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Martha P. Stanley


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Date published: 6/25/2014

Martha P. Stanley

On June 21, 2014, Martha Parker Stanley peacefully passed from this life.

She was born on June 6, 1931, in Newport News, a daughter of Irma Topping Parker and Joseph Daniel Parker. With the passing of both parents, she moved to Covington in 1935 and later to Plymouth, N.C., to live with her aunt and uncle, Kathryn Topping Hill and Edward Harvie Hill.

Mrs. Stanley attended the College of William & Mary, where she earned her bachelor's degree in sociology. There she met her future husband, John Leonard Stanley, also a William & Mary graduate. They were married on May 23, 1954, and enjoyed 31 years of marriage together, until his untimely passing.

After his tour in the Army, the family lived throughout the Middle Atlantic area, while John "Dick" was in the employ of Texaco Inc. In 1968, the Stanleys settled in Orange County, where they assumed control of the Arthur E. Sims Agency, which later became Stanley Petroleum Products, an employer of the Stanley family and others in the community throughout its tenure in central Virginia.

Martha was known for her untiring passion for serving others, starting as a staff social worker in Washington County, N.C., as the first social worker/case manager in the Orange County Nursing Home in 1975, as a counselor for the Alzheimer's Association, and in many volunteer positions in-between.

She had been an active member of Trinity United Methodist Church since 1968; past president of the United Methodist Women; a member of the Women's Club and Business Professional Women, both of Orange; a member/vice mayor on the Orange Town Council from 1984 to 1990, and was the first woman to serve in this capacity; an owner/manager of Stanley Petroleum Products; and a volunteer at the Orange Food Pantry, Orange County Visitors Bureau, Medical Reserve Corps, American Red Cross and the Orange Arts Center.

She had a lifelong commitment to family and friends, travel, here and abroad, and expanding her horizons through reading. Her wonderful sense of humor and her deep sense of caring for others pervaded all parts of her life and those she touched. Martha will be deeply missed.


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