Member News

Obituary: Ward McCormick Stanley, 1933 - 2019

by SAH News | Oct 10, 2019

Ward McCormick Stanley, 85, longtime resident of Rhinebeck, NY and Philadelphia, PA, died peacefully at home on August 5, 2019 after a long struggle with mesothelioma.  Born in Nyack, NY on October 12, 1933, he grew up in Dutchess and Rockland counties.  After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a masters degree in art history, Ward taught at the Philadelphia College of Art (now University of the Arts) where he rose to Full Professor of the History of Art and Architecture.  He was very active at PCA and was the President of the Faculty Council.  He and his wife Linda raised 3 daughters in Philadelphia, where they lived for 30 years.  He was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship for teaching and researching in 1973 and he and his wife Linda and their 3 small daughters spent a year in England, with Ward teaching Art History at the Wolverhampton Polytechnic.

In 1993 Ward and Linda left Philadelphia and moved to Rhinebeck, NY where they opened Veranda House Bed & Breakfast which they ran for almost 10 years, after which they lived on South Parsonage Street.  In Rhinebeck, Ward was very involved in the Village Planning Board and later the Zoning Board of Appeals, where he served until May of 2018.  He was also committed to the Rhinebeck Chamber of Commerce and sat in the Chamber Booth every summer for years until 2018.  He was one of the Chamber Good Eggs in 2016.  He was a member of Hudson River Heritage Board of Directors for many years and enjoyed participating in the County Seats Tours.  He loved the theater and was an actor in several plays at the Rhinebeck Performing Arts Center in the late 90's and early 2000's.  He was a volunteer at Wilderstein Historic site for many years, was a democratic committeeman for many years and loved being involved in Rhinebeck. 

He was an avid gardener and had wonderful vegetable gardens in Philadelphia and Rhinebeck.  He loved to travel, and he and Linda  took many trips over the years to England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Japan and India.  He was a longtime member of the Society of Architectural Historians and the Frank Lloyd Wright Conservancy and a lifetime lover of Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture.  From about 2008 until 2016 he taught Art History, FLWright and the History of Architecture at the Lifetime Learning Program at Bard College.  He was also a early member of Rhinebeck at Home, an aging in place organization.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Linda, three daughters, two sons in law and three wonderful grandchildren. 

A celebration of life for Ward was held at the Church of the Messiah Parish Hall on September 8, 2019 at 2:30 PM.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be sent to Wilderstein Historic Site ( and the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (

Mr. Stanley had been a member of SAH since 1966.


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