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John Stanton Lias

December 29, 1951 ~ September 16, 2022 (age 70)


John Stanton Lias, age 70, died suddenly on Friday, September 16th, at his home.  John was born on December 29, 1951 to Hobart E. and Sandra J. Lias (nee Paulsness) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. John’s father’s career resulted in a few moves for John as a child–first, to South Carolina, then Florida, and last, to Southern California.  John was confirmed at Ascension Lutheran Church and graduated from North High School (‘71)–both in Torrance, CA.  A lifelong member of the Boy Scouts of America, he earned his Eagle Scout honors and went on to lead his own sons in their scouting journeys as well.  John’s final and most beloved home was in Littleton, Colorado. He lived there for 40 years alongside his beautiful wife Dorothy, where together they raised three sons.


John’s lifelong career was as a carpenter.  Early on, he took on the hardest of tasks to ensure his continued employment: “I have been working extra hard to try and keep [my] job,” he wrote to his sister in 1974.  His hard work and high sense of responsibility led to leadership positions in the construction industry, from which he retired in 2009.  Work for John, however, was not a means to an end. Instead, formed by his Christian roots and his scouting motto, “Prepared. For Life.” he viewed his decades of work as a service to others–his way of making others’ lives better.


John’s worldview was shaped as a child of the ‘60’s while living in southern California.  He had a front row seat to the Vietnam War, the hippie culture, the Watts Riots, and a myriad of events due to social unrest.  As such, John felt a deep sense of justice and fought hard for the oppressed–which carried through to the end of his life.  Over the past several years, John was a faithful part of the Al-Anon Family Group. He first embraced its principles for himself, and then as a way to share his story and experiences to help others.  Just this summer, he was a featured speaker at the Fellowship of the Spirit (FOTS) event; and mere moments before his death, he received a phone call requesting his immediate help from a collegue in need and quickly changed his evening plans to do just that. 


It is clear to all who so deeply loved John that he finally came to realize “...God was doing for him what he could not do for himself” (The Big Book, p. 84).


John’s greatest joy was his family.  Together, he and Dorothy welcomed Jonathan (Abby), Derek (Dana) and Daniel.  John was thrilled at the adoption of his three grandsons, Kaiser, Maverik, and Everett, and took an active role in their lives too.  In addition, John was a wonderful grandfather to Jonathan and Abby’s 13 foster children.  Their lives together revolved around scouting activities, baseball, family dinners, and their greatest pasttime, camping.


Beyond John’s immediate family, there are countless others grateful for having had John in their lives: mother-in-law, Dorothy Buhler; Aunt Rhoda Wold; brother, Steve (Deb) Lias; sister, Tia (Paul) Esser; brothers and sisters-in-law: Susan (Dale) Syhre, Frank (Amanda) Buhler, Marianne (Chuck) Newell, John Buhler (Kenji Kawabata), Janet (Richard) Robb, Catherine Buhler; nieces and nephews:  Chloe (Levi) Lowell, Stevie (Jason) Shea, Jacob Lias (Supriya Khadke), Tim (Kim) Esser, Liz Owen, Emily (Derek) Toussaint, Holly (Andy) Quill, Jeanna Robb (Nathan Bigler-McCorkell), Melanie Syhre (Harrison Whittaker), James Syhre, Katelyn Bruce, Kyle Bruce, Matthew Newell (Jason Mulryne), Charlie (Elizabeth) Newell, numerous cousins as well as many, many great nieces and nephews.


John was predeceased by his parents, Hobart and Sandra; his brother, Ronnie; his father-in-law, Frank Buhler; and his niece, Elizabeth Lias.


Memorials may be directed to:

Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.

1600 Corporate Landing Parkway

Virginia Beach, Virginia 23454-5617



Celebration of Life
September 22, 2022

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Horan & McConaty - Centennial
5303 East County Line Road
Centennial, CO 80122

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