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Lillian Stanley

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Lillian Stanley Obituary
Lillian Stanley

1914-2013 LENOX Lillian Stanley was a woman of independent spirit, feisty personality and determined will. As described by those who knew her, Lillian was "a powerhouse woman of a generation soon disappearing," always a force and a spirit who spoke her mind with conviction. "As they say, they don't make them like they used to." Lillian was born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1914 and grew up in New York City. She was the youngest of three siblings, Morris, Joe and Mary. While Mary loved being in the kitchen with her mother, and although Lillian worked in her father's bakery as a teenager, she much preferred playing with the boys outside or reading. Lillian was an avid reader all her life as well as a formidable opponent in Scrabble and a committed devotee of the Sunday New York Times crossword. Once retired from her business career, she continued pursuing her intellectual interests by actively participating in PEIR (Professionals and Executives in Retirement) at Hofstra University. She also enjoyed the arts immensely - especially visual arts and theatre. She was an accomplished and prolific painter, mostly working in oils and acrylics. Lillian married Karl Stanley in 1936 and they started a family in 1943 with the birth of their first son. While Karl was overseas during WWII, Lillian lived with her parents in an upstairs apartment in Brooklyn. In 1954, the young family moved to a detached house on Long Island so the boys could be free to "be kids, make noise." Above all, she loved her children and her grandchildren. Lillian was a committed and progressive mother, innately empathetic and aware of the rights of the child far before the general public. Such rights she implemented with her two sons in their home. Lillian was an ardent advocate of the importance of education. She also made a point of exposing her children to the arts and culture. For example, every year she insisted that the family attend the Stratford Festival in Connecticut to see various Shakespearean productions. Grandma Lillian was a devoted grandmother. Her "grandbabies" enriched her life enormously and gave her profound happiness and joy. In later years she would always mention the wonderful times she had taking "her kids" for an ice cream or walking with them to "the little red boat" down the lakeside road. Lillian was also a progressive feminist before the term was coined! She was an innovative and successful businesswoman. While assuming domestic responsibilities for her children and home, she concurrently started a beauty salon business with her husband in 1955, Cut 'n Curl, later known as CutCo. As a business executive, she helped grow the company from one salon in Hempstead, New York to over 600 salons in three countries. She developed all of the operational systems - these were a significant reason for the company's tremendous success. She also had extensive contact with those in the field. Her motto was: "always strive to do the best you can." From an early age, Lillian actively engaged in causes for justice and peace. Inspired by her own passion for fairness and commitment to social justice, she instilled these values in her sons and also in her extended family. She brought social issues, world politics, and a global view to the dinner table for discussion. Lillian was an inveterate and intrepid traveler, often joined by friends to locations around the world: Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, South East Asia, India and Eastern Europe years before they became popular destinations. She was a very early traveler to China and the USSR. But her sense of direction wasn't the best: she once found herself in Pennsylvania while attempting to drive from Long Island to the Berkshires! She quipped, "I've never been lost forever." In November of 2002, Lillian returned to the state of her birth and became a resident of the Berkshires at Kimball Farms in Lenox. Here she received the highest quality of professional and personal care, progressing through each of their facilities. And here she passed away peacefully in the very early morning of September 25, 2013 at the age of 99. Lillian is survived by her sons Richard of South Egremont, Massachusetts and Martin of Picton, Ontario, Canada; her daughters-in-­law Gun Stanley and Shauna Haugen; her grandchildren Lauren and Tyler Haugen-­Stanley, her granddaughter Katrina Curtiss and great-­granddaughter Emily Curtiss. FINNERTY & STEVENS FUNERAL HOME in Great Barrington is caring for the arrangements. Remembrances may be sent to the through www.finnertyandstevens.com
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Oct. 2, 2013
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