2020 has been an unprecedented year to say the least. Our firm has gone through it mostly unscathed – until now. None of us were prepared for just how badly the year 2020 was going to end. This month our firm’s founder, Gary L. Stanley, unexpectedly passed away.
Gary was not just the founder of Randall Stanley Architects, Inc. He was a leader. He was a mentor. And he was a friend. Gary valued each and every one of the RSA staff members. One tradition in the firm that points to this, was every year, every staff member was honored during a birthday lunch. The birthday boy/girl got to choose where the meal was catered from, and of course there was always a birthday dessert!
His passion for architecture made Gary a wonderful mentor. Often, he would hire architects and designers fresh out of school, and impart his wisdom on them throughout their years of employment. His style was a little bit “throw you in the water” mixed with a little bit “here’s how I would do it.” He was a present teacher – present to answer all your questions, while allowing you to find your own way through. Even after many years of imparting his wisdom, Gary never left you completely on your own – he was there to back you up and be in your corner at all times.
Despite the rugged façade Gary carried, he was one of the most caring and understanding people you would ever know. Gary truly cared about his clients and his staff. Not only would he remember and inquire about business-related topics you had told him, he would express interest about your life outside the office. Gary had a sense of humor and wit that brought a smile to your face. And after getting to know him, his rugged façade made him all the more charming.
We could include a laundry list of buildings Gary designed, or clients he worked with over the years. But Gary wasn’t much for touting his work. He won a few AIA design awards, but that isn’t something he would have cared to discuss. Relationships were what was important to Gary. For those of you who personally knew Gary, you already know that. You know how loyal he was, and you recognize the loyalty you had for Gary. In addition to Gary’s relationships with staff and clients, we also witnessed his wonderful relationship with his wife, Myrna, who worked alongside him ever since he founded RSA. While there are hundreds of building projects that Gary put his stamp on, Gary’s legacy will live on in the many friendships he leaves behind.
Rest in peace, Gary, we will miss you dearly.