Jon Gibson Stanley
Jon Gibson Stanley

October 28, 1937 - October 23, 2017
Born in Edinburg, TX
Resided in Denver, Colorado
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Jon Gibson Stanley died October 23, 2017. He was born in a farmhouse near Edinburg, Texas October 28, 1937, third child of Hamlet and Gloria Stanley. His older sister died in 1942 and his mother died in 1944 following the birth of a younger sister. His early years were spent at the farm, where grapefruit, palms, figs and a lemon tree grew. The house was moved to a different farm in 1945. His schooling began at Sam Houston Elementary School in Edinburg in 1947. The family traveled to Minnesota to visit relatives and then went on an extended trip west to Yellowstone and to see more family in Washington, Oregon, and California. They saw Crater Lake, Sequoia National Forest, the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, and Carlsbad Caverns. September through December, 1947 the family lived in Harrison, Arkansas and in early 1948 his father bought a 150 acre farm near Eros, Arkansas in Marion Country, which was the home place until 1966. Jon’s school there was Bruno, 1948-1955, then he attended his last year of high school and first year of college at School of the Ozarks near Bronson, MO. In June 1955, he transferred to the University of Missouri, Columbia, MO where he attained his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1960, Master of Arts in Zoology in 1963, and Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology in 1966. Jon was awarded membership in Phi Beta Kappa in June 1960.
Jon married Carol Heidebrecht on June 5, 1965 in Hutchinson, Kansas. They had three children and lived in Columbia, MO; Seattle, WA; Chicago. IL; Milwaukee, WI; Pine Mountain, GA; Stuttgart, AR; Orono, ME; Kensington, MD; Ann Arbor MI; and finally Lakewood, CO.
He spent 40 years teaching the next generation of dedicated scientists at DePaul University, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, University of Maine, and University of Michigan. After retirement, he loved teaching so much he continued at Front Range Community College and Metropolitan State College of Denver. During his career, he published 100 scientific publications and reports including a college textbook for non-science majors called “Form and Function: Natural Science in a Technological Society”. He delivered over 90 talks to peer groups at scientific meetings including as a keynote speaker for the International Conference on Genetics in Aquaculture in Galway, Ireland. His expertise led him to testify before Congress on non-indigenous species invading the Great Lakes.
He was also a skilled director running the Great Lakes Science Center at the University of Michigan where he recruited a diverse staff of 107 employees. He also was a Supervisory Fishery Biologist where he led a national program of $20 million with research units on 14 major universities. As the United States Co-Chairman of the Council of Great Lakes Research Managers, he received a bronze plaque in recognition of service to the environment with the International Joint Commission presented in a State Department ceremony. He was also a regional group leader for the U.S. Bureau of the Census where he recruited and trained field staff, planned data collection, and reported on the data. He ran multiple fund-raising and grant-writing campaigns generating almost $15 million. He also served on more than a dozen public service and community outreach organizations where he frequently spoke about current issues.
Jon was infinitely curious about the natural world and viewed it with a sense of awe and wonder. He was a rare combination of intellect and kindness. He shared these characteristics with his family to create a lasting legacy.
Jon is survived by his wife Carol, his son Marshall Stanley, his daughters Cynthia Lark and Suzanne Putnam, his son in law David Putnam, and seven grandchildren: Cassandre Lark, James Lark III, Savannah Putnam, Emmaline Putnam, Natalie Putnam, Audrey Putnam, and Faith Putnam. Also surviving are Jon’s brother Ronald Stanley and sisters Linda Dunham and Connie Sanders. He was preceded in death by his sister Marianne, his mother Gloria, his father Hamlet, his stepmother Alsie, and his brother Roger Stanley.




Funeral Home
Horan & McConaty - Wadsworth
3101 S. Wadsworth Blvd.
Lakewood, CO US 80227