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Merriedith Earl Stansfield (Mike) (Rosie)

Northville, SD

1934-35, 1789, Pactola, F-4

Former Grants Pass resident Merriedith Earle "Mike" Stansfield, 94, of Stockton, Calif., died Tuesday, May 29, 2007, in Torrance, Calif.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Parkway Christian Center. Private interment will be at Hawthorne Memorial Gardens. Hull & Hull Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements. Contributions may be made to A.I.M. Mexico, San Ysidro Postal Center, 4492 Camino de la Plaza, Suite 631, San Ysidro, CA 92173.

He was born June 4, 1912, on Vernon Valley Farm near Northville, S.D., to Ruben Townsend Stansfield and Ethel Elizabeth Roberts Stansfield. His family moved to Armour, S.D., where he graduated from Armour High School in 1931. From June 1934 to May 1935, he served in the Civilian Conservation Corps at Camp Pactola in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

On Nov. 26, 1936, in Grants Pass, he married Frances Ruby Pierce, who survives. During World War II, he worked in the Portland shipyards, and then he worked for Montgomery Ward in Grants Pass for eight years. He worked in lawn care and maintenance in Medford for 10 years before establishing M.E. Stansfield and Sons Builders, building custom homes and doing remodeling for 15 years in the Grants Pass area. Due to their declining health, he and his wife moved to Stockton to live with their son.

He was founding Cubmaster of Pack 24, Jerome Prairie, and served as Scoutmaster of Troop 24, Jerome Prairie. He attended Newman United Methodist Church, Medford First Assembly of God and Parkway Christian Center, where he served on the church board. Along with his son and daughter-in-law, he was a founding board member of Douglas County Christian Schools in Roseburg, and served on the board from 1982 to 1992. After moving to Stockton, he attended Bethany Community Church.

In addition to his wife, survivors include three sons, Leon C. Stansfield of Stockton, Calif., Enoch E. "Nick" Stansfield of Rocklin, Calif., and Dale B. Stansfield of Tempe, Ariz.; a sister, Elsie Sanders of Grants Pass; and seven grandchildren.

Long and Stansfield

Note: "On 7/20/04 I read this composition to my father (M.E. Stansfield, age 92) and asked him who wrote it. Even with his somewhat faded memory he said he thought it was written as a group project by Merle "Shorty" Long, Linus "Stony" Stoneback, Bob Boyer, and himself".. . . . . . Leon Stansfield

Co. 1789 on the Hill.
March 11th or twelfth.

To whom it may concern:

We the undersigned find it our duty to inform you that as up-standing young gentlemen of Co. 1739 on the Hill, we are not to be debased or humiliated by a flock of starched stuffed skirts. We will not stand idly by and see our state degraded by mere student nurses of a foreign state. We are not bums, but the sons of the forests, living with nature unadorned, romping with the wildcats, wrestling with the porcupines, and feeding the ferocious grizzly bears and mountain lions from our hands. Each day, rain or shine, we dine in the forest primeval, with the icicles hanging from our shaggy beards, and up to our hocks in snow, with never a thought for the ants in our coffee. At dawn we scale the mighty cliffs and wield our sixteen pound axes with never a thought for a stuffed skirt.

In our lighter moments we dream only of eighteen inch stacks of buckwheat cakes flanked with rare old frankfurters, covered from stem to stern with maple syrup.

In moments lighter still, we imbibe mellow mountain dew and squirrel whiskey, and hold the natives spellbound by dancing the rhumba, tango, and Carioca on a lofty mountain top, to the time of the wind in the pines, and to the screaming of the soaring eagles.

Weary of this, we slide down the mountain on our toboggans, into the foaming cataract thousands of feet below, to play hide and seek among the icebergs, and do battle to the death with terrible fresh-water swordfish. Emerging from the icy depths and shaking the ice and barnacles from our hairy chests and million dollar legs, we repair to our sheep-sheds for a hot toddy.

Our knowledge is not alone of books and pill-boxes, butcher knives, cleavers, and hack saws, bed pans and nine-o'clock baths, nor of the seventy-five year old bachelor in Room 13, who washes his head when left to finish his bath. No narrow halls wall in our minds, no aroma of unwashed feet in our nostrils, no stench of peroxide and ether gas, no summoning bell to disturb our tete-a-tete with the gangster shriek in the accident ward, no screaming infants assail our ears from the maternity Ward as the handsome young doctor is examining your patient. Nor are we obliged to creep into our rooms in our stocking feet if we stay out later than ten o'clock.

Ours is the boundless freedom of nature itself, the solitude of the virgin forests, the soft melodious notes of mating birds, our baths the crystal clear mountain streams, the air is scented with the fragrant pines and the delicate perfume of the wild flowers of the mountains. The silvery summer moon finds us frolicking in the mossy glades with airy wood sprites, or gamboling with the mermaids on the brink of some shimmering mountain lake.

We battle the mighty bull-moose in grassy amphitheatres, to the thunderous applause of assembled hillbillies, mossbacks, and millionaires. At three in the morning we stagger in with our hob-nails clanking on the company street, each bearing a flaming pine torch aloft, throwing a gruesome yellow light over the skeletons of elephants and rhinocerhorses and dinosaurs and chipmunks and packrats horse-thieves and Indians who met their dismal fate at the hand of the bloody mess-sergeant, who filled the steaming flesh pots with their mangled carcasses. We fog into the first barrack and stuff the inmates in the rain-barrel and clamp the lid whereupon we heave the bunks out the window and go to sleep on the floor.

This unprecedented revelation of our inner lives is here chronicled for the one purpose of correcting your misconceived illusion of the Civilian Conservation Corps, and while we mildly resent the inference that ours is not one of the most worthy and honorable of professions, we are convinced that you will see the error of your ways in jumping at conclusions and judging our character and intentions by your preconceived and prejudiced opinions of the C.C.C.'s. You need not bother to write, as we should not hold up the moose-fight long enough to read it anyway.

Love and kisses,

Below is and invitation to a dance from the Girl Reserves addressed to Merriedith Stansfield dated March 28, 1935

Merriedith Stansfield gets InvitationMerriedith Stansfield gets Invitation

Officially the Girl Reserves of the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) began in 1918. However, like many clubs - it evolved from many informal girl gatherings under the YWCA program and from the Patriotic League of the YWCA. The Girl Reserves sought to help girls 12-18 develop a well-balanced personality, grow physically and take on social responsibility.

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