THOMASTON — Stanley Bass Hall, beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother, passed away peacefully July 16, 2015, at his home in Thomaston. He leaves a rich legacy of love, service and dedication to family, church and community that continues to bless all those who benefited from his quiet, steady life example.
Born in Pembroke, Mass., Stan was one of four brothers. He chose to graduate early from high school to join the Army Air Corps, following his two older brothers into World War II. When not training to be a pilot, Stan played Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata on piano for troops over the Army radio.
Bucking the expectation to follow in his father's and brothers' footsteps to Harvard, he instead chose to attend Bates College, where he was a dean's list student; member of the ski team, choir and band; and literary editor of The Mirror. In 1947, he took time off from school to join other students fighting the fires on Mount Desert island. At Bates, he also met his first wife, Cynthia Black, who passed in 2000.
A love of writing and desire to serve mankind led Stan to a 25-year career as an editor and journalist at The Christian Science Monitor in Boston where, among other accomplishments, he edited Howard James's 1968 Pulitzer Prize-winning series Crisis in the Courts.
Stan saw his most important job, however, as father to his daughters, Katy and Susie. He and Cyndie settled their family in Harvard, Mass, where he built the family home, played trombone in the community marching band, served his church faithfully, and crafted elaborate doll-houses and tree houses for his girls. Whether helping them with their homework, reading Winnie the Pooh to them — one on each knee — or singing them to sleep each night, Stan showed Katy and Susie an unconditional love that has stayed with them their whole lives.
In the early 1970s, Stan moved to an old farmhouse in Fairfield, Maine, where he plied his experience as an editor at the local paper, The Morning Sentinel. A decade later he began another of his most cherished life callings: grandfather to Cricket, Nibby, Kateland, Sarah and Jonathan. Whether accompanying them on piano as they squeaked out notes on flute and violin, driving them to and from school, serving them his world-famous coleslaw, or giving them countless rides on his back around the cold water of the swimming pool, Grandpa taught them their most important life lessons and gave them a gift of love, the magnitude of which they are still discovering. He was their most loyal and generous supporter, faithfully videotaping every game and performance and accepting with true delight every crayon drawing.
Stan's life was further enriched in 2002, when he found his beloved, unfailingly cheerful wife, Barbara, known as Babs. Within days of meeting her, Stan was so lovestruck, that legend has it he marched out of the house in February with only one boot on. A few weeks later, Babs and Stan were married, and for the next 13 years, they were each others’ constant companions — from card tournaments to cooking, family gatherings to church services, spoiling their grandchildren and doting on their pets, and appreciating the views of the St. George River from their hilltop home.
An avid sailor, Stan spent many happy afternoons cutting across Penobscot Bay with his family and favorite skipper, son-in-law Dave Oakes. He was perhaps most happy making music with his family, blending his rich baritone voice into the harmonies of classic hymns and Brahms folk songs, or playing Bach's Air for the G String, his favorite piece of music, on the piano. Stan was also the family poet — with a repertoire that ranged from clever limericks to tender love sonnets to inspired spiritual verses. And while a man of honor and utter dignity of character, Stan's notoriety as practical joker, with a wry sense of humor, was not to be dismissed. For all he gave, he never expected nor wanted any recognition in return. Stan's steadfast example of how to humbly pursue a life of meaning and integrity, of what it means to strive daily for spiritual growth, of what it means to be wholly content — no matter the circumstance — continues to bless and instruct his grateful friends and family.
Stan is survived by his wife, Barbara Beck Hall; his daughters, Kathryn Dermott and Susan Oakes; his son-in-law, David Oakes; his grandchildren, Cricket Fuller and her husband, Ben Fuller, Nibby Browning and her husband, Scott Browning, Kateland Oakes, Sarah Oakes and Jonathan Oakes; his brother, Breed Hall and his wife, Erika Hall; nieces and nephews; two stepchildren; and one step-grandchild.
Stan's family will be honoring his life privately as he wished.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Camden, 1 Central Street, Camden, Maine 04843; 207-236-4040; cscamden.org.; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hall's of Thomaston has care of the arrangements. To extend online condolences, light a candle for Stan, or to share a story or picture, visit their Book of Memories at hallfuneralhomes.com.