95, of Carmel formerly of Kokomo died at 12:55 pm at The Retreat at Stratford on Tuesday, December 18, 2012. He was born on May 2, 1917 to C. Archie and Audra (McAfee) Stanley in Clinton County, Indiana. On March 14, 1937 Merton married Thelma C. Wright by Rev. Joseph Land at Goldsmith, Indiana she passed away on November 3, 2012.
Mr. Stanley graduated from Forest High School in 1935, and from the Indiana Law School, receiving a L.L.B. degree, in 1938. He started his law practice in Kokomo, Indiana on September 1, 1941.
From May, 1940 until March of 1944 he served as minister of Jerome Christian Church in Clinton County. In 1943 he waived a 4-D (ministry) volunteer classification, and entered the U.S. Army in March of 1944. He attended the Field Artillery Officers Candidate School in Fort Sill, Oklahoma and received an Honorable Discharge in October, of 1945. He was awarded an L.L.B. degree from Indiana University School of Law in 1938.
Mr. Stanley was elected Judge of the Howard Circuit Court, Howard County in 1948, at the age of 31 and was re-elected in 1954 and 1960 serving on the bench from January of 1949 to April 30, 1961.
He was appointed Chairman of the Public Service Commission of Indiana by Governor Matthew Welch and served as Chairman from May 1, 1961 to September 15, 1967. He was named Sagamore of the Wabash by Governor Welch in December 1961; was elected Indiana State Senator of District 21 in 1970 and was re-elected in 1974. He was a member of the State Budget Committee in 1977 and 1978.
Mr. Stanley was a past Member of the Board of Governors of Indiana Judge's Association and the Board of the National Association of Railroad and Utility Commissioners. He served as President of the Great Lakes Association of Railroad and Utility Commissions from 1965-1966. He also was a past President of the Kokomo Lions Club, and was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Kokomo, Indiana; as well as being a member of Indiana University-Kokomo Board of Advisors for over twenty-five years. He received the IU Kokomo Service Award in 1988 and the Chancellors Award in 1966. He was also a retired board member of Indiana Public Employees Association. He and his wife were also longtime supporters of the Indiana University Foundation.
Mr. and Mrs. Stanley also received the Indiana University-Kokomo Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award in May of 2002. Mr. Stanley was a member of the Board of Trustees of Retired Indiana Public Employees Association; a life member of B.P.O. Elks Lodge #190, a 50 year member of the Howard Lodge #93 F.A.M. and a vested member of the Scottish Rite Valley, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Over the years he served as President of the Howard County Bar Association, Howard County Council of Churches, Crippled Children's Society, Scottish Rite Club, and was the first President of the Howard County Mental Health Association.
He was well respected by his family and everyone who knew him. Merton was also known for his dry sense of humor.
He and his wife had seventy five years together and had two children: Paul M. Stanley of Terre Haute, Indiana, Zonda Kay (Stanley) Emmert and her Husband of Clayton of Hilton Head, South Carolina.
They have four grandchildren: Stephanie Emmert, Bradford and wife Claudia of Hilton Head, South Carolina; Gregory Stanley and his wife Kim of Carmel, Indiana; and Sherry Stanley of Louisville, Kentucky; great-grandchildren, Payton and Carson Stanley, Reimi and Sashi Escobar and Clayton Emmit; Serveral nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews, as well as great-great nieces.
Preceded in death are his parents Charles Archie and Audra Stanley; wife Thelma C. Stanley; a brother Don Stanley as well as a sister Thelma Amos and a nephew Craig Stanley.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, December 21, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. in the First Evangelical Presbyterian Church 2000 W. Jefferson Street in Kokomo with Joyce Harris officiating. Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Shirley and Stout Funeral Home , 1315 W. Lincoln Rd. Kokomo, IN and one hour prior to the funeral service. Entombment will follow the funeral service at Sunset Memory Gardens Cemetery.
Memorial contributions can be made to the First Evangelical Presbyterian Church or to the Thelma and Merton Stanley Scholarship Fund at Indiana University, 2300 S. Washington St. Kokomo,IN. 46902. Online condolences may be left at: http://www.stoutandson.com