Jimmy Clyde Stanley was born July 30, 1933 in Ida, Louisiana to Clyde Henry and Mamie Martin Stanley. He was the first of six children and easily accepted the role of big brother to the rest of us. He was a mover and a shaker before his time; meaning he was often the instigator of the antics of his two brothers and me (our two other sisters came along much later). Mostly he was the one that was the most daring of the group, such as the time he wanted to be Captain Marvel. He draped himself in one of Mother’s tablecloths to use as a cape, climbed the roof of our garage and bailed off thinking he could fly! Luckily the only thing broken was his pride and he lived to dream up some other new adventure.
Jim (also nicknamed Coot or Pete) attended school in Bivins, Texas prior to our moving to Atlanta, Texas. In Bivins he was in a school play and in Atlanta he was an Atlanta Rabbit (football team) member.
He first worked as a life guard at the Atlanta public swimming pool and later at Meyers’ Department Store. His outgoing personality, smile, and the ability to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge was well suited for his occupation of sales or public relations with the exception of a few years he spent working in the oilfields in Odessa and Ganado, Texas. While working in Odessa he received a good samaritan award from the Texas Highway Department for assisting someone in need. Following that he served as district manager for American Built Homes in Texarkana, and Baton Rouge. Later in the Houston area he owned his own construction and remodeling business.
Jim’s first marriage was to Mildred Eva Howard of Texarkana. They were married on November 21, 1952. Prior to their divorce in January 1980 they became parents of Brenda Jane, Jimmy Lanier, Eva Carol and Scott Howard. Eva Carol died at birth.
While he and Mildred, who had now changed her name to Toni, were living in the Nassau Bay, Texas area he learned to love boating. Below are photos of a couple of his boats appropriately named the Phoni-Toni.
In March of 1980 Jim remarried Patsy Jean Miller. Jim’s new brother-in-law was an owner of Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, Louisiana and also owned an oil refinery in Venezuela. He soon became general manager of the track and Commissioned Deputy Sheriff for Acadia Parish form 1988-1992. He often traveled to Venezuela on business.
Jim married a third time to Denise Milsap and lived in Mobile, Mississippi for a while. No children were born of the second or third marriages.
He was a true Leo with a zest for life, warm spirit, confident, generous and loyal. He loved the finer things in life such as clothes, cars, boats and beautiful women. However a good joke or a heated game of Rook with his mother against other family members, were also indulgences he enjoyed. He was most generous with his parents and loved to take them out to dine or for a day on the bay in one of his boats.
The two greatest pleasures in his life were his children and grandchildren. He was giving, loving, and always there for them.
Jim passed away on March 1, 2009 of complications from Myasthenia Gravis and is buried in Vivian, Louisiana along- side his parents.
Happy Birthday, Brother! We still miss you!