BY LEANN DILBECK –
Former Polk County Judge Ray B. Stanley was laid to rest Sunday, June 4, 2017, at the age of 73. Stanley was elected to serve two different terms for the people of Polk County, 1993-2004 and again from 2009 through the end of 2010.
Stanley had spent most of his professional life as a public servant, having served 20 years as a California Highway Patrolman prior to relocating to Arkansas.
Stanley’s final term began with one of the most challenging the county had seen to date. The April 9th tornado and one of the wettest years in recent memory had created many challenges for Stanley, as was noted when he spoke to the Pulse just after announcing that he would not seek re-election in early 2010. “The cost of material just continues to go up and it gets frustrating to not be able to fix what needs fixing because there’s not enough money,” Stanley said. “On a good day you wear a lot of different hats, but when you have the destruction our county has seen over the last year, and trying to coordinate all of the different organizations, it compounds the demands.”
Just eight days prior to his retirement, Stanley fell gravely ill and never fully recovered.
Stanley had a heart for people, but was always particularly partial to the people of Polk County. When he announced his final term, he cited what a privilege it was to serve the people of this county, adding, ““I’ve worked in other areas…California…Louisiana…the people of this county are some of the finest I’ve ever met.”