Mary Jo Stanley, a well-respected member of the community, passed away on Thursday, December 14 at her residence, Lutheran Living Transitional Care Center in Muscatine. Although Mary is gone, the impressions she left will never go away.
Mary’s visitation will be held January 5 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Ralph J. Wittich- Riley- Freers Funeral Home, with a memorial service following on Saturday, January 6 at First Presbyterian Church of Muscatine.
Mary was born May 23, 1934, in Nevada, Iowa, to Gladys Cuthbert Kennedy and the Rev. Dr. Joseph Kennedy. She married Richard Stanley on December 20, 1953. Richard passed away on November 17, 2017.
In Mary’s free time she loved anything involving art, music, dance, or theatre. She also enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and being involved in her church, First Presbyterian Church of Muscatine, which she has been involved in her whole life.
Mary was involved in the community in a variety of ways, always giving back in ways she felt she could. When cable television was first offered in Muscatine, Mary was a service chair commission of the Cable Television Commission. She was also a board member for the Stanley Foundation, Muscatine Art Center Support Foundation, Muscatine Center for Social Action, and the University of Iowa Support Organization, and she was involved in Muscatine Area AIDS Coalition. She became the director emerita of the Stanley Foundation in 2001. The Stanley foundation is focused on building a multilateral U.S. role in addressing international issues.
Mary Jo was a warm, loving person who made everyone feel welcome and wanted. She made an impact on many people and left positive impressions wherever she went.
Keith Porter, the president of the Stanley Foundation, knew Mary for 30 years.
“She was dedicated to showing kindness and respect,” says Porter.
She wanted equality for all people and made everyone feel good with what they did and made sure everyone felt respect. The Stanley Foundation hosts many conferences, and Mary Jo was always involved. She not only contributed her time, but she also made everyone feel welcome and happy. She made sure everyone was entertained and built friendships between herself and others. She wanted everyone to see each other as people, rather than just workers. She brought people together in a positive way, making everyone feel important.
Rather than sending flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to First Presbyterian, Muscatine Center for Social Action, and the African American Museum of Iowa.