Stanley lived all his life in the Clonvaraghan area near Castlewellan. He left school at 14 and trained to be a car mechanic and worked for several garages in the Ballynahinch area before setting up his own vehicle repair business on the Antrim Road in the town before moving to the Dromore Road. His interest in vehicles led him to become a vintage tractor enthusiast and he regularly attended rallies throughout South Down
Stanley was a member of Ballynahinch Free Presbyterian Church.
Throughout his life Stanley was a very active member of the Loyal Orders and the DUP. He served as District Master of the Royal Black Institution for Rathfriland and was co-opted on to Down District Council in 1996.
Chairman of the South Down Association of the DUP for over twenty years, Stanley was also the Party’s Election Agent from 2001. He stood for election for the Newcastle area of Down District Council on four occasions.
Following the election of Jim Wells as the MLA for South Down in 1998, Stanley was the obvious choice for the post as the DUP Agent for the constituency and he held this full time position for twelve years. In this role he became very well known through his work in DUP Advice Centres in Kilkeel, Ballynahinch and Rathfriland.
“Stanley was a dedicated member of the DUP, a tireless worker for the unionist cause and a friend to everyone who knew him”, said Jim Wells.
“His capacity for work during election campaigns was legendary. He would knock thousands of doors urging everyone he met to support the DUP. He was always enthusiastic and never allowed anything to get him down.
“I have very clear memories of canvassing the doors around Moneyslane on a dark, wet evening during the November 2003 Assembly election.
“The rain was horizontal – anyone who answered their door got soaked, but Stanley insisted that we kept going until we finished the area. We returned to Rathfriland that night drenched to the skin but pleased that we had finished our canvass and confident that none of our opponents had left their firesides that evening.
“I will miss his friendship, his loyalty and his enthusiasm. Politics can be very difficult at times and when the going got tough Stanley was always there to provide encouragement and support. I doubt if I will ever meet anyone with all of Stanley’s qualities again.
“On behalf of the Party I would wish to extend our condolences to Stanley’s family and many friends.”