Stan was born Sept. 22, 1922, to Alice and Robert Bennett. He was born and raised in the south end of Harney County. He was raised with strong family values that he shared with his own family right up to the end of his long life. As a young man, he helped his family with their farm and ranch. He and his brother helped with the hay and cattle. It was a hard life, but it didn’t make him a hard man. They raised cattle and stacked mountains of hay.
While attending Burns Union High School, Stan met his high school sweetheart, Audrey Cowing. She soon became his soul mate.
In 1941, Stan, along with most of the men his age, joined the service and went to war for our country. Stan spent four years in the Navy. He used his math and science skills there, along with his leadership, to make a difference in the many lives around him.
While he was building those lifelong relationships, his thoughts were never far from his loved ones at home in the United States. As the story goes, during one correspondence with his Audrey, she enclosed a new picture. Stan said he was ready to walk across the ocean just to be with her again. Can you only imagine?
At the end of Stan’s Navy service, he retired as chief petty officer. He was always a very proud and honorable man. He held the U.S. flag to its highest value, so that we could retain our rights.
When the war ended, and his obligations to our country were fulfilled, he returned to the U.S. to build his new life with Audrey. On March 10, 1944, they became husband and wife.
For the first few years, they made their living in Portland. Stan was a great machinist, but he always dreamed of managing his own estate.
In 1949, he and Audrey made their way to Durkee, about 40 miles from Baker City. It was on that ranch where they started and began to raise their own family. He was the very proud father of Jo Anne, Ruth, Robert and Carol. It was truly a hard place to make much profit, but it was immeasurable on developing a close and caring family core, and that’s exactly what they did.
Then in 1959, Stan and Audrey packed up and moved to Burns to pursue their new career in the oil business. For several years they managed and ran the local 76 gas station and a second-hand store. All this time, they began to develop new lifelong friends and business relationships while they raised their four children.
In 1965, Stan and Audrey purchased the Union Oil bulk plant in Burns. This was their final business commitment together. In 1980, they decided to finally retire and travel to warmer weather part time, just like Stan’s folks did years before. Their children were raised and on to their own lives.
They moved on to build a new circle of friends, and they sure did. Stan was, of course, the new man on the block in Arizona that could fix anything for his neighbors.
Stan and Audrey were an anomaly; they could run a successful business and share 55 years of marriage bliss together.
In 1997, Stan lost his soul mate, but he was there with her right to the very end of her precious life.
Because he was a caring man, and now alone, he decided to move back to Arizona and into the sunshine. He had no plan, he just wanted to return to old friends and warm weather. He was on to his new life. Stan was blessed in that decision by having the second chance at companionship. Two years later, he married Peggy. It was in that new life that he also took on the new position of treasurer at the Apache Junction Elks Lodge. Like everything else, he was up for the new challenge with dedication and honor. They were married for five years.
After Peggy’s passing, Stan knew it was time for him to move back to Oregon and live closer to his children. So, in October 2011, his son, Bobby, helped him move back to the state he grew up in. He settled in his new home in Stayton, just a few miles from his youngest daughter, Carol.
For three-and-a-half years, all his children shared in his new life. His new home was once again filled with laughter, great stories, singing and lots of games. He was a sly cribbage master, and math wiz right to the end.
Stan was the best host to all he loved and cared about, a true family man with honor and a caring hand. If you were in need, he would be there, sometimes just with the caring words of wisdom.
Stan is survived by his five children, Clifford (Debbie) Howland, Jo Anne (Chuck) Van Hise, Ruth Anne (Ted) Aiken, Robert Clyde (Jo) Bennett and Carol Lynn (Brian) Graves; 14 grandchildren; 27 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.
Stan was the last remaining member of his family. Passing before him were his sisters, Muriel and Myra; and brother, Richard.