Allan Jaynes Stanton, a 2nd-generation AZ native and lifelong resident, prolific father and longtime lobbyist, died in the early morning of Monday, March 9, 2020 with loving family by his side. Born to Filmore Stanton and Dorothy Jaynes in the eastern AZ mining town of Morenci on April 26, 1931 and raised in nearby Clifton, Allan excelled academically and athletically throughout his early years. His father Filmore and grandfather A.C. “Ike” Stanton, a state senator who represented the Phelps Dodge-dominated copper mines of Greenlee County, owned and operated a local ice plant and wholesale liquor business in which Allan often worked.
Allan lettered 16 times in sports at Clifton High, participating in football, baseball, track, basketball, and tennis. In ‘48 he was named Third-Team All-State football end and Class C tennis champ, as well as Class B tennis champ the following year, and was the recipient of the Bausch and Lomb Science Award.
He went on to study at the University of Arizona, being one of 22 AZ high school students awarded the James Baird scholarship, and earned a BA in liberal arts, political science and history. He was freshman class treasurer, senior class president, homecoming king, chairman of the student senate, winner of the distinguished Military Science Graduate Award as the outstanding Armor Cadet, and played basketball and football for four years.
As a result of his admiration for his cousin, UofA Hall of Famer Henry “Hank” Stanton, Allan had always been a defensive end. He needed his helmet and shoes to hit 170 lbs on the scale, but his fiery determination made up the difference. One day, after losing 41-0 to Texas Tech, he convinced Head Coach Bob Winslow to start him as QB, despite never having played the position. The very next game Allan ran and passed against New Mexico for over 490 yards, a school record only broken 45 years later in ‘96, and set several other school records as well. In ‘51 he was named an All-America honorable mention, but suffered a severe knee injury in his senior season that effectively ended his aspirations of playing professional football and ultimately steered him toward his future legal career.
After completing his undergraduate studies, Allan enrolled in UofA College of Law and attended one year while also coaching the university’s freshman basketball team before departing for the service. His military service with the armor branch was spent at the Armored Replacement Training Center at Fort Knox, primarily as a legal officer.
Allan was honorably discharged with the rank of Captain and returned to UofA law school to complete his studies, where he resumed coaching the freshman basketball team and also ran the servicemen’s center for the YMCA in Tucson. He graduated 1st in his law school class.
Allan would go on to become one of AZ’s top lobbyists with a career spanning nearly 50 years, representing a multitude of clients along the way such as the railroads, hospitals, developers, insurance companies, and others such as American Express, General Motors, 7-11, Robson Communities, and many more.
Allan was the chief architect of the revised property tax system for the legislature in the late 60s, and maintained an encyclopedic knowledge of tax law. Among his other treasured accomplishments was his contribution to the passing of the AZ Safety Belt Use Law, which saved many lives.
As a columnist once noted, his “open collars and short-sleeved shirts make him look more like a tourist than front man for some of the nation’s largest corporations.” This casual manner, however, belied Allan’s intense competitive drive which propelled him to both athletic success in his youth and professional success later in life. And despite the negative perception lobbying may have, Allan had a well-known reputation for integrity dating back to when he reported an apparent bribery attempt at the Arizona Corporation Commission in the 60s that triggered impeachment proceedings. He was honest and straightforward to a fault, and if he had an opinion, you were sure to hear it.
Allan was an avid athlete throughout his life, playing volleyball, handball, basketball, and tennis. Perhaps the only sport he didn’t excel in was golf, in which it’s rumored he set the record for farthest golf club throw. Coaching was another of Allan’s great joys. He coached for many years at every level from Little League and Pop Warner to high school football and college basketball.
He will be remembered for his unreserved kindness, boundless generosity, and legendary competitive spirit, as well as his parties, love of sweets (he would often take his homemade fudge to the Capitol), roses, and his pets. For better or worse, he always marched to the beat of his own drum.
A story published in the AZ Republic, paraphrased here, captures the character of Allan’s career: Allan Stanton once found himself on the same side of a case as the late Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who practiced law in Phoenix in the 50s and 60s. Stanton said Rehnquist was the best, most professional, most prepared lawyer he ever worked with. And also the most even-tempered. As opposed to Stanton, who was just as likely in his younger days to get in a fight during his noontime YMCA basketball games as he was to get a rebound. The case was being tried in the historic Yavapai County Courthouse in downtown Prescott. The attorney on the other side was known to hold a strong, intensely personal dislike for Stanton, and the feeling was mutual. At one point, during a break but in front of the judge, jury, and gathered onlookers, the opposing attorney approached the table where Stanton and Rehnquist were sitting and said, “Stanton, you are a (blankety-blank) liar!” He then wheeled around and headed for the door. Stanton shot to his feet. “What did you call me?” he said, followed by “I’m going to kick your (blank)!” Stanton forced his way round Rehnquist to give chase. Rehnquist, true to his nature, tried to restrain him by grabbing his coat. But Rehnquist’s chair had wheels, and Stanton towed the future chief justice halfway across the crowded courtroom before he was released. Stanton chased his quarry through the city but lost him in Whiskey Row. Returning to the courtroom, and suddenly feeling very remorseful about the whole incident, he threw himself on the mercy of the judge. The judge said, “I just have one question…Did you catch the son of a (blank)?”
