Sammy (Sam) Sterling Stanley

Mar 31st, 2011 | By admin | Category: Obituaries

Sammy (Sam) Sterling Stanley, age 71, of DeKalb, Illinois, formerly of Austin, Arkansas, was reunited with his wife, JoAnn, in heaven on March 23, 2011. Survivors include daughter, Tammy (Stanley) Waymire, son-in-law, Dennis Waymire, two grandsons, Samuel Allen Waymire and David Gregory Waymire, and a third grandson expected in May, Jonathan Martin Waymire, all of Sycamore, Illinois. He is also survived by his brother, Gene Stanley, of Little Rock. He was preceded in death by his wife of 45 years, Mary JoAnn (Cartmel) Stanley and his parents, Elmer and Mildred (Rainey) Stanley.
Sam grew up in Beebe, Arkansas where his parents operated Stanley Grocery. Sam graduated from Beebe High School in 1958, and he developed a passion for cars during his high school years. Sam worked for Westinghouse in Little Rock and then as a mechanic for Sunbelt Couriers in Little Rock for many years. He was known in the community for helping others with their cars. Sam was also known for his ability to repair auto damage and once built a Mazda truck out of two wrecked trucks. He loved to play dominos and work in his shop.
Sam met JoAnn at OT’s in Des Arc, and they were married a few months later on April 2, 1965. Sam and JoAnn worked on the weekends at the Beebe Speedway. They also enjoyed road trips and working outside together. Their love of nature and the outdoors led them to purchase a wooded property where they gardened and built a shop where Sam worked on cars.
Sam and JoAnn had endured significant challenges during the time that JoAnn cared for Sam for fourteen years following his stroke and during her one year battle with cancer. Throughout the challenges, Sam and JoAnn found joy in simple things and remained devoted to each other. They took great pride in their home and property, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature, and they embraced the adventure of the move to Illinois when JoAnn became ill. Sam was heartbroken when JoAnn went to heaven, but he continued to be strong, enjoy his family, and make people smile at Pine Acres Nursing and Rehab in DeKalb, Illinois.
Sam will be remembered for his intelligence, quick wit, and gentle spirit. Although his passing leaves a gaping hole in the lives of those he loved and who loved him, we all rejoice in his new home in heaven where he and JoAnn are finally together again. We will remember Sam’s spirit, and we know he and JoAnn would want us to live the remainder of our lives fully before we join them in heaven.
A celebration of Sam’s life included visitation at Westbrook Funeral Home in Beebe Sunday, March 27, 2011, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., and a graveside service at Beebe Cemetery Monday, March 28, 10:00 a.m.