On Sunday, February 5th, Stanley M “STAN” Stark of 1628 Courthouse Rd left this earth to once again join his loving wife Wanda in eternal embrace.
Stanley was born on August 16th, 1939, in Brattleboro, Vermont to Malcolm and Stella Stark. Born a few years before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Stanley and his family moved several times during his childhood. World War II was on, and Malcolm Stark moved his family from Vermont to Massachusetts, Topsham Maine, and Washington tate in search of work. Shortly after the war, Stanley and his family returned to Maine.
Stanley spent his remaining childhood in small, rural New England where he developed an unmatched work ethic logging in the woods of Maine while employed at his fathers’ sawmill.
Stanley graduated from Appleton High School and enlisted in the United States Navy in 1957. This would be the beginning of a remarkable military career that saw Stanley serving his country in Europe, Africa, the Indian Ocean, and Vietnam. During his impeccable military career Stanley rose to the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer, the highest rank afforded to enlisted personnel. It was during his first tour of duty in Naples, Italy, that Stan would meet and fall in love with his beloved wife Wanda. For 58 years Stan and Wanda would build an unshakeable marriage that would lead them on adventures across the world and see them raise three children. Stan and Wanda exemplified complete and total love, joy, and commitment. This wonderful bond would live on well beyond Wandas’ passing in 2018.
In recent years, Stan discovered his passion for salt and freshwater kayaking. Stan competed in many races throughout the Southeast and loved paddling with his new group of friends.
The older, wiser Stan was dubbed the “Zenmaster” by his new-found brotherhood. In July of 2020, Stan embarked on his dream of paddling the entire length of the Mississippi River. What appeared to be an “impossible dream” that began in a tiny town in Minnesota ended some 2500 miles later in the Gulf of Mexico as Stanley became the oldest man in history to accomplish this feat at 81 years of age. For those who knew Stan, none were surprised. He loved the bond he formed with these men and women with whom he shared the winding rivers.
Stanley leaves behind two brothers, James Stark and Malcolm Stark Jr. Stan also leaves a sister, Molly Leigher and was pre-deceased by sister Nancy Turner.
Of all the many achievements and accomplishments that Stanley Stark was credited with, there are none greater than having been a devoted husband to his wife, adoring grandfather to his three grandchildren, Marty, Sam and Haley, and an amazing father to his three children. Stanley leaves behind two daughters, Linda Baker and her husband Kelly Baker and Ada Stewart and her husband James Stewart, both from Gulfport and a son, Larry Stark, and his wife Diana Stark from Maine.
Dad, we love you and can’t imagine a better father and role model. Simply put, Stan Stark made everyone he came in contact with a better person for knowing him.
Your soul is free to join your darling Wanda and free to paddle greater waters.
Friends are invited to join the family for visitation and services on Saturday, February 11, 2023, at Riemann Family Funeral Home, 11280 Three Rivers Road, Gulfport. Visitation will be held from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., with the Funeral Service at 11:00 a.m. Mr. Stark will be laid to rest at Floral Hills Memorial Gardens in Gulfport.