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OBITUARY: James Stanley

February 11, 2022
By Staff Report

James R. Stanley, 90, of Lake Bluff, Ill. passed away peacefully on January 30, 2022, at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital in Lake Forest, Ill. 

Born in Williamsport, Penn. in 1931 to Col. Leslie W. and Hazel E. Stanley, Jim graduated from Pennsylvania State University and later served as First Lieutenant in the United States Army Finance Corps. He received his Juris Doctorate degree from the Dickinson School of Law and was admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court Bar, and to the bars in the States of New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. 

Jim began his nearly 40-year career practicing corporate law at Duquesne Light Company, where he met Darlene, his best friend and wife of 60 years. He later worked for the Breyers and Sealtest divisions of Kraft. In 1971, he joined the Thiokol Corporation, where he helped navigate its 1982 merger with Morton International, which created Morton Thiokol and subsequently Morton International. Upon his retirement in 1996 as Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel, the Board of Directors recognized his 25 years at the combined company by formally expressing their “sincere appreciation and grateful thanks for his services as a legal advisor – meticulous, insightful, and firmly dedicated to the best interest of the company.”

After retirement, Jim and Darlene spent much of their time at their home in Boca Grande, where they enjoyed the warm weather and relaxed, small-town life. In addition to his beloved wife, Darlene, Jim is survived by their four children Susan (Bobby), Sandy, Jim, and Jeff (Lissa); eight grandchildren Greg (Sarah), Emily, Lexi, Zach, Jimmy, Kate, Alex, and Maggie; and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his sisters Emily Josephine Drummond and Elizabeth Stanley Lee.

Services will be private. Memorial contributions may be made in memory of James R. Stanley to the Gasparilla Island Conservation and Improvement Association (GICIA), P.O. Box 446, Boca Grande, FL, 33921. For information, contact Wenban Funeral Home (847) 234-0022 or