August 21, 1950 ~ June 3, 2022

Born in: Durham, NC
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Douglas Paul Stanley passed away June 3, 2022, at CarePartners Solace Center.

Doug the son of the late Dr. Gordon and Mrs. Carolyn Stanley, was born in Durham, NC. He grew up in Sanford, FL.

Education history included: UF-BS Zoology; UCF-BS Physics; FSU-MS Theoretical Nuclear Physics, Phd. Theoretical Nuclear Physics:; Harvard Wharton – Litton Executive Education Program. Then he taught himself lasers. He was a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and Sigma Xi-The Scientific Research Honor Society. His professional career spanned 34 years from university to Litton Laser Systems which later became Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems/Laser Systems.

Retiring to Asheville in 2014, he participated in Leadership Asheville Seniors and OLLI. He enjoyed photography and loved everything about living in the mountains. He was active in the Fairview Area Art League, and the Indian Falls Homeowners Association.

He is survived by his wife, Linda Vaughan Stanley; son, Gordon Paul Stanley; daughter-in-law, Erin Stanley; granddaughter, Daria Stanley; sister, Patricia Stanley Preston; brother-in-law, Bruce Preston; and niece, Paige Preston.

A Celebration of Life will be held Sunday June 12 at 2:00 pm. at the Groce Funeral Home, 856 Tunnel Road, Asheville, NC.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Food for Fairview, Asheville Humane Society, or Manna Food Bank.


Celebration of Life: June 12, 2022 2:00 pm

Groce Funeral Home on Tunnel Road
856 Tunnel Rd.
Asheville, NC 28805


Room: Chapel

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  1. Tribute to Dr. Douglas P. Stanley

    It is with great sadness and loss that we acknowledge the passing of Doug Stanley (age 72). Doug
    was a great friend with whom we shared the love of optics and lasers. He played a critical role in the
    nurturing of CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida (UCF).
    Doug, with his Ph.D. from Florida State University and his first baccalaureate degree from the
    University of Florida, was a loyal Knight, having earned his B.S. in Physics at the University of Central
    Florida (UCF). His long career in Orlando at Litton Lasers, now Northrop Grumman Laser Systems,
    certainly made UCF his hometown university. M.J. Soileau (founding Director of CREOL) and his
    wife Cheryl have fond memories of cheering the Knights on with Doug and his wife Linda in what
    was then the Citrus Bowl. Doug’s LinkedIn page shows the one university he was following was UCF.
    As Chief Technology Officer at Northrop Grumman Corporation, he led the establishment of
    educational and research programs in what is now CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics, one
    of the top such programs in the world. His leadership afforded us the opportunity to demonstrate
    success in two of our major goals for the new organization: research partnership with industry, and
    providing an educated workforce for Florida’s laser and optics industries. Doug hired and mentored
    many of our graduates, was instrumental in the establishment of the Litton Lasers Endowment (now
    Northrop Grumman Fellowship) that continues to help us attract the best students to the program.
    Our biggest impressions of Doug include his smile, friendliness, and his scientific and management
    skills needed to translate university research results into successful production within a large
    aerospace corporation. He provided great service to CREOL/UCF on our Industry Advisory Board and
    to Florida industry through his service on the Board of the Florida Photonics Cluster.
    More recently, MJ and Cheryl enjoyed seeing Doug’s wonderful photography of his and Linda’s
    retirement home in the Mountains of North Carolina, especially the fall colors and the winter snows.

    And of course, there were the bears, on the porch, in the fountain, stealing bird food, etc. And the
    Stanley home defended by Super Dog Thistle!

    We and all of us at CREOL offer our condolences to Doug’s family. He was taken from us too soon.

    David J. Hagan
    Dean & Director, Pegasus Professor of Optics & Photonics

    M.J. Soileau
    Distinguished Professor of Optics & Photonics

    Eric W. Van Stryland
    Emeritus Dean and Professor of Optics & Photonics

  2. I was sorry to see this news. My prayers and blessings are sent to his wife and family. He was a wonderful friend when we were in high school. May his memory fill your hearts when you miss him.

  3. Blessings to your family. May you find peace in your memories. I went to Seminole High School with Doug. He was a wonderful guy.

  4. I will always remember growing up with you and the canoe trip we took where the snake fell on us. You were a wonderful man and will be missed dearly.

  5. Doug was one of my older Stanley cousins. I always looked up to him, and he was a roll model as I grew up. I was delighted to reconnect with him in my later years sharing family stories and genealogy. My wife Diane and I enjoyed his company at our reunions. Bruce H. Stanley, Doug’s Uncle Harold’s son.

  6. Doug was always one of the smartest, if not the smartest, people in the room. His direct, honest approach to conversations and discussions was not always appreciated, yet I found it to be refreshing in an environment that favors “yes” men and women. His intellect went beyond the Laser and Optics fields. I thoroughly enjoyed working with him and learning from him at Litton Laser/Northrop Grumman Laser Systems.


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