Paul Smith Stanfield
Paul Smith Stanfield

February 18, 1928 - July 14, 2017
Born in Little Rock, AR
Resided in Des Moines, IA
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Paul S. Stanfield, 89, died Friday, July 14, at Kavanagh House hospice after a three-week illness.
Paul was born on February 18, 1928, in Little Rock, Arkansas,son of the Rev.A. N. and Julia Burns Stanfield, and grew up in Guymon, Oklahoma, epicenter of the Dust Bowl. Valedictorian of the Guymon High School class of 1946, he won a scholarship to Oklahoma Baptist University, where he majored in journalism and met the love of his life, Asalee (Salee) Ferguson. They were married on September 14, 1952.
After serving stateside in the Air Force during the Korean War, Paul completed a master’s degree in journalism at the University of Oregon and returned to his alma mater to teach.
In 1958, inspired by a summer job as a reporter, Paul left academia to join the Hutchinson (Kansas) News, and soon became its features editor. In 1961, Paul became editor and publisher of the Daily Reporter in Spencer, Iowa. An offer to join the Des Moines Register and Tribune as an editorial writer brought him to Des Moines in 1966.
Paul’s work at the Register focused on the state legislature and education policy. He also took up teaching again as an adjunct in the Drake University journalism school from 1973 to 1983.
Taking early retirement in 1982, Paul devoted himself to a new career as a lobbyist with the Iowa Interchurch Agency for Peace and Justice, the Iowa Catholic Conference, and the Iowa Coalition for the Homeless. He played a key role in establishing the Iowa Compulsive Gambling Treatment Program in 1985.
For his work as a lobbyist, he received the Bishop Maurice Dingman Peace Award in 1999.
A longtime member of the Des Moines Torch Club, he served as president of the International Association of Torch Clubs from 1984 to 1986.
He and Salee were committed members of Knox Presbyterian Church and especially cherished the annual Synod School of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. Paul also served a term as moderator of the Des Moines Presbytery and as a delegate to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA.
After losing Salee in 1992,Paul initiated a third career as a Presbyterian lay pastor, providing supply preaching in central Iowa and long-term interim service to congregations in Deep River, Iowa, and Perry, Iowa.
Paul is survived by a brother, Jay, in Stillwater, Oklahoma; by his children, in whose accomplishments he took tremendous joy, and their spouses: Scott (Barbara Straus), Burns (Lorraine), Heather Anderson (Curt), and Mac (Jodi); by eight grandchildren: Julia Norman (Paul), Emmett Stanfield, Elizabeth Stanfield, Nathan Stanfield, Grace Stanfield, Zola Anderson, Asa Stanfield, and Levon Stanfield; and a great-grandchild, David Stanfield Norman.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 22, at Heartland Presbyterian Church in Clive (14300 Hickman Road), at 11:00 a.m., with gathering and conversation beginning at 9:00. In lieu of flowers, memorials may go to the Paul and Salee Stanfield Scholarship, c/o The Synod of Lakes and Prairies, 2115 Cliff Dr., Eagan, MN 55122-3327.


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Heartland Presbyterian Church
14300 Hickman Road
Clive, IA US 50325
Saturday, July 22, 2017
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Heartland Presbyterian Church
14300 Hickman Road
Clive, IA US 50325
Saturday, July 22, 2017
11:00 AM