Lake County recently lost one of its most proactive individuals in the last week, as Stanley Wonderley passed away.
If there’s any lesson that just about any of us can take from Stanley, it would be the fact that we all can contribute as little or as much as we want; age is not a factor, but merely a number.
Over the past seven and a half years, Stanley was one of my most regular points of contacts for varied stories for the Examiner. We conversed and interacted so regularly throughout the year that I could nearly set my calendar to when certain stories were certain to come back around.
In my observations, the most common thought that ran through my head was the commitment that he had for whatever his endeavor happened to be. When we talked, there was no doubt of the value he held in whatever his project happened to be, and I found this to be among his most admirable traits.
How many octogenarians can any of us honestly say we know that regularly penned children’s books, hosted classes dedicated to improving family dynamics and helped coordinate community-based concerts with talented students and professionals from the University of Oregon?
Everything that Stanley was involved with held a common thread of value for parents, families and, perhaps most of all, young people. He wore his philosophy loud and proud in big bold letters on the sides of his trademark solar/electric powered Volkswagen Rabbit convertible: Kids Are My Business.
When musicians came to town to perform local concerts, Stanley made sure that the local schools also got a window into this world of culture during the artists’ visits.
Each November, on behalf of the Lakeview Rotary Club, Stanley would hand out dictionaries and copies of his self-penned biography of Noah Webster to local third-graders.
Stanley wasn’t your typical grown-up, seated or standing above the tykes as he gave his presentation; rather, quite the opposite. He sat himself down at their level, speaking neither above nor below them as he engaged the students in what he was so very passionate about: embracing education.
If not buzzing about town in his aforementioned Voltz-wagen, Stanley could often be seen walking about, energetically placing posters for the next community concert or promoting the Lakeview Bowmens Sports Club’s varied events.
Even the latter organization has a permanent reminder of Stanley’s remarkable stick-to-it-iveness, for lack of a better word, in the form of their indoor archery arena that represents an incredible testament to his dedication for all that he took on during his years in the community.
Stanley often would close our talks about whatever he happened to be promoting with an invitation to go out and enjoy a campfire-cooked meal out in the not-far-off desert.
Sadly, it will be among my regrets that we never got to do so, but I will still fondly remember Stanley for his energy, dedication and commitment to the community.