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Richard Stansley Sr. Passes

Published: August 17, 2020 1:56 pm ET

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It has been announced that Richard Boyce 'Dicky' Stansley Sr. passed away on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at the age of 86.

It’s impossible to distill this larger-than-life man into a few short paragraphs. He was the patriarch of 'La Familia,' who spent a lifetime teaching his family the value of hard work, the strength of never backing down, the power of sheer stubbornness to beat all odds, and what it is like to be loved beyond measure.

In the enduring words of Dick Stansley, “This is BS.”

He was born on August 18, 1933 to Peter and Grace (Sylvester) Stansley, and grew up in Sylvania with his older brother Arnold Stansley, and younger sister Cheri Lenavitt. He graduated from Sylvania Burnham High School, and joined the U.S. Air Force in April of 1952. Dick met Darlene, the love of his life, in 1956 at Posey Lake, MI where he raced up to her in his speed boat, complete with full water-ski gear (unusual only in the fact that, as Darlene later learned, he couldn’t swim a lick). Dick and Darlene were married July 6, 1957, and would go on to have five children.

He was always proud to say that he started working at the age of 10 (and walked to school every day, in the winter, with three feet of snow on the ground, uphill both ways, naturally.) In 1960 he purchased his uncle’s trucking company along with seven other investors, including his uncles, cousins, and brother. Over the years he acquired the other owners’ interest and, in 1984, turned it into a successful family business that is still thriving two generations later. He was the recipient of the Northwest Ohio Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2000.

Dick’s passion in life was expressed in two ways: family first, and then horsepower. Whether it was in the form of automobiles, trucks, tractors or Standardbreds, he was interested. He surrounded himself with great friends that shared his passions, and brought people together with his strong sense of comradeship, optimism and unfailing determination.

As the head of the family, Dicky taught us all to live life on our own terms, and take guff from no one, ever. He loved having coffee at home in the mornings with his children, meals at his favourite restaurants, card games with his friends, and races whenever one of his horses was on the card.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 63 years, Darlene Stansley neé Creque, his sister Cheri (Jack) Lenavitt, his five children Rick, Scott (born August 16, 1961), Jeff (Gail), Charles (Tami), and Missy (John) Hogan. His ten grandchildren, Kristin, JT, Branden (Maggie), Scott (Taylor), Ryan (Angela), Drew, Cassie, Peter, Boyce, and Annie. And three great-grandchildren, Charlie Payne, Sophia, and John Maverick. Along with countless cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.

In these times we can’t have a large service for all of his friends and family ("It is what it is”, as Papa would say), but for those who know and loved him, in lieu of flowers we ask this: watch a horse race, play a game of cards, visit your favourite restaurant, have a black-cherry milkshake, watch the news in your favourite recliner, give someone the what-for, fuel up your riding mower (and all other equipment), and make sure everyone you love is well fed. It’s what Dicky would do.

Online condolences can be left below or by clicking here.

Please join Standardbred Canada in offering condolences to the family and friends of Richard Stansley Sr.

(With files from Reeb Funeral Home)

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