Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Scott Stanley

January 19, 1948 - April 20, 2024
Kalamazoo, MI


Life Story Celebration

Thursday, April 25, 2024
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

Where food, drinks, and stories will be shared.

Driving Directions


Friday, April 26, 2024
9:30 AM EDT
Fort Custer National Cemetery
15501 Dickman Rd
Augusta, MI 49012
(269) 731-4164


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

American Heart Association / American Stroke Association Memorial or Tribute Donation
PO Box 840692
Dallas, TX 75284-0692
(800) 242-8721
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


With a warm smile and a ready conversation, Scott Stanley lived a life rich in family and friends. Scott was hardworking, fun, and generous. He never shied from a challenge and was always willing to lend a hand to others. Whether helping a neighbor, running an errand, working on the latest project, gathering for a meal, or cheering on his loved ones, Scott embraced each moment as a gift and every person as a friend. Leading with his heart in all things, Scott was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend who inspired all who were blessed to know him.

1948 proved a year of continued celebration of the end of World War II. As America's heroes eagerly returned home, a renewed spirit and hope filled the air. American prosperity grew like no other time in our history. The Greatest Generation soon proliferated, creating the age of the Baby Boomers. It seems fitting that Scott was born during this time of hope on January 19, in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Growing up in Kalamazoo, Scott and his sister, Judy, who were both adopted, knew that they were treasured children. Their mom would often tell them, "You don't know how special you are because we chose you." Scott enjoyed a fantastic childhood. He had many great friends and had the freedom to explore his curiosity. He was always making things and even put a motor on his bicycle so he could go faster.

After graduating from Comstock High School, Scott enlisted in the Navy. Stationed on a Dock Landing Ship (LSD) off the coast of Vietnam, Scott served his country as a machinist. While home on leave, his sister's friend introduced him to the love of his life, Karen, on a successful blind date. The happy couple married on August 5, 1972.

While working at Kalamazoo Stamping and Die, Scott learned that the local General Motors was hiring. He and his colleagues were all hired on at the Kalamazoo plant, where he worked for many years as a Journeyman Tool and Die maker. A hard worker, Scott often encouraged and mentored his colleagues as they completed their apprenticeships. Scott was proud of his work, but was also known to take naps on the workbench from time to time. For his last eight years with GM, Scott transferred to Grand Rapids. During his career, he was also a proud member of the United Auto Workers (UAW) Union, both in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids.

While his children were young, the family enjoyed camping and boating at their place at Sandy Pines and, in the summer, up north at Black Lake. Their camping adventures began in the back of a pickup truck before they graduated to a pop-up camper and eventually an RV. Always a handyman who enjoyed building and tinkering, Scott built everything from the kids’ treehouse and the basketball court to the kitchen. He made sure his family had everything they needed. And though he worked the second shift, he always showed up for family.

Scott was a proud and delighted "Papa" to his grandchildren. He was always at their events and enjoyed having his grandkids help while he built things. Even if they were only old enough to watch, he loved having them nearby. He and his grandson had great fun building a birdhouse together, fostering each other’s creativity.

Though he didn't love hunting, he was always up for being a part of the action with his son and loved being a part of the group. More into the social aspects of the weekend away, it was beer camp for Scott, not deer camp! In later years, he was happy to include his grandson and son-in-law in the traditions.

Closer to home, Scott was the mayor of the neighborhood. He knew everyone and was always willing to lend a hand. He even knew all the neighbors in his kids' neighborhoods. He couldn't go anywhere without running into people and striking up conversations. Whether meeting a long-time friend or someone new, Scott always welcomed the opportunity to create a connection and enjoy a conversation. A wonderful family man and great friend, Scott happily welcomed his son-in-law and daughter-in-law into his heart as his own kids.

A lifelong University of Michigan fan, Scott also enjoyed sweets. Donuts, peanut M&Ms, and ice cream were some of his favorites. He loved Karen's cooking, especially her big Sunday dinners, which he was first in line to fill his plate. Scott was meticulous in everything he did. Whether manicuring the lawn or tending the house, he kept everything tidy and organized. Despite having pine trees, there was never a pine cone to be found on the lawn. His cars and the garage were impeccable, and while working as Karen's Molly Maid, he ensured the house was amazingly clean. Scott enjoyed the simple pleasure of watching the morning news with Karen and was fiscally savvy. He frequently encouraged others to "Hang around with people smarter than you."

Though the world feels far less certain in the absence of Scott's steadfast companionship, we find much comfort in our many treasured memories. May we also find comfort in carrying Scott's legacy of love and friendship forward. In each moment we greet a stranger as a friend, freely share our time and talents, confidently work on a project, cheer on our loved one's endeavors, enjoy a conversation, and share the simple joys with our beloved, we celebrate the countless ways Scott made life more enjoyable. In this way, we keep his wonderful spirit alive and inspiring others as he so inspired us.

Scott Stanley of Kalamazoo, age 76, died on April 20, 2024. Scott was born January 19, 1948. He is preceded in death by his parents, Normand and Mary Stanley; siblings: James Fitzsimmons and Virginia Rantz. Surviving are his wife, Karen; children: Stephanie (James) Bellisle, Kristie Stanley, Jeff (Emily) Stanley; 7 grandchildren: Caleb, Kyleigh, Rieker, Sienna, Elizabeth, Cate, and John Mac; sister, Judy (Walter) Topoll, Beverly Stewart, Victor Fitzsimmons, Bill Fitzsimmons, Karen Deau, Mary Thompson, Bob (Sharon) Koren, and Ed (Jenny) Koren; and nieces and nephews.

Please join us at a Life Story Celebration where food, drinks, and stories will be shared on Thursday, April 25th, from 5-7 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo 269-375-2900. Burial at Fort Custer National Cemetery on Friday, April 26th at 9:30 AM. Visit Scott's webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign his guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association.