Stan A. has lived a long, meaningful life, balancing a love of home and family with a love of travel and adventure. He was married for more than 63 years – the two wedding bands that he wears on his ring finger are his way of remembering his two wives, the women with whom he was lucky to share so much of his life.
Stan was born on March 31, 1927, in New York City. He grew up as an only child in the Bronx during the early years of the Depression. His father, Irwin, was a native New Yorker, a salesman who traveled far and wide. Stan’s mother Ida was born in Massachusetts, the first of 11 children to be born in the U.S. Her family immigrated from Finland, and to this day Stan has a fondness for all things Finnish.
Growing up, Stan had quite a few friends and went out with them to movies and, later on, jazz clubs. He attended Dewitt Clinton High School in the Bronx. After graduation, he was accepted to New York University in Manhattan. He was a marketing and business major and took courses in public relations. Stan graduated college in 1949 and worked a series of odd jobs. For years, in the summertime, he’d work as a camp counselor in Connecticut, looking after the city kids. Stan loved to canoe across the lake and became a great long-distance swimmer.
In New York, Stan played piano accordion, making money on weekends by playing at various clubs in NYC. He then landed a job at Macy’s department store on 34th Street. It was his dream job. He started off as a junior Buyer and was quickly promoted to Buyer. Stan says his role was to figure out the composition and marketing aspects of carrying the products consumers would want. He helped manage Macy’s famous housewares department, as well as helped play a role in commercials for Macy’s. After being promoted again, he was transferred to a Macy’s subsidiary in Atlanta, Georgia. It was his first time in the South. He witnessed the early days of the civil rights movement, which inspired him for years.
By then, Stan was married with two young boys. He met his first wife, Sylvia, in the 1950’s while working at Macys in New York. She was manager of the women’s apparel department. He asked her out one day and the rest was history. After a few years, the family moved back north to Framingham, MA, about half an hour outside Boston. Stan says these were the happiest years of his life – and the moment he switched from being a Yankees fan to a Red Sox fan.
His work in Cambridge at a small catalog marketing company took him all over the world. At a time when air travel was still exotic and giant 747s were brand new, Stan was taking long trips to Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. He still remembers those times – the bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka, the sushi, and the adventures.
By the early 1970s, Stan moved with his family to the Chicago suburbs. Within a few years, Sylvia passed away after a long illness. Sylvia was very dear to him. Stan later met his second wife, Esther, who was working as a pharmacist. With the addition of her youngest son, they became a blended family of five. Stan and Esther retired together and spent time traveling the U.S. and the world until she passed away in 2019. They were married 41 years.
Today, Stan is affectionately known around the Woodlands as “Stan the Man.” He can be found in his apartment watching the news and reading the paper and books. Stan also likes socializing with friends and comes out to watch the opera program twice a month. He’s a member of Melissa’s Music Men group and can still belt out a good song. Stan has a good sense of humor and is so pleasant to have around. The staff always have a laugh when Stan is around. He passionately talks about up north in Massachusetts, wishing to be there driving, exploring, and enjoying the New England scenery. Just ask him, he will tell you.
When asked what he wanted to tell the people reading his Spotlight of the Month, he said, “Come and look for me and I’ll be right here!”