Dean Leslie Stansbury lost his battle with cancer and neuropathy Jan. 1, 2014, at his home on Palmer Lake.
He was born July 30, 1927, in Oroville, Wash., to Leslie Carl Stansbury and Pearl Marie (Peterson) Stansbury. He grew up on an apple orchard north of Ellisforde, going to the Ellisforde school through the seventh-grade and graduating from Tonasket High School in 1945.
In 1947 he married Lillian Figenshow and they had sons, Mike and Dennis. He wore many hats on the jobs he had, running the orchard for several years, driving truck, working in a sawmill and in the lumber yards of Brownson Lumber in Oroville and Tonasket. He was part owner in the Tonasket yard for several years. He also worked at the old Coop Gas station, was delivery and yard man for the Chevron plant and finally ended his working years as a building inspector for Okanogan County. He retired in 1989 after 13 years with the county and in 1990 built a home on Palmer Lake.
During all this time, he was very involved in community activities, helping with Cub and Boy Scouts, building and transporting the Tonasket Float, and helping build things at the Tonasket Rodeo Grounds. He had been treasurer of the Tonasket Chamber of Commerce for many years, was a member of the Tonasket Eagles and had been president of the Okanogan Valley Dinner Dance group. As a youth, he had been active in the Brethren Church. He had a beautiful tenor voice and sang often at church, local programs, weddings (including his own) and funerals.
He loved the outdoors and the family spent many hours exploring this beautiful country in his 1947 Jeep, either just for the ride or to hunt birds, deer, elk, etc. and to fish. Palmer Lake was a favorite destination and he helped teach many kids to water ski behind our boat, Old Leaky. In retirement, he and his lifetime friend, Jack Stevens, could be found fishing the lake.
He was trusted and respected whatever he was doing and made many lasting friendships.
Dean was preceded in death by his father and mother; and his special cousin, Henry Peterson. He is survived by his wife, Lillian (Babe); son Mike (Pam), grandson Travis, and great-grandchildren, Mckinzie, Wyatt and Madison, grandson Chad (JoAnn), and great-grandson Colton; son Dennis (Joann), granddaughter Kristie, great-grandchildren Ashlyn and Jaden, grandson, Jaime (Victoria) and great-grandson, Gino, plus three step-grandsons, Brett, Darren and Gene, their 13 children and three great-great-grandchildren. He also is survived by his sister, Helen Hodsdon, and her children, Mike, Paul, Jennifer and her children, Drew, Meagan, and Emily; Helen’s son, Mark and his sons, Chase and Bryce. He also is survived by his cousin, Bill (Nina) Peterson.
A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday Feb. 1, 2014, at the Tonasket Eagles. Memorials may be made to the Tonasket Scholarship Fund or to the Relay for Life cancer team, in care of Donna Zabreznik, P.O. Box 813, Tonasket, WA 98855.