
Ed was predeceased by his beloved wife, Helen Cross Stabler, in 2022.
He is survived by four children, Edward Jr. (Kathy Hill), Elizabeth Riker Kolbe (Jim), Caroline Gettino (Larry), and Catherine King (Jack); seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.