He was a loving and loyal friend and family man, and is survived by a multitude of children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. A service will be held at a later date for family and close friends. Please see full obituary, share memories, or leave condolences at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com
We lost our patriarch this week with the death of our much loved Uncle Allan.
John Ryan Madajcyk
Loving grandson of a hugely alive giant as I remember his bright sunny smile as a child.He will forever be my hero and grandpa.I love you and my hearts goes out to all our family.
My sincere sympathy to the family of my dear friend, Allan. We shared the years of Kindergarten through college at the University of Arizona together and remained good friends.
I’m at a loss of words Grandpa. I have never admired any man, ever, as much as I did you. I’m beyond grateful if anything that your brilliant memory is restored to you where you are. I will for the rest of my life miss writing letters to you. I wasn’t able to do that with you for quite some time , but I carried the time I did, for my whole life. I will never be able to put into words what you meant to me… but I have and never will have more respect for a man than I did you. I admired you to the ends of the earth, I so looked forward to being able to spend time with you. I will remember you until my last breath and I hope you know how much you are missed. I’ve even tried to make an impact in your name, really regarding my mom, since you’ve been gone, Bc I Truly care so much for both of you . I hope you know that. I will remember you until the day I die and love you with my whole heart. I hope you’re at peace Grandpa and so look forward to the day I see you again
Adam & Jaymee Nienberg & Family
Uncle Allan will be missed by so many. What a good man he was. Our condolences to Marcia, Gray, Cole & Drew.
Sending Hugs and prayers from Ohio.
Allan Stanton taught me a life lesson when he was my little league coach at Madison Meadows. I was playing catcher and made all three outs one inning by throwing out runners trying to steal second base. As I was coming back to the dugout, feeling pretty good about myself, Coach Stanton stopped me and loudly told me my throws to second were to high and he and I knew I could do better. To this day that lesson has taught me we can always improve and to never rest on your past accomplishments.
My thoughts and prayers are with the Stanton family.
Jack W Lunsford
A colleague, a mentor, a friend at the Arizona Legislature, Allan. You helped teach this newly appointed, youngest County Assessor in state history all about our property tax system. The foundation you gave me propelled me into a level of property tax expertise few have enjoyed, launching next steps in my career. But more importantly, your integrity, honor, & class became the standard to which every lobbyist should aspire, and it’s one I use as my guide. For all of that, merely I say: thank you! And to your family, please allow Allan’s memory to be a blessing to all of you. It will be for me.
Barbara Ridlon Gilpin
To the family of Allen I send my condolences. We both graduated from Clifton High School and remained good friends throughout our lives. In the 43 years I owned my own business Allen helped me several times when I had a problem with the tax laws in Arizona. He was a great friend and a good man.
Allan always had a hug and a kind word for everyone. He was intelligent and interesting which made him a great person to converse with. He was also generous and would make fudge and pina coladas to share with others. He truly was a great man. Allan you will be missed but we’ll see you on the other side.
This man will truly be missed. His influence goes far and beyond family members. Every time you put a seat belt on in Arizona, his hands were in it. Every time you pass by the country club, his hands were in it, Every time you pass thru downtown Phoenix, state capital, he had his hands in it. When you think about U of A, he had his hands in it. And so many more stories we never heard about When I was growing up we spent a lot of time with him and when you were with him, you felt like he can take on any problem and win. His advice was sought out by many. If he couldn’t do something for you he was the kind of man that would put you in front of someone who could and follow up to make sure it was done. That type of attitude is missing in our society today. From the Connie Hawkins dinners, to making sure my brother would get into the navy via John McCain. Every time he would visit me always putting money in my hand along with a pocket knife (which I still have a couple lol). If he said something, you knew he was going to do it. I honestly believe he was taken from us a couple of years ago when he was struck with a nasty thing called Alzheimer’s. Two days before he passed, I was blessed to see Marcia and his sons. I prayed and asked God that night to swiftly bring closure and let the healing of broken hearts began. Closure does not mean to forget about him but it’s the exact opposite. Remember you only get one shot at this life, we learn by mistakes, when you fall, get back up. Don’t wait till someone dies to say your peace, say it now. Let go of bitterness and go pay someone’s bills like my grandpa would’ve done. Live by the code that says don’t bring someone a fish today so they can eat tonight but buy them a fishing pole and teach them to fish so they can be successful in life Go above and beyond in Jesus name. Faith up !!
Thoroughly respected Allan both professionally and athletically. There was no more gifted athlete. Many memorable tennis games at Phoenix CC with Allan and Connie Hawkins.
I did not know this special man but wish I could have! I happened upon his obit. in the March 15 Az.
Republic. It made me laugh until I cried. His antics remind me of my own Dad, gone 19 years now.
Kind, feisty as hell, smart, friend to all. My sincere thank you to the author of this awesome tribute.
Putting on my seatbelt will never again be without a chuckle!
God bless all of you. It seems God did the same when he made this man part of your lives!
Allan was a leader, incredible lobbyist, and example to me of a friend in deed. I cherish having known him, and would love to have thanked him for all he has gifted, and done. The world of lobbyists needs more of his honest passion, and commitment to his friends.