Murphy Funeral Homes


Stanley A. Stringer

June 16, 1934January 1, 2021

Stanley Arthur Stringer, age 86, of Falls Church, Virginia, passed away in his home as the calendar changed to the New Year. His children marked his passing with the peals of the large antique brass hand bell that Stan would wield to ring in the New Year.

Stan was born on June 16, 1934, in Lincoln, Illinois, where his father, Charles Millward Stringer, owned a portrait photography studio. Charles and his wife Hazel Virginia (née Hall) had settled in Lincoln when they married, after Charles served in World War I. Stan was the baby of the family. He grew up idolizing his big brother, Chuck, who was 11 years older and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Stan loved telling stories about his childhood hometown. You can find some of his stories on the Finding Lincoln website at

During his teenage years, Stan and his family moved to the Fort Wayne area. He attended Central High School, Fort Wayne, where he edited the yearbook, The Caldron. After graduating in 1952, he attended Indiana University, Bloomington. Through friends, he met the love of his life, Dorothy Donselman. The morning after their first blind date, Stan showed up at Dorothy’s residence hall with a kite in hand. So began a great romance and one of his favorite jokes: “I told her to fly a kite, and we did.”

After graduating in 1956 with a BS in Chemistry, Stan served a year in the U.S. Army. In 1958, he started his career with the Food and Drug Administration in Cincinnati. Having secured a steady job, he asked Dorothy to marry him. They were wed on December 27, 1958. FDA soon moved Stan to the Detroit district, where he worked as an inspector, and Dorothy worked for American Motors, Kelvinator. In October 1960, their first child, Patricia Ann, was born. A second daughter, Linda Lee, followed 18 months later. In 1963, Stan was promoted to FDA headquarters in Washington, DC. In 1965, Lawrence Jeffery was born.

Stan continued his career at FDA working in the New Drug Approval Division. Later he moved to the Bureau of Devices. After 30 years at FDA, he retired and began a second career as a consultant, traveling all over the world advising pharmaceutical and medical device companies on FDA regulations and best practices.

Stan had many interests outside work. He was active in Scouting and the Auxiliary Coast Guard. He enjoyed oil painting, photography, writing, history, and sailing. He loved visiting historic sites, art galleries, and battlefields, and he enjoyed relaxing for a week or two each summer on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. When Larry’s Cub Scout Troop needed a Cubmaster, Stan stepped up. He enjoyed the job so much, he kept it several years after Larry moved on to Boy Scouts. Many years later, he would join Scouting once more as a den leader while his grandsons were cubs. His den affectionately referred to him as “Old Buffalo.”

Stan’s great joy in retirement was taking Dorothy on adventures around the world to revisit cities where he had traveled as a consultant. He wanted to share everything with her. His other great joy was visiting and playing with his five wonderful grandchildren: Linda and son-in-law Jerry’s boys, David and Andrew, in Fairfax, Virginia, and Larry and daughter-in-law Ellen’s kids, Rhiannon, Aidan, and Joey in Bourbonnais, Illinois. He was proud of them all.

Dorothy passed away on April 24, 2020, and though his children continued to care for Stan and dote on him, some of the light went out of Stan’s world. So he has joined her in heaven, less than a week after the 62nd anniversary of their marriage. We like to think that Dorothy took him by the hand and led him Over the Rainbow, where troubles melt like lemon drops and dreams really do come true.

Condolences and fond memories may be left at for the Stringer Family.


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Stanley A. Stringer

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