William Stanley (Stan or backward S.) Partridge, 88, of Mt Vernon, one of Mt. Vernon’s most prominent former city government leaders and benefactors passed away at 12:40 pm September 19, 2021 at Nature Trail Health Care Center.
He was born January 15, 1933 in his parent’s home on Meadow Brook Farm, now the site of Mt. Vernon Country Side Manor.
Stan attended Old Union and Williams Grade School, graduating from Mt. Vernon High School in 1950. Upon graduation he enlisted in the United States Navy, proudly serving as a Radar man 2nd Class aboard the Battleship – USS Iowa for four years during the Korean Conflict. For decades following his time of service he regularly attended the annual Iowa’s Ship Reunions around the country, including the ceremony of its dedication and opening as a maritime museum at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, California on July 4, 2012. Prior to his discharge in 1955, Stan married Sharon Lorraine Hughey, daughter of Frank and Theo Hughey, on March 19, 1954 at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. Their union was officiated by his father, the late Reverend Ross and Laura Partridge.
His wife, Sharon preceded him in death on November 15, 2011 and his brother, Melvin Ross Partridge on August 27, 2012.
Stan is survived by his four children and their spouses: Craig and Dorothy Partridge of Las Vegas, NV; a daughter Sara Partridge of Mt. Vernon; Susan and Dan Metz of Merit Texas; a son John of Mt. Vernon, sister-in law Beverly (Bryant) Partridge, of Mt. Vernon, and niece, Carol and Kevin Long of Lemay, Missouri.
Discharged from the Navy, Stan attended Barber College in Decatur, Illinois and barbered in “beautiful Downtown Dix” for the next 25 years, moving to the suburbs, the Austin building near Interstate 57 the last 10 years. No doubt his barbershop setting is where his ‘gift of gab’ first found its roots. A member of Logan Street Baptist Church, Stan also served as a deacon at Park Avenue and Pleasant Hill Baptist Church.
His awareness, initiatives and record of tending to those in need found its voice when elected to the Jefferson County Board in 1976. He served as its Chairman until 1982; then as member and eventual Chairman of the Greater Egypt Planning Commission from 1979 to 1982. But his election as Mt. Vernon Township Supervisor in 1981, a position he served for 27 years, is the position through which he had the greatest impact and influence on behalf of the disenfranchised of Mt. Vernon and Jefferson County. The securing of a multi-million dollar grant from the State of Illinois for water and sewer instillation, street improvement, and trash removal transformed the area known as ‘north town’ in Mt. Vernon. As Township Supervisor, one of his initial projects was working with the Illinois Department of Public Aid securing government surplus cheese for distribution. For this contribution to the community he earned the nickname ‘the Cheese man’ and recipient of the Governor’s Hometown Award. In 1996, while serving as Mt. Vernon Township Supervisor he was elected and served a two-year term as President of the Township Officials of Illinois. Coinciding with the creation of the Southern Illinois Food Warehouse, the first Food Pantry was established in Mt. Vernon at the corner of 12th and Casey Avenue.
Over the years, 55 Pantries sprang up across the Southern Illinois region regularly calling on the Warehouse. Hundreds of tons of food and other basic necessities were distributed to individuals and families throughout the region. Several churches in Mt Vernon continue the service with the assistance of Aldi’s, Kroger’s, other local grocers, and dozens of volunteers. Volunteer work with ‘Time for Christ Medical Ministries’ to remote areas of Mexico, two weeks each summer over an eight-year period held a special connection to him. The team comprised of nearly a hundred doctors, dentists and volunteers delivered a variety of services to the people of these regions, administering to between 3000 and 5000 individuals on each mission. Medical diagnosis, prescriptions, supplies, tooth extractions and surgeries, including surgeries for cleft palates were among the services provided. One story he particularly enjoyed telling was the administration of ‘his’ make shift eye exam. Women were given a needle and thread along with several pairs of reading glasses of different magnifications and asked to thread the needle. Once they could, his diagnosis complete, they were given the proper pair of reading glasses.
A Visitation will be held Thursday, September 23, 2021 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at Hughey Funeral Home in Mount Vernon, Illinois. Dad would say, “Glad you got to see me.” The Funeral Service will begin at 1:00 pm. followed by Interment at Mount Vernon Memorial Gardens in Woodlawn, Illinois. Memorials may be made in Stan’s honor to American Cancer Society, Time for Christ Medical Ministries or the food pantry at Park Avenue Baptist Church Call Hughey Funeral Home at 618-242-3348 or visit hugheyfh.com for further information.