Roger Duane Stanton, 83, of Prairie Village, Kansas, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, March 4, 2022, at St. Joseph Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. He was born in Marysville, Kansas on October 4, 1938, the only child of George W. Stanton and Helen Viola Peterson Stanton.
Except for the few years they lived in Kansas City, Kansas during WW II while his father was working for North American Aviation, he grew up in Marysville, Kansas. His father started and owned Stanton Hardware for many years, and Roger worked summers delivering stoves and refrigerators to customers and sometimes baled hay for local farmers.
In high school – Class of 1956– he played football for the Marysville Bulldogs and played and coached baseball in the summer leagues. He was a gifted speaker and enjoyed the spotlight playing the lead in the school play – “A Man Called Peter”. He also was elected Student Body President and was selected to attend Boys State.
He attended the University of Kansas, where he pledged Delta Tau Delta fraternity; won the Campus Speaking Contest as a Freshman; acted in several KU theater productions and wrote and starred in Rock Chalk Revue (Student production); was Executive Producer of Rock Chalk Revue and was responsible for the outlandish change to “Co-ed” skits, much to the chagrin of the Dean of Women (but it still stands today!) The money he earned for his Executive Producer job funded the engagement ring he would use later to propose to KU classmate Judy Duncan. He was elected Vice President of the KU Class of ’60 and later served as President.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1960 and was chosen as one of ten outstanding seniors. He graduated from the KU Law School Class of ’63 where he was an Editor on the KU Law Review and was elected as VP of his Law Class and later served as President.
Married Judy Duncan in 1962 and they celebrated 60 years of marriage on January 27th. Following law school he joined the Kansas City, Kansas Law Firm of Stanley, Schroeder, Weeks. Thomas and Lysaught where he served on the Executive Committee and on the Board of Directors. He became a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1981. Later he became a partner with the KC Law firm of Stinson Mag & Fizzel serving as chairman of products practice group and as a member of the Board of Directors. In 1997-2005 he was a partner in the litigation practice of Berkowitz, Feldmiller, Stanton, Brandt, Williams and Shaw in Prairie Village Kansas. From 2005 until he retired in 2013, he had his own private practice.
He reveled in preparing and trying lawsuits all over the country, especially representing the underdog. He was a member of many organizations affiliated with his expertise in the law among them: the American College of Trial Lawyers since 1981 where he served as state chairman and on the board of directors; the Earl E. O’Connor American Inn of Court; Co-chairman of the Civil justice Reform Act Committee for the United States District Court for the District of Kansas; served as President of the Johnson County Bar Foundation and the Kansas Association of Defense Counsel. He was state co-chairman of the Defense Research Institute for 11 years and on the board of the Historical Society of the Tenth Judicial Circuit. He served as president of the Johnson County Bar and usually had a significant role in producing and performing in the Kansas State Bar Show. Futhermore, he was a member of the Boy Scouts of America, the International Association of Defense Counsel, the Kansas City Club, the Forty Years Ago Club (President), the Vanguard Club of Kansas City, University of Kansas Law Alumni Association, and especially enjoyed more recently the members and events of the Civil War Round Table of Kansas City. He was often asked to speak to groups and students about various cases. Most frequently it concerned his involvement in the case that a book by Truman Capote was written – “In Cold Blood”. As a very new young lawyer, he spent time at the Lansing Prison interviewing his firm’s client – Perry Edward Smith, who ended up being “hanged by the neck until dead”, which at the time was still the law in Kansas.
In addition to his many professional accomplishments, Roger enjoyed managing and coaching his sons and others in the sports of baseball and football. To those ends he spent many years with the Johnson County 3&2 Baseball organization managing youth teams, serving as President of 3&2 and also as President of their foundation. He later became President of the Johnson County Football Youth organization while coaching his sons. Several of the teams won league or city championships. He also served as President of the All Sports Booster Club at Shawnee Mission East High School.
Roger was an avid reader all his life. He enjoyed reading anything about history (with a special interest in the Civil War) and has acquired an impressive book collection. He was also a huge fan of anything to do with Jayhawks and KU sports and has had season football tickets (since 1963!) and basketball tickets. Saw KU win the Final Four in 2008 and the Orange Bowl the same season. Saw the Nittany Lions edge KU when we had 12 men on the field in 1968! Huge KC Chiefs and Royals fan also! Regularly attended KC Rep shows, JCCC and Theater League performances.
Enjoyed taking numerous walking trips with Judy to Europe: England, Ireland, Wales, France, Italy and Sicily; plus Summer trips in a station wagon with 3 active sons in the back - long before seat belts and computer games. He thought it was important to show our sons parts of American History – Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Badlands, Great Sand Dunes, Mesa Verde, Canyon de Chelly, Yellowstone Park, the Tetons, Battle of the Little Big Horn to name a few. Fortunate to take many trips to great resorts, beaches and cities, both foreign and domestic in connection with the American College of Trial Lawyers.
He is survived by his wife Judith Duncan Stanton of the home. Sons: Jeffrey Blake Stanton & his wife Sarah Hannah Stanton Overland Park, Kansas and their children Kathryn (Stephen Nichols), Duncan Andrew and George Charles (Charlie); Brady Duncan Stanton (deceased 2006) and his children Henry Thomas and Peterson Quinn and their mother Martha Anstoetter, Leawood, Kansas; and Todd Andrew Stanton of Los Angeles, CA. Cousins: Dale Stanton, Orlando,FL. And Barbara Heier, Wayne, NE. And his devoted kitties Boo and Tommy Tuxedo who doted on sleeping on his chest or waking him up in the morning by walking near his head.
Special thanks to loving Care Givers for Roger: KyNishia Moss, Asmine Shitindi, Lucille Woods, Mary O’Sullivan & Danielle Rose.
A Remembrance Service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, April 2, 2022, at Old Mission United Methodist Church, 5519 State Park Rd., Fairway, KS. Reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks to please send memorial contributions to benefit the Brady Stanton Pancreatic cancer research fund at the KU Cancer Center in care of KU Endowment at 3901 Rainbow Blvd., Mail Stop 3012, Kansas City, KS 66160. On-line contributions may be made at www.kuendowment.org/give . Please indicate that donations are for the Roger Stanton memorial.
This service will be streamed: https://vimeo.com/689797269/95c2e63944 .