John R. Stranford, 71, a longtime banker in the Philadelphia area, died Wednesday, May 8, of cancer, at his retirement home in Bayville, N.J.
Born and raised in Northeast Philadelphia, Mr. Stranford graduated from Lincoln High School and from Temple University with an associate's degree in business.
He started out in banking with Girard Bank as a teller. From there, he jumped in 1967 to Third Federal Bank, where he started in a mid-level management position and worked his way up to become president and chief executive officer in January 1995.
Under his leadership, Third Federal grew from a small bank serving Northeast Philadelphia to a larger, publicly traded banking operation with 13 branches in Southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.