by Tyler Williams
William B. Stanley, 80, died Sunday, April 18th at Hartford Hospital. His illustrious life will be remembered and honored by his involvement as an author and Norwich’s own historian
Bill is survived by his wife, Margaret Stanley, his son William A. Stanley and his daughters Carol Little and Mary Stanley.
Bill’s ability to bring Norwich’s past to the community brought people together and grew an unwavering strength in the community. Bill always had a knack for making local history come alive; he was the spirit of Norwich and he will be greatly missed.
In a statement released to the Resident, Senator Chris Dodd said, “Bill Stanley was a great friend to my family, and to generations of residents in Norwich who were touched by his generosity, his humor, and his kindness. No one was a bigger cheerleader for the city of Norwich than Bill, and his contributions to our state will continue be felt for years to come. I join all those in Norwich and across Connecticut in mourning Bill’s passing, and I will miss him dearly.”
Bill’s legacy will be remembered by the combination of his outspokenness and his ability to put it into writing. His weekly newspaper columns will be remembered not only for his signature “Once Upon a Time” but for his capacity to grab the reader. He also published many books, some of them being a collection of his columns. His largest book chronicled the area’s history and his final book was a gift to Norwich schoolchildren, in which he donated 5,000 books to the school system.
In a statement released to the Resident, Senator Joe Lieberman said, “I was deeply saddened by the passing of Bill Stanley, a statesman, a principled patriot, and a scholar. Bill Stanley loved history, taught history, and made history. I knew Bill for many years, and I am grateful for all of the wisdom he offered me personally. Mostly though, I treasure the example he set in his career of devoted service to this country in the United States Marine Corps, Connecticut’s State Senate, and through the many important causes that he championed in the city of Norwich and throughout our state. Our state and this nation are blessed to have people like Bill Stanley who truly enrich our communities. We, his readers and his students, were particularly blessed with the opportunity to have learned from Bill Stanley, who illuminated our hearts and minds with his weekly columns for the Norwich Bulletin. Bill’s brilliant mind, generous spirit, and unforgettable stories will never fade from our memory.”