In Memory – Stan Rock

Stan Rock, a long-time student of Rabbi Friedman and Bowen Theory, and one of the founding members of the Voyagers, died on August 3, 2019. We have missed Stan’s presence, humor, patience, wisdom and restaurant recommendations since he was last with us in 2009, at the Bon Secours Retreat Center outside of Baltimore. For more about Stan…

Here are some Voyager’s memories of Stan. Please email any additional thoughts/memories to Carol, and they will be posted.

A Brief History,

I met Stan as I walked into his faculty office when I entered the D.Min. program at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. The seminary was close to where I lived and the curriculum was flexible and geared to tailor-making for the parish pastorate. I was impressed with his warmth, receptivity, and familiarity with the pastoral care and counseling field which was my interest at the time when trying to pursue systems thinking after exposure to Friedman in 1979. Stan and another faculty member became my committee. It took me 6 years fo finish in 1989. He would gently remind me about the course goal of 3-4 years in the program he designed, after all, he was the professor of Pastoral Care and steeped in the field having taught hundreds of students.

For some reason he was drawn to Friedman (who had then published Generation to Generation) who emphasized family process in congregations. In short, this all led to his joining Friedman’s seminar in the mid-nineties participating as Michael indicated where he not only added to the process but became the cuisine leader when eating out. It was intriguing to watch such a professor of pastoral care and counseling shift his interest and conviction to the theory and its orientation.

Stan was a good friend and colleague all the way. Former students still reflect on the benefit they received from his person. Ginny andI were fortunate to spend time with Stan and Nancy over the years as he took on the challenge of Parkinson’s. Stan and Nancy have remained influential and respected members of the seminary and city circles. 

And just to note, Stan would bring a little coffee maker to the Voyagers sessions no matter where we met. And for those who didn’t know, Nancy was the nurse with Harry Emerson Fosdick when he died. Bless his memory and friendship.


I so remember Stan and his presence, his comments and questions, his selecting the right (if not always inexpensive!) restaurant for our Voyagers’ “night out.” I know he will dine with taste and grace throughout eternity. -Michael

Having enjoyed Stan’s fam-of-origin presentation through at least 20 iterations (beginning with Susan Luff on Ed’s faculty), I’m imagining what it would have felt like attending visitation and services.  I think I’d have felt like an INTRUDER! “SCHULTZY!! LONG TIME NO SEE!”   Just a flight of fantasy! A very dear friend. -Bob H.

May we all come to share in the heavenly banquet. Bless you Stan. -Ed

Good words about Stan!   As much as anyone I knew, Stan lived graciously and tenaciously with the joys and challenges of his life.   I remember his presentation in Ed Friedman’s group about living with Parkinsons as a nodal point for his faith and work on differentiation.   And most of us, and other Voyagers too, were there when we had the “night out” engineered by Stan near the canal in D.C. with waiters swirling around and we lived like kings and queens for one evening. Thanks, Stan!   He is one of a kind in eternity. -Bob S.

And what a king and queen night that was.  I will likely never forget it.  Part of the serendipity of it was observing those of you who had been part of “the group” for a number of years by then.  Even you were astonished by the lavishness of service, food — and price!  That said, it was a wonderful evening.  A bit of lavishness is a good thing every now and then – Stan gets to experience that lavishness now forever. -MaryAnn

My regrets regarding that “lavish dinner” was that I missed it but paid the bill!  -Michael.