James Dowdell Stanley passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 24, 2013 in San Jose, California after a long illness. The son of James Selwyn Stanley and Sara von Schilling Stanley, he was born in Richmond, Virginia on June 4, 1937. He attended Fay School in Southborough, Massachusetts, Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts, and Harvard University. An All American Swimmer, Jimmy lowered Harvard’s breaststroke record seven times, placed second in the 100 yard breaststroke at the 1958 national collegiate championships, and was inducted into Harvard’s Varsity Hall of Fame in 1983. Also a talented cartoonist, he was elected president of the Harvard Lampoon as a second year student. After college he lived in New York City making documentary films and was an active member of the vibrant New York art scene. Jimmy took an interest in Chinese culture, taught himself the language, and relocated to Taiwan where he taught English. There he married and had two children. Returning back to the United States and eventually settling down in California, he became interested in computers and wrote two published books on computer programming. Friends and family remember him as possessing a brilliant encyclopedic mind, an extraordinary sense of humor, and a gentle, congenial personality.
He is survived by his wife Elizabeth Liang Stanley, who devoted the last several years to caring for him, and his two children, who he was exceedingly proud of. His son Richard Charles Stanley is an engineer in the energy industry after studying Chemical Engineering at UC Berkeley and is currently a part-time MBA student at UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management. His daughter Christine Sara Stanley is a talented athlete and musician who runs several gyms in San Diego California while also pursuing a professional career in Women’s Mixed Martial Arts. He is also survived by his sister, Meredith Stanley Scott and her husband, Alfred, of Richmond, Virginia, and his half-brother and half-sister, Thomas Eric Stanley and Ingelise Joan Stanley, both of Copenhagen, Denmark. He was predeceased by his brother, Peter von Schilling Stanley.
A graveside service will be held on Saturday, March 23 at 11:30 am at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church cemetery located across from 7209 Rapidan Road, Rapidan, Virginia. The family asks that in lieu of flowers contributions be made to Habitat for Humanity or a charity of your choice