Harry L. Staley

Harry L. Staley, 83, of Westerly, died on June 24, 2014, at his home in Shelter Harbor after a battle with lung cancer. Son of Harry W. and Irene O. Staley and husband of Jayne Rothschild Staley for 58 years, he is survived by two children, Harriet S. Lloyd (Thomas) of Shelter Harbor and Joseph L. Staley (Anna) of Mystic, CT. He is also survived by two sisters, Dolores S. Stover of Pittsfield, NY, and Janice S. Rudmann of Annapolis, MD., four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Harry was born in Kansas City, Kansas, on August 10, 1930, and later moved to Ilion, New York, where he earned the badge of Eagle Scout. A 1952 graduate of Bucknell University, he was a member of Delta Upsilon Fraternity and editor of The Bucknellian. After joining E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company's Textile Fibers Division, Harry served in the United States Army from 1954 to 1956, and worked until 1957 as Editor of the U.S.G.A. Golf Journal. He received his J.D. degree from New York University School of Law in 1960, was admitted to the New York State Bar, and became a member of the American Bar Association. After leaving general practice in 1965, he joined Marts & Lundy, Inc., where he was elected Director and, in 1974, assumed the position of Deputy Director of the Westchester Medical Center Development Board, Inc. in Valhalla, NY. He went on to found Staley/Robeson, Inc., the fundraising and institutional development consulting firm. Upon retiring in 2002, he moved from his longtime home in Scarsdale, New York to Shelter Harbor.
In 2002, Harry and Jayne founded the Rhode Island Statewide Coalition (RISC), the state's largest bipartisan taxpayer advocacy organization now named RI Taxpayers. As its chairman, Harry became a familiar face on Smith Hill, dedicating his retirement to effecting state taxation and pension reform and leading good-government efforts to pass the first-ever cap on annual property-tax hikes and posting of legislative votes online. He also led the movement opposing a casino in Charlestown, R.I., which resulted in a victory at the United States Supreme Court and was a leading advocate for the repeal of the Master Lever voting option. A kind and gracious gentleman, respected and well-liked by both opponents and allies, Harry was a voracious reader, student of history, advocate for volunteerism, and vigorous champion of ethical government and individual responsibility.

The family will host a reception on Tuesday, July 1, at the Shelter Harbor Golf Club, from 10 a.m. to Noon and asks that donations in Harry's memory be directed to R.I. Taxpayers, 1350 Division Road, Suite 101, West Warwick, R.I. 02893.

Published in The Westerly Sun from June 26 to July 19, 2014