The Obit For William Stanton

William M. Stanton

Published in The News & Observer on May 11, 2010

William McKinnon Stanton, retired associate professor of Forestry at NCSU died Sunday, May 9, 2010 at his home in Garner, NC.
Born April 21, 1924 in Dillon, SC, he was the second son of Marion E. Stanton and Essie McKinnon Stanton. His beloved wife Katherine predeceased him in 2008. He was a long time member of Garner United Methodist Church in Garner, NC.

Funeral service will be 2:00 p.m. Wednesday at Garner United Methodist Church. Burial will follow at Montlawn Memorial Park.
Known to many as “Pop”, he led an extraordinary life but was a humble man whose greatest joy was his family.

Pop attended Rowland High School in Rowland, NC where he was valedictorian of his class. Following graduation, he enrolled at NCSU. His college career was interrupted to serve in the US Army during WWII. Pop was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions in the Ardennes Forest during the Battle of the Bulge.

After his discharge, Pop returned to NCSU to continue his education. A natural athlete, he excelled at baseball and football and lettered in both sports.

Upon graduation, he played professional baseball for the Rocky Mount Leafs and the Raleigh Caps and professional football for the Buffalo Bills and Ottawa Roughriders. In 1951, Ottawa won the Grey Cup and Pop was named the MVP.

After a knee injury ended his football career, Pop returned to NCSU and earned his Masters Degree in Forestry. Pop was a Forestry Extension Specialist at the time of his retirement.

Pop and his son Bill started Pop-n-Son Christmas Trees in 1974, pioneering the “choose and cut” concept in the Piedmont. He loved being outdoors and spent many happy years tending the trees at the farm in Garner.

Many people first met Pop when their families came to the farm to choose a Christmas tree.

Pop always looked forward to tree season because he was able to share the joy and excitement that came with selecting a tree.

Quiet and unassuming, patient and kind, he was a gentle giant who will be missed by all that knew and loved him.

Pop is survived by his three children, Susan S. Gray and her husband, Eddie of Garner, William P. Stanton and his wife, Nancy of Garner, Karen S. Valentine and her husband, Jay of Cary; his grandchildren, Lisa G. O’Brien and husband, Patrick, John S. Gray, Laura S. Daniels and husband, Mike, Cameron B. Stanton and Courtney E. Valentine; his great-grandsons, Colin G. O’Brien and Liam M. Daniels. Also by his sister- in- law, Anne Ferrill and niece, Cathy Scott and her husband, Jack of Canada and by his brother- in- law, Don Sasz and his wife, Bonnie of Florida.

In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Marion Paul Stanton who gave his life in the service of our country during WWII.

The family will receive friends from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Tuesday at Bryan-Lee Funeral Home, Garner.

The family wishes to express their deep appreciation to Aversboro Road Baptist Church, Y.E.S. Sunday School Class for over two years of ministering to our father with your prayers, visits and providing meals. Also, we thank his loving and dedicated caregivers, Donna Jones and Angella Phillips.

Contributions may be made to Garner United Methodist Church, Building Fund, 201 Methodist Dr., Garner, NC 27529 or Garner EMS, P.O. Box 431, Garner, NC 27529.
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