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Giving thanks for the life of Mike Stanyon 1930-2014

Giving thanks for the life of – and saying a reluctant goodbye to – one of Tansley's true gentlemen

 
Mike StanyonMike Stanyon was Tansley Methodist’s regular Welcoming Steward. Frequent attendee of prayer groups, church events, coffee mornings and soup ‘n’ sweet. Our beloved friend. A dear man who will be missed by many
 
Taken from his eulogy
 
Mike was born on 22nd August 1930, in the relatively large Lincolnshire village of Ruskington, the middle of three children to Walter and Jenny Stanyon
 
A keen student, national service interfered with Mike’s plans for university and he found himself serving King and Country in the Royal Signals Corp; much of which was spent in Kenya during the Mau Mau uprising
 
Following his ‘demob’ Mike spent two years Teacher Training in Leeds, where he met Anne. It was wonderful that they were able to celebrate sixty years of married life together on 14 August 2014, with their three children (Jane, Gill and Ian), five grandchildren and the extended family
 
Mike taught in Bedfordshire and finally at Beaconsfield, where he became the Head Teacher of ‘Becky Secy’, as it was affectionately called. It was during his time at Beaconsfield he obtained his BA degree from the Open University
 
Mike had a wide range of interests including Industrial Archaeology, Walking and Railways. Above all he had a strong Christian Faith and along with Anne a lifelong involvement in Church life, culminating in their commitment to the Methodist Church here in Tansley. He probably never knew the encouragement and influence his faith had on others but Mike and Anne’s involvement with the Church Youth Club and the annual weekend away was a great influence on their own son, Ian’s teenage years and gave him a foundation for his own Faith
 
Although a man of few words there are those who valued his wisdom in Fellowship Meetings and Bible study Groups. Mike’s ‘playing the Hoover’ at a Church concert caused great amusement and during a meal at a Chinese Restaurant on one occasion his jokes earned him the accolade of a ‘velly funny man’
 
Mike had a Christmas cracker sense of humour. He never lost that and only a few days before his death, when asked “what is the name of a donkey with only three legs?” he replied Eileen! which his family thought was even funnier than the official answer of Wobbly
 
There are many memories of Mike giving his ‘Tarzan’ impressions whilst wandering the Lakeland Fells. Family wondered whether some other fell walkers would be sitting around their pints in front of a warm Pub fire come the evening, discussing the possible explanation for the’ Phantom fell yodeller’
 
Mike loved walking and the family spent many happy hours together exploring National Parks and Coastal Paths as well as touring overseas in their camper van. Of course many holidays would be planned to include Steam Railways and Industrial Archaeological areas and retiring to Derbyshire gave him many more opportunities to indulge in these pastimes                                                                                                
 
Mike’s interest in Railways was probably aroused by the smell of steam on his father’s uniform, when he came home from working at the Ruskington Railway Station. It became an abiding interest and his knowledge of the railway network and stations was encyclopaedic
 
Moving to Tansley Mike soon became editor of the village ‘News Magazine’ and to his obvious delight became involved in the Steeple Grange Light Railway, assisting in reconstruction and maintenance of the track. On open days he would don his railway cap to exercise guard/conductor duties, blowing his father’s whistle, to send people off on journeys, includng the very special Santa Express train
 
Mike’s interests also included gardening and his small vegetable plot at ‘Oaktree Gardens’ produced a rich harvest which was amplified during his early retirement years by a small allotment. Some of you will remember being gifted bonus crop of courgettes and other goodies by Mike during Friday’s coffee morning in the Brunswick Rooms
 
Mike was a devoted family man and  his care and concern for his family was very evident. In recent years illness increased both Anne and Mike’s dependence on each other. It involved a considerable amount of travelling to visit each other during their spells in hospital and exceptional levels of love and care to support each other through surgeries and tough diagnosis. We are all deeply sorry for Anne’s immense loss
 
Full eulogy available on request. Please email Anne Stanyon
 
The Service of Thanksgiving for his full and active life was held at his local church, Tansley Methodist, on Tuesday 30th of December. As expected, it was extremely well attended
 
God bless you Mike Stanyon. Lovely, kind, funny man. We are very glad you are out of pain, but we will always miss you. May you rest in eternal peace