County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

Leigh Maxwell Stanley


Leigh Maxwell Stanley, age 92, of Lake City, Michigan passed away on March 31, 2024, after a long and eventful life. Born and raised in Greenwood Township, Harrison, Michigan, he was the son of Max and Marie (Graub) Stanley. 

Leigh grew up on his family’s farm and worked at the Merton Oil Company in Harrison before he served in the Korean War.  He attended Harrison High School, Central Michigan University, and the Detroit College of Law.  He was married to Eva Mae Dowell, the daughter of Jason and Martha (Dingman) Dowell of Mt Pleasant in 1955.  He worked 42 years in the insurance industry, 25 of those years as an independent adjuster and private investigator in Clare, Michigan and later from his farm in Barryton, Michigan.

After retirement, he moved to Vienna, Virginia and spent many years in Virginia politics enjoying the view (and the bear and deer) from his mountain cabin near Winchester, Virginia.  A tenacious fighter in any legal scrap, he enjoyed serving as the President of his mountain real estate association for many years.  He worked for the expansion on the GI bill for Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans and was awarded the Hunter Mill District Volunteer of the Year from the Fairfax County Democratic Committee for his efforts campaigning during the election of Virginia Senator Mark Warner.

Leigh never left a gravel road unexplored on his time off.  He loved camping, snowmobiling, hunting, golfing and being on any kind of tractor.  He also loved his daily walks in the woods overlooking the Shenandoah Valley and recently, in the woods near Cadillac, having returned to Michigan to be near his son.

Leigh was a member of the John J. Carton #436 Masonic Lodge in Harrison since 1955, a member of the Hiram #21 Masonic Lodge of Winchester and a member of the International and Winchester Shriners Clubs.

Leigh is survived by his two children, Mike (Shirley) of Lake City and Lisa (Terry) of Toronto, five grandsons and their families, including nine great grandchildren; his sisters, Carol Sue (Brooks) Madsen and Barbara Poole and their families.  He is predeceased by his parents and his brother-in-law Don Poole.

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