Lonnie Lee Stanford, Jr. passed away on Thursday, June 5, 2014. He was preceded in death by his younger brothers, George Edward Stanford and Howard Owens Stanford, his father, Lonnie Lee Stanford, and mother, Arnett Owens Stanford. He is survived by his wife of 64 years Margelyn (Margie) Somervell Stanford; sons Donald Henry Stanford (Mary) of Franklin, Tennessee, Jeffrey Howard Stanford (Jennifer) of Tallahassee, Florida; and daughter, Laurie Lynn Stanford Smyly (Joel) of Tallahassee, Florida two sisters, Dorothy Lee Stanford Griffin of Glencoe, Alabama and Betty Ann Staggers of Tuscumbia, Alabama six grandchildren, Crystal, Michael, Heather, Logan, Madison, Austin, and one great-grandchild, Claire along with many nieces and nephews.
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Lonnie was born in Sheffield, Alabama, on Dec. 9, 1924. He attended school in Sheffield and Russellville, Alabama, and graduated from Sheffield High in June, 1943. He entered the Navy in August 1943, and was sent to San Diego, California, for naval boot camp. From San Diego he was trained in Norman, Oklahoma, in aviation ordinance and upon completion of training was assigned to the naval aviation base in Vero Beach, Florida. From Vero Beach he was assigned to further training at Hutchinson, Kansas, and from there reported to Norfolk, Virginia, for deployment overseas.
Lonnie shipped out of Norfolk on "D" day 1944 and sailed to southwest England by way of North Africa. He was assigned to a patrol bombing squadron in Devonshire. When the war ended the following year, he returned to the United States and was discharged from Camp Shoemaker in California in April 1946.
Lonnie attended college at Southwestern University (now Rhodes College) in Memphis, Tennessee, and interrupted his education to marry Margelyn Somervell in 1949.
He was employed as an outside salesman for several companies. He returned to college at David Lipscomb in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1957 and upon graduation accepted a position at Colonial High School in Orlando, Florida, from 1958-1966 where he taught and coached. He then accepted the position of assistant director of admissions at Florida State. In 1968, he accepted a position with the Florida Department of Education and retired in June, 1991.
Lonnie was a member of the Timberlane Church of Christ where he was an elder, Bible teacher, song leader and also preached. He once said, "I never learned to say no".
The family will receive friends on Sunday, June 8, from 4-6 p.m. at Culley's Funeral Home on Timberlane Road.
A celebration of Lonnie's life will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 9th, at the Timberlane Church of Christ on Timberlane School Road with graveside services following at the Roselawn cemetery on Piedmont Drive.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Timberlane Church of Christ Preschool, 3569 Timberlane School Road, Tallahassee, FL, 32312, or Christian Family Services, 2720 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Gainesville, FL, 32607.
Culley's Meadow Wood Chapel & Memorial Park
700 Timberlane Rd Tallahassee, FL 32312
Published in Florence Times Daily on June 8, 2014