STANLEY, James Dowdell, died peacefully on Sunday, February 24, 2013 in San Jose, Calif., after a long illness. The son of James Selwyn Stanley and Sara von Schilling Stanley, he was born in Richmond, Va. on June 4, 1937. He attended Fay School in Southborough, Mass., Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Mass., and Harvard University. An All American swimmer on the Harvard swimming team, Jimmy set several breaststroke records and was ultimately inducted into the University's Varsity Hall of Fame. Also a talented cartoonist, he was elected president of the Harvard Lampoon as a second year student. After college, he lived in New York City making documentary films, and was an active member of the vibrant New York art scene. Jimmy took an interest in Chinese culture, taught himself the language, and relocated to Taiwan, where he taught English. There he married and had two children. Returning to the United States and eventually settling down in California, he became interested in computers and wrote two published books on computer programming. Friends and family remember him as possessing a brilliant encyclopedic mind, an extraordinary sense of humor, and a gentle, congenial personality. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Liang Stanley, who devoted the last several years to caring for him; and his two children, of whom he was exceedingly proud. His son, Richard Charles Stanley, is an engineer in the energy industry, having studied chemical engineering at UC Berkeley, and is currently a part-time MBA student at UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management. His daughter, Christine Sara Stanley, is a talented athlete and musician, who runs several gyms in San Diego, Calif., while also pursuing a professional career in women's mixed martial arts. He is also survived by his sister, Meredith Stanley Scott and her husband, Alfred, of Richmond, Va.; his half-brother and half-sister, Thomas Eric Stanley and Ingelise Joan Stanley, both of Copenhagen, Denmark; and his sister-in-law, Virginia Williams Stanley. He was predeceased by his brother, Peter von Schilling Stanley. A graveside service will be held on Saturday, March 23, at 11:30 a.m. at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church cemetery located across from 7209 Rapidan Rd., Rapidan, Va. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to Habitat for Humanity or a charity of your choice.
This obituary was originally published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.