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Stanley E. “Smiley” Fletcher, 95, of Modesto, passed away on Monday, October 19, 2020, at St. John’s Hospital.

Stanley was born on March 27, 1925, the son of William and Nellie Fletcher. He married Norma Jean Brown on April 18, 1948.

He is survived by his daughter, Delores (Jerry) Patterson of Modesto. Granddaughters Miranda (Eric) Boston of Auburn; and Haylie (Ryan) Damhoff of Glenarm. Great grandsons Archer and JP of Auburn.

He was preceded in death by his parents and all his siblings: Marcella Fletcher, Mabel Murray, Marguerite Buxton, ClaraBelle Edmondson, Wanda Wellbrock, and Edward, Woodrow, Raymond, Billy and Robert Fletcher.

Stanley served his country in the Marines (WWII) from 1942-1946. He attended Aircraft Mechanic School and was crew chief on a C47. His mechanical talents allowed him to work on aircraft and submarine engines. After the military he worked at Fairbanks Morse in Beloit where he worked on locomotive and heavy-duty equipment before opening his own business, Fletcher’s Garage, Modesto, in 1949. Working was his passion and he remained at this business for 70 years.

In 1960 the Modesto Volunteer Fire Department was officially organized with Stanley as its first Fire Chief, serving in this capacity for many years. He was elected Mayor of Modesto serving 8 years. While Mayor he was instrumental in the planning and development of the area’s main water system (Terry Park Lake). He made many trips to Chicago and Washington DC to secure funding for the project under the Lyndon B. Johnson administration. Stanley also helped to get natural gas brought in for the village. He was contracted by local phone companies to install emergency generators for several substations, including Modesto.

He is a member of the Modesto United Methodist Church and the Palmyra Masonic Lodge #463 and is a 32nd Mason.

A visitation will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday (October 24, 2020) at Stults-Neece Chapel in Palmyra, Il. Masks and social distancing will be required for the visitation as per CDC and State of Illinois guidelines. Only a set number of attendees will be admitted to the chapel at one time. Funeral services will be private. Burial will be in Oak Grove Cemetery near Modesto with military rites conducted by Palmyra American Legion. Memorials may be to Modesto United Methodist Church c/o Stults-Neece Chapel, 349 Tanner St. Waverly, Il. 62692. Condolences may be sent to the family online at

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