Community remembers Stanley

Published 4:39 pm Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Charlotte County citizens continue to celebrate the life of longtime citizen and community leader James Edward Stanley Sr., affectionately known as Ed.

Stanley died on Dec. 3, at the age of 84.

“Ed has worked for the town waterworks for years in Charlotte Court House,” said family member and Emergency Medical Technician Larry Newcomb. “He worked in construction and built the big bridge in Narrows.”

Newcomb said Stanley was familiar with every water pipe within town, and could offer specific expertise on pipes buried more than 30 years.

At the 29th annual lighting of the Christmas Tree in Charlotte Court House, Mayor Stephen Walker asked citizens to remember Stanley, a longtime water operator and Charlotte Court House resident, for his community service contributions to the town.

“He epitomized community service,” Walker said. 

Newcomb said Stanley was a school bus driver for more than 30 years and was the longest serving fire chief in Virginia with 46 years. He served as fire chief of the Charlotte Court House Fire and Rescue.

In addition, Stanley was employed at West Point Steven’s in Drakes Branch for over 20 years, according to Newcomb.

“Stanley was the type of person you could learn a lot from by just listening to him,” said Drakes Branch Volunteer Fire Department Chief Kenny Tharpe. “He taught many people not only firefighting skills, but most importantly he taught us how to treat people. He will be missed.”

A memorial for Stanley was recently held at the Charlotte Court House Fire Station with a final call for “Charlotte 40,” Stanley’s badge number.

“He’s always been there for us and it’s still hard to believe he’s gone,” said Newcomb. “He was always there to help anyone in need and he believed in the good of people.”

Newcomb said Stanley previously received the honor of being named Hometown Hero in Charlotte Court House.

According to Stanley’s obituary, he is preceded in death by his wife, Mary R. Stanley. “Ed is survived by a daughter, Mary Helen Freeze, a son, James Edward Stanley Jr., three grandchildren, Gina Newcomb, Jennifer Freeze and Brian Freeze and seven great grandchildren.”

A funeral service was held for Stanley on Dec. 6 at Mt. Harmony United Methodist Church.