William Stanley ’53

William “Bill” Stanley passed away on Tuesday, September 8, at the age of 91. He leaves behind his wife of 66 years Jane McLaurin, three children (Julia, Dan, and Mary Jane), six grandchildren, and 7 great grandchildren.

Bill was born on March 4, 1929, in Montgomery, Alabama. He was raised in Marion, North Carolina, and graduated from Marion High School before serving in the United States Marine Corps from 1946 to 1948. Later, he was stationed in North China and Guam while serving in the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division from 1950 to 1954. Following his military service, Bill attended Davidson College, Appalachian State Teachers College (Bachelor’s Degree, 1957) and Appalachian State University (Master’s Degree, Biology, 1959).

In 1958, he worked as the football coach at Lee Edwards High School. From 1959 to1963, he worked as a football coach and biology teacher at Enka High School and Owen High School. He then served as the Principal and football coach of Brevard High School before transferring to Asheville High School as Principal in 1973. Following a career in education, Bill opened Bill Stanley’s Barbeque and Bluegrass restaurant in Asheville in 1979.

In 1988, in his first bid for public office as proud Democrat, Bill was elected to the Buncombe County Board of County Commissioners, a position he held for 24 years. During this time, he served as the Director of the Juvenile Education Center in Swannanoa and was sworn in as the President of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners in 1999. Bill was also a member of VFW Post 891 and the Land of the Sky Shrine Club.

Bill retired from public service in 2012 as the longest-serving member in the history of Buncombe County’s Board of Commissioners. He enjoyed spending time with his family, all things BBQ and bluegrass, golf, his work with the Shriners, and the company of his many friends and former colleagues.

A private service will be held for his family at the VA Cemetery in Black Mountain. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in his name to the Land of the Sky Shrine Club (39 Spring Cove Rd., Swannanoa, NC) or a charity of your choice

Published in Asheville Citizen-Times from Sep. 9 to Sep. 10, 2020.