Richard Stanley, Longtime Common Cause Supporter and Board Member, Has Died

Posted by Dale Eisman on November 21, 2017


Dick Stanley, former CC National Governing Board member

There is sad news for the Common Cause family today from Iowa, where longtime democracy activist and former Common Cause National Governing Board member Richard H. Stanley has died.

Stanley, 85, passed away at the University of Iowa Hospitals last Friday after what was described as a brief illness. An engineer, he was chairman emeritus of Stanley Consultants, a worldwide engineering consulting firm headquartered in his hometown of Muscatine, IA. He served on Common Cause’s National Governing Board for nine years, ending last March.

“Dick was a warm, wonderful man who provided wise counsel with generous measures of integrity and humor,” said Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn. “I’m saddened at his passing and extend my deepest sympathies – and those of Common Cause – to his family, friends and co-workers.

“As chair of our board’s Finance Committee, Dick kept a sharp watch on our income and our spending, providing important guidance and leadership to ensure that we used our resources wisely and could sustain our work for democracy reform over the long haul,” Hobert Flynn added. “His service was invaluable, and he contributed more than his time and expertise. His financial support to the Common Cause Education Fund, personally and through the Holthues Trust, helped carry us through some difficult times.”

A Republican, Stanley was recruited to the Common Cause Board by former Iowa Congressman and former Common Cause National Governing Board Chair Jim Leach. His home of Muscatine, a town of 23,000 on the Mississippi River, also was the home of Nan Waterman, who served as Common Cause’s second national board chair.

A graduate of Iowa State University, where he earned degrees in mechanical and electrical engineering, and the University of Iowa, where he earned a graduate degree in sanitary engineering, Stanley dedicated much of his time, energy and talent to work on behalf to democracy and human rights around the world.

In addition to his role at Common Cause, he was chairman emeritus of the Stanley Foundation, a family foundation founded by his father. The foundation is active in campaigning against the proliferation of nuclear weapons, promoting fresh approaches to combat mass violence around the world, and limiting climate change by holding the increase in global average temperatures to less than 2 degrees Celsius.

His family described Stanley as a “world citizen;” he visited all 50 U.S. states and each of the world’s seven continents.

Stanley is survived by his wife of nearly 64 years, Mary Jo Stanley; daughter, Lynne Stanley of Edina, MN; son, Joe Stanley of Minneapolis; and their families, including eight grandchildren.

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Office: Common Cause Iowa, Common Cause National

Issues: More Democracy Reforms

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