Grandpa Stanfield passed away this weekend at his home in California, and, as anyone who participated in the Great Race even once before about 2005 can tell you, he loved the event. And he loved people. And he loved cars. He was the kind of guy the Great Race is all about.
I got to thinking when I heard the news this weekend about the times Grandpa helped me fix a problem with my car on the race. And I got to thinking about the times when I would try to shake his hand to thank him for his help but he would hug me instead. The first time he helped me and hugged me he didn’t even know my name. It didn’t matter to Grandpa Stanfield – he would help and hug everyone. Someone already said in an email that there are a lot more hugs in heaven today, and that is so true.
I also got to thinking when I heard of his passing that I didn’t even know his first name – he was always “Grandpa” Stanfield to everyone. I learned only today that it was Wayne.
Most of you know the Stanfield family has been a huge part of the Great Race from Day One. Grandpa Stanfield’s son, Wayne, entered the very first event in 1983 and went on to win five times in the first 20 years. Wayne’s wife, Terri, handled the travel arrangements for the race for many years, and their daughter, Rebecca, competed several times. Grandpa’s wife, Barbara, passed away a couple of years ago.
A neighbor and friend of four decades has written a nice piece about Grandpa and the link is below for anyone interested.