STARKE, FL - Melton Gary Stanley, 71, passed away October 27, 2018, with his family by his side in Starke, FL. His final days were spent surrounded by the family and friends that he loved. He was a gentle giant who touched many lives.
He leaves his beloved wife of 36 years, Bettina Rose Stanley; daughter, Cyndi Stanley Wilbourn (David) of Gurley, AL; son, Michael Stanley (Amanda) of Fredericksburg, VA, and daughter, Chanda Stanley of Newberry, FL. Additionally, he leaves behind 6 grandchildren (Candi, Derek, Cassie, Iain, Bradley, Brigid.) and 8 great grandchildren. Gary also leaves behind his only sister, Linda Stanley Sapp (Dick) and many nieces and nephews.
Born and raised in Alachua County, the son of Melton and Gladys Stanley, he was a lifelong resident of Florida.
Gary joined the United States Air Force upon graduating high school where he served in what is now known as USNORTHCOM. After his discharge, he returned to Santa Fe, FL where he joined his father to manage the family farm. He loved farming and took great pride in the fruit of his labors from tilling the earth, to planting the seed, to the harvest. During this time he joined the Florida Department of Corrections where he retired from Union Correctional Institution as a Sergeant in 2006 after 36 years of service. In 2007 he joined the Bradford County Sheriff's Department where he worked until his retirement in 2013.
Gary had a heart for mission work and before retirement, took several mission trips to the country of Honduras with Raiford Road Baptist Church and his own Northside Baptist Church to build churches and an orphanage. To help support the missions, he and his cook team prepared, cooked and served Wednesday night Fellowship Suppers here at Northside for several years; sometimes feeding 100 or more every Wednesday.
An avid bowler, he represented the Florida Department of Corrections at the annual Florida Law Enforcement Games, where he was a gold medalist.
He enjoyed many hobbies; grilling/cooking, fishing and camping. Most of all, Gary enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren. He was a lifelong Christian and a member of Northside Baptist Church in Starke.
Family and friends will be received at Archer Funeral Home, 55 N. Lake Ave. Lake Butler, FL, on Thursday, November 1st from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held at Northside Baptist Church, 7415 NW CR 225, Starke FL, on Friday, November 2nd at 11:00 a.m. followed by a private burial at St. Johns Cemetery in Santa Fe, FL.
In lieu of flowers, Gary requested donations be made in his name to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital at www.stjude.org.
St Johns Methodist Church Cemetery
NOV 1. 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Archer Funeral Home
55 N Lake Ave
Lake Butler, FL, US, 32054
NOV 2. 11:00 AM
Northside Baptist Church
Starke, FL, US, 32091