Stanley A. Brantley Jr.
Published 8:22 pm Friday, April 18, 2014
IVOR—Dr. Stanley Aurelius Brantley Jr., P.E., 66, passed away surrounded by family and in the radiance of the Lord’s peace and love on April 18, 2014, following a courageous battle with cancer.
Born on June 19, 1947, he was the only child of the late Frances Doris Pittman and Stanley Aurelius Brantley Sr., who lived in Wakefield.
He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Dyanne Seward Brantley; his two sons, Jason Paige Harris Brantley, and wife, Mona, of Bettendorf, Iowa, and Matthew Aurelius Brantley Sr., and wife, Stephanie, of Sedley; his daughter, Melissa Frances Brantley Ebert, and husband, Jon, of Chester; and seven grandchildren, William Brantley Ebert, Matthew Aurelius Brantley Jr., Ana Margot Brantley, Caroline Faith Brantley, James Marc Ebert, Phillip David Brantley and Jenna Elizabeth Brantley.
He will forever be remembered by his immediate and extended family as a caring man of deep faith and conviction who saw the world in the structured way that only a great engineer could, and who taught them much in a way that only he could have.
Stan had a lifelong dedication and passion for driving innovation in mechanized agriculture globally. After receiving his B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech, he received his PhD. in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University, where his research focused on agriculture machinery.
He was president of AMADAS Industries, a preeminent manufacturer of peanut and industrial equipment, where he was able to live his dream of spending every day with a dedicated team of talented people who made a difference for the customers and industry they served. Stan was professionally most proud of people that he mentored and developed, and he was also quite proud of leading the team that created the world’s first 8-row self-propelled peanut harvester.
He appreciated the global nature of agriculture and how a common human need for food and flourishing crossed boundaries of politics and religion and many times during his career took advantage of opportunities to leverage that. In 1980, he went to China as part of one of the first delegations that opened agricultural relations between China and the United States, and returned again to China in 2006, amazed and excited about the progress that had been made and the importance of future relations in agriculture. Although he will be remembered for many things, those closest to him are likely to always think of Stan walking in a cloud of dust behind a peanut combine, intent on solving a problem that perhaps he saw before others, and always thinking of the next level of productivity that he could push his inventions to.
Stan was also very active in serving his community and state. As a member of the Wakefield Ruritan Club he enjoyed the friendship and service he was able to be a part of, and looked forward every year to the next Shad Planking and reconnecting with many from around the community and state that make that event so special.
He served as a board member for the Virginia Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and was always intent on doing what he could to see more manufacturing jobs stay in America and come to Virginia. He also served on the board of the Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results (VALOR) where he was instrumental in supporting the creation of the program.
Stan spent many years on the board of Paul D. Camp Community College and always believed that education was the key to a better life and better world for each of us.
He was a member of Rocky Hock United Methodist Church, where he greatly enjoyed the fellowship and worship as well as the chance to serve on the perpetual care committee.
Stan graduated from the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia and subsequently began to apply his leadership experiences as a member of the Surry County Board of Social Services. Stan was an active member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers and numerous other professional societies as part of his passion for connecting with new people and feeding a life long journey of learning. He approached each board appointment, volunteer activity or learning event with the mind of an engineer, whether that was the prevailing approach or not, and never regretted it.
Later in life Stan decided to venture beyond agricultural machinery alone and started Brantley Castle Farms, a small cow-calf operation, with his longtime friend whom he considered a brother, Ed Castle. To no one’s surprise he immediately began to see many ways to improve hay equipment, and he always had a big smile when showing his cows to his grandchildren or driving the growing number of tractors that the venture provided a convenient excuse for purchasing.
Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, April 21, at Rocky Hock United Methodist Church in Wakefield.
The funeral and celebration of Stan’s life will take place on Tuesday, April 22, at 1 p.m., also at Rocky Hock United Methodist Church.
The family is being served by R.W. Baker and Co. Funeral Home, Wakefield Chapel, where condolences may be posted at www.rwbakerfh.com.