Charles P. `Chuck' Stanley, 71, former city prosecutor who became a teacher

March 25, 2002|By Marcia Myers | Marcia Myers,SUN STAFF

Charles P. "Chuck" Stanley, a former assistant state's attorney for Baltimore who began a career as a teacher after his retirement, died Wednesday at Greater Baltimore Medical Center of an aneurysm. He was 71 and lived in Eldersburg.

Mr. Stanley began studies toward a teaching certificate at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland two years ago and would have started student teaching in the fall. In recent years, he had worked as a substitute teacher in Carroll County schools, and two years ago made an unsuccessful bid for a seat on the school board.

"His focus wasn't necessarily on what he taught, but just teaching," said Larry Helminiak, a close friend. "He felt he had something to contribute and he could make a kid a better grown-up. To him, it was an opportunity to pass on what he'd learned in life."

He didn't hesitate to join in more frivolous pursuits with students, however. Last year he donned a top hat, T-shirt, extra long tie and mismatched socks and won second place in Liberty High School's ugly costume contest.

An upbeat, staunchly patriotic man and a lover of history, he served in the Army in Korea, was a master sergeant in the National Guard into his 60s, and made a practice of reading the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution every July 4.

"He would just hear the songs of the American flag and tears would come to his eyes," said Linda Stanley, his wife of 33 years.

Outside of cooking, few subjects were beyond his reach, she said.

As a child growing up in West Virginia, his family knew that when he disappeared he was probably watching employees of the Works Progress Administration building things. According to his family, during his teen-age years he purchased a 12-cylinder Packard, took apart the car's engine piece by piece and laid out the parts in the driveway.

"Everybody said he would never get it back together, but he put it all back and made it run," Mr. Helminiak said. "It was not just that something worked, he had to understand why and how it did what it did."

In the 1970s, he almost single-handedly built the family's four-bedroom frame house in Eldersburg and had recently finished constructing a barn.

An avid jogger and bicyclist, he and his wife hiked during one recent vacation to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up in a day. And he especially liked to amuse friends and family with long-winded, complicated jokes.

Born in Glen Alum, W.Va., his family moved to Baltimore during his childhood.

He earned a law degree from Mount Vernon School of Law, which later became part of the University of Baltimore, and went to work as a lawyer for Maryland's mass transit system, procuring property for rail lines. Later he spent 17 years as an assistant state's attorney for Baltimore, retiring in 1996.

He belonged to American Legion Post 223 in Sykesville, and was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Community Church

A memorial Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph, 915 Liberty Road, Sykesville. Internment will be private.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Jay T. Stanley of Anchorage, Alaska, and C. Rodney Stanley of Baltimore; a daughter, Jackie Stanley of Reisterstown; a brother, William T. Stanley of Timonium; a sister, Deanne Gorman of Lewes, Del.; and two grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Lions Vision Research Foundation Inc., Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Box 1714, Baltimore 21203.

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