Lewis Vastine Stabler, Jr. Nov. 5, 1936 - Jan. 4, 2023
Lewis Vastine Stabler, Jr. (Vastine), 86, of Mountain Brook, passed away peacefully on January 4, 2023 in Birmingham, Alabama and entered the Kingdom of Heaven. Vastine is survived by his children Dorothy Stabler Scott, Andrew Vastine Stabler, Monteray Stabler Smith (Warren), Langston Stabler Hereford (Will), by his seven grandchildren Elizabeth Emerson Guarnieri (Dan), Anna Scott Khanduja (Prakhar), Warren Delano Smith IV (Katie), Emerson Monteray Smith, Hunt Stabler Smith, William James Hereford and Carey Stabler Hereford, by his great grandchild Nora Elizabeth Smith. Vastine was predeceased by his loving and loyal spouse of 61 years, Monteray Scott Stabler (Monty). He was also predeceased by his parents Lewis Vastine Stabler and Dorothy Emerson Stabler and his sister, Mary Campbell Stabler Boyd. Vastine was a 1954 graduate of Shades Valley High School. He attended Vanderbilt University where he graduated with a BA degree in Economics in 1958 and was awarded the Founders Medal for Oratory as a result of his debating skills. In addition to his involvement with the Debate Team, he was also a member and President of Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity at Vanderbilt. He went on to graduate with distinction from the University of Michigan Law School in 1961 as a Member of the Order of the Coif. In 1961, he began his professional career at Cabaniss, Johnston, Gardner & Clark followed by a stint as an Associate Professor at the University of Alabama Law School. He then returned to Birmingham and spent over 40 years as a practicing attorney at Cabaniss Johnston, then formed Walston, Stabler, Wells and Bains and later practiced as a sole practitioner. Vastine enjoyed an illustrious legal career which included election as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a Life member of American Law Institute and served as lead counsel on a case argued before the United States Supreme Court. Aside from his professional career, his positive impact and influence on his family and friends will long be remembered. His devotion and care for Monty during her long illness was certainly notable and indicative of his love and kindness for people. He was known for embracing with great passion various "jags" and on occasion these interests would be infectious. His interests were too varied to fully recount, but include photography (which was not always embraced by his children), gardening, art collecting (a love shared by both Monty and Vastine that led to Monty's formation of Monty Stabler Galleries, a long standing and well recognized art gallery in Birmingham), theatre (he wrote and produced the play The Upper Room on the twelve disciples) and travel (over the years he and Monty traveled to 79 countries and all 7 continents). Most importantly, Vastine and Monty left their family with a legacy and direction of deep faith in the saving grace of Christ. They were lifelong members of Highlands United Methodist Church and were very active in the North Alabama Conference. At Highlands, among other areas, he was chair of the Administrative Board, the Pastor Parish Committee and Evangelism Committee, which was of particular interest to him. He taught the Men's Bible Class for over 40 years and then began the Young Adult Class. He was a Lay Speaker and had the privilege of speaking in churches throughout Northern Alabama and also taught a course on Lay Speaking. Vastine was supportive of seminary students and as such became a member of the Committee of 100 at Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Lastly, Vastine was keenly interested in his hometown through many activities including Rotary International and supported many United Methodist missions in Birmingham, with a particular love for the work at Restoration Mission UMC.