Shelton Smith Stanley

November 27, 1926 - May 21, 2009
Shelton Smith Stanley

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Shelton Smith Stanley, beloved husband, father, G-Daddy and friend, entered into eternal glory on Thursday, May 21, 2009. He died peacefully at home, surrounded by his family.

He was born in Columbus County, NC, on November 27, 1926, but resided in Wilmington with his wife, Margaret, for the majority of his life.

He was the son of the late Matha and Herman DeWitt Stanley. He was also preceded in death by a son, Brent, & several brothers & sisters.

One of his early passions in life was baseball. When he was 16, he played in the American Legion Little World Series in Miles City, Montana. After graduation from high school, he played in the New York Yankees farm system. He left the Yankees to play college football at UNC-Chapel Hill. On his 18th birthday, he joined the Navy & served his country in World War II. He followed up his military service with a stint in the Chicago Cubs organization. His baseball career ended when he met the love of his life, Margaret Warwick in 1947. They married on March 3,1949, & subsequently raised 5 children. They recently celebrated 60 years of wedded bliss.

Shelton went to work for Carolina Power & Light Company in 1951 and retired after 39 years of service. Upon his retirement he found a new passion: hiking sections of the Appalachian Trail in NC, TN, & VA, logging over 376 miles. Between hiking trips, he served with the Baptist Men of NC, joining them on mission trips as far away as Alaska, the Gulf Coast, & Sri Lanka. He was a faithful member of Temple Baptist Church, serving as choir member, deacon, Sunday School teacher and as “backdoor greeter.”

Shelton was rarely seen without a big smile on his face; that & his thankful attitude were his trademarks. He considered himself “blessed” in every realm and lived his faith daily. He & Margaret loved “cruising” & they travelled all over the world. He loved all kinds of music, and enjoyed many Jimmy Buffett concerts with his whole family. He had a particular fondness for dancing & was always the first one on the dance floor. He & Margaret also spent many years square dancing. He welcomed all into his home and would say,” You can never have too many friends.” He touched many people’s hearts by being a father to them when they had none. He enjoyed an abundant life and lived it well.

Surviving in addition to his wife are daughters Susan Treadway (Doug) & Beth Stukes (Chet) of Wilmington; Ellen Roberson (Terry) of Asheville, NC; and son Steve Stanley (Pat) of Abbeville, SC; 9 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren, brothers H. D. & Wayman Stanley, sister Betty Jo Smith, numerous nieces, nephews & many special friends.

The family wishes to express our deep appreciation & gratitude to Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation for their loving care & provision during his illness.

In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations made to Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401, or to Temple Baptist Church, 1801 Market Street, Wilmington, NC 28403.

Online condolences may be sent to the family

A Celebration Service will be held in the sanctuary of Temple Baptist Church on Sunday afternoon, May 24, at 3:00 p.m., followed by a gathering of friends & family at Halyburton Park Event Center, 17th Street Extension.

Shelton loved all the colors in nature. Please feel free to dress colorfully and comfortably.


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  • May 22, 2009
    Nancy Manning and Family says:
    He was our friend and we will miss him always, Nancy

  • May 23, 2009
    Marcia and David Davies says:
    Dear Margaret and Family, Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the family during this time. Shelton will be missed by everyone who knew him. He lived life to the fullest and greeted the day with a smile. I'll always remember our walks and long talks on the beach. Shelton filled all who knew him with love and respect for people and life. Sincerely, Marcia and David Davies

  • May 22, 2009
    Sherry Tootoo says:
    Know our thoughts and prayers are with your family during this difficult time. We will always remember his kind words and warm smile. We love you, Stan, Sherry, Megan and Micah

  • May 23, 2009
    Golden and Bill says:
    Margaret and Family: Our thoughts and prayers are there in Wilmington with you. A sympathy card is in the mail to you today. To special friends from Bill and Golden

  • May 23, 2009
    Jayne Humphrey Pearce says:
    Mom and Dad are here with us in Kansas. Shelton was a special person and so dear to the Temple family. I will always remember his radiant smile and sincere warmth. Mother is especially grieved that she can't be there with all of you. Shelton is safe with Jesus, and I know you all are grateful for all you shared with him. Our love to you all. The Kansas Pearces