Cover photo for Sara Stanley's Obituary
Sara Stanley Profile Photo
1943 Sara 2024

Sara Stanley

July 31, 1943 — April 1, 2024

Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

Sara Ann Stanley, a pioneering figure in the world of theatre and academia, passed away on April 1, 2024, at the age of 80. She leaves behind a legacy of innovation, creativity, and dedication that will be remembered fondly by all who had the privilege of knowing her.

She was born in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, on July 31, 1943. Music and drama were always special interests of hers.  In junior and senior high she enjoyed many music and drama activities.  A favorite was a girls quartet called the Teen Tones.  The group sang for many clubs and organizations. As an adult, Sara embarked on a journey that took her from the heartland of America to the rugged landscape of Alaska and ultimately to the newly blossoming lands of Southern Alberta. After spending several years teaching in Alaska, Sara joined the University of Lethbridge, making her mark as the first female instructor in the Drama program.

Sara made history once again as the first female director in the mainstage series, breaking barriers and inspiring generations of aspiring artists. Her passion for theatre, coupled with her expertise in acting and movement, enriched the lives of countless students and colleagues during her decade and a half of tenure.

Among her notable achievements, Sara directed a wide range of productions, from her directing premier of John Murrel’s “Waiting for the Parade” in 1982, to her final play, Clive Endersby’s “Alice” in 1996. Her contributions to the performing arts community were not only groundbreaking but also deeply impactful, leaving an indelible mark on the cultural landscape of her newly adopted home.

Despite facing challenges of multiple sclerosis, Sara approached life with resilience and a relentless spirit. Though she retired earlier than expected due to her illness, Sara remained a beloved figure among her colleagues, who continued to honor her with regular visits and bouquets of flowers - - a fitting tribute to her enduring love for the theatre.

Sara now joins her parents George Myron and Zaida Zardatha (Ferree) Stanley, but leaves a void in the hearts of her loved ones, including her sister Mary Beth (Dick) Young of Mount Pleasant, two nephews and a closer circle of friends, students, and admirers. Yet, her spirit will live on through the countless lives she touched and the lasting impact of her contributions to the world of dramatic arts.

In true theatre fashion, Sara’s life was a masterpiece of passion, courage, and creativity. We know her memory will continue to inspire and uplift those who follow in her footsteps. May she rest in eternal peace, knowing that her legacy will endure for generations to come.

A memorial service will be held 11:00 a.m. Monday, April 22, 2024, at the First Presbyterian Church, in Mount Pleasant, Pastor Trey Hegar will officiate. Burial will be in the Forest Home Cemetery at a later date. The family will greet friends from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service. In lieu of flowers memorials can be made in Sara’s name to the Faculty of Fine Arts at or the Mount Pleasant Music Boosters. The Olson-Powell Chapel & Crematory is caring for Sara and her family. 
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sara Stanley, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, April 22, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Monday, April 22, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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