Reverend Doctor David Martin Stirdivant, 94, passed away on July 7, 2018, surrounded by family in Yucaipa.
Born on Nov. 10, 1923, he was a longtime resident of Yucaipa.
As a young boy, David moved to Yucaipa with his parents Benjamin and Ruth Stirdivant and sister Gladys Nye. His father, a farmer, grew peaches and other assorted crops. Benjamin farmed until he was 95 years old, the oldest farmer in Yucaipa. The Stirdivants have long been part of Yucaipa’s history, of which David was so proud and worked to preserve the telling of the history of the Yucaipa valley and was a member of the Yucaipa Historical Society and research group of nearly 30 years.
David, a Lutheran Pastor, was in ministry for 68 years. He began his ministry in Santa Ana at Iglesia de Nuestro Salvador in 1948. In 1952, he began mission work in East Los Angeles. In 1956, he founded LA Santa Cruz. In 1978, he simultaneously began ministry in Bell Gardens. He later named the church San Pedro y San Pablo Iglesia Luterana. He served as pastor from 1980 until his retirement in 1990. All of those years he held five services between La Santa Cruz and San Pedro y San Pablo Iglasia Luterana. When he retired, there were 300 regular parishioners.
When David retired in 1990, he returned to Yucaipa and continued his ministry work. He always said, “Pastors never retire because the Lord’s work is never done.” He helped to pioneer Spanish ministry at Trinity in San Bernardino, St. John’s in Colton and La Santismia Trinidad in Fontana. Ministry and all of the parishioners were dear to his heart. David planted 150 fruit trees on the family farm. He enjoyed many adventures with his family and had a love of camping and traveling to Baja. He also journalled everyday since he was 14 years of age. He said, “A life worth living is a life worth recording.” He lived a joy filled life and will be greatly missed.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Belen Stirdivant, sons David Mark Stirdivant and Keven Stirdivant.
David is survived by his daughters Lori Young and Lysa Golden, sons Tim Stirdivant, Don Stirdivant and Ron Stirdivant, 49 grandchildren, great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
Viewing will be held at Arlington Mortuary, 9645 Magnolia Ave. in Riverside on July 20, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Memorial service will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church, 2900 North E Street in San Bernardino on July 21 at 11 a.m. Graveside will be private.