Miles CHAPPELL, my 4th great-grandfather
5 Jun 1790 Amelia County, Virginia
24 Mar 1887 Walker County, Alabama
Joel Francis APPLING, a distant cousin from my STANLEY line
2 Sep 1809 Clark County, Georgia
23 Apr 1888 Pleasant Hill, Mississippi
Miles Francis Stanley II was born on 15 Jan 1915 in Grandview, Texas to John Thomas Stanley and Marie Mistrot Carrico. As the oldest of 4 children and the only boy, Miles was an active child, belonging to both the YMCA and Army ROTC. Childhood was spent on Jennings Avenue in Fort Worth, and Miles later attended Central High School.
While a student at Central High School, Miles met the love of his life and future wife, Charley Belle Rogers. Graduating in 1931, Miles went to work at his father’s employer, the Fort Worth National Bank as a painter’s helper.
Later, Miles became a bookkeeper at the bank and the couple got their own place on Boyce Avenue in 1935 and then on Frazier Avenue, but not before the birth of their first child, Maryland Sue. Born in 1935, Maryland sue was followed by the births of Jan Marie in 1938, Miles Francis III in 1940 and Kathy Lee in 1945.
With the beginning of the United State’s involvement in World War II in December 1941, the Stanley family buckled down to support the war effort. Though not drafted in 1943 (classification 2B, Deferred in war production) and 1945 (classification 4A, Deferred by reason of age), Miles still contributed as an engineer and draftsman at aerospace and defense companies Consolidated Aircraft (1942) and later Convair and General Dynamics Corporation working on the B24, B36 and B58 military aircraft in Fort Worth. There he worked until retirement in 1969.
In 1950, Miles and Charley Belle and the 4 children finally got their dream home in a quiet neighborhood on Townsend Drive, across the street from a large park. The children attended nearby schools, Miles continued at General Dynamics and Charley Belle ran the household.
Miles was very active as an elder at St Marks Methodist Church and also as a scout leader and administrator in the Boy Scouts of America, Longhorn Council.
Just before Christmas in 1954, the family was struck by tragedy with the accidental shooting death of Miles’ only son, Miles III, known as Mike. As could be expected, recovery was difficult for the family.
By 1969, the Stanley girls had all married and moved out of the house on Townsend, but that empty nest didn’t last long, as grandchildren quickly began to arrive.
An unhealthy habit that Miles had picked up as a young man eventually led to his early demise in 1970. Severe, inoperable heart disease caused in part by smoking led to his medical retirement from General Dynamics in 1969.
Following a funeral on May 4 at St Marks, attended by numerous current and former Boy Scouts, as well as many former co-workers and friends, Miles Francis Stanley II was laid to rest at Green Oaks Cemetery, near the graves of his father John and son Mike.
Charley Belle Stanley suddenly found herself a single woman in 1970 with the death of husband Miles. Supported by her children and grandchildren, she soon ventured out into the working world, securing employment at Cox’s Department Store in Fort Worth. Life goes on and bills gotta be paid.
Charley Belle’s mother, Mary Tennessee Rogers, known as “Mawmaw” to family and friends, had come to live in the Stanley home in the late 1960’s. Charley Belle continued to care for her and in 1971, Mary died at home at age 91.
Charley Belle continued to work at Cox’s and was active in her church, St Mark’s Methodist. Her home was frequently invaded by grandchildren and numerous friends.
In the late 1970’s, Charley Belle sold the house on Townsend Drive and moved to nearby Crowley, Texas, the home of daughters Jan and Kathy and their families. The new house on West Skelly Street quickly became the hub of the extended Stanley family, as great-grandchildren began to appear. Mother-in-law Marie “MaMaw” Stanley died in 1979, and Charley Belle helped to care for her until her death.
Charley Belle eventually retired from Cox’s Department Store, but she “retired” in word only, as she stayed busy as secretary for St Mark’s Methodist Church and as Nanny to all the grandkids and great-grandkids. The house on Skelly was rarely quiet! Birthdays and holidays were celebrated at Nanny’s house and friends and neighbors frequently stopped by. Charley Belle also took occasional trips with her church friends, visiting locations as far away as New York City.
Charley Belle remained healthy and active well into her 80’s, driving to church and running errands, and even baby-sitting those great-great grandchildren. However, in 2001, she was slowed by “mini-strokes”, necessitating the move to daughter Kathy’s home in Kempner, Texas. There she lived for a few more years, before moving to retirement homes in Burleson and Lampasas, Texas.
On 16 May 2014, Charley Belle Stanley died peacefully in her sleep at age 97 in Lampasas. She lived a productive and happy live, and left many loving grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, and a host of friends. She is buried next to the love of her life, Miles and near son Mike at Greenwood Cemetery in Fort Worth. She is missed every day.