Stand for Stan

It is with deep regret that this is shared with you… 

John Stanard “Stan” Bronson, Jr., born July 19, 1928, died January 9, 2018 at his home in Legacy Estates, Memphis, Tennessee. Stan finished a big breakfast, as was his custom, then settled in for a morning nap and mercifully passed in his sleep. He had a full life and touched the lives of an incalculable number of people; friends and family. He will be remembered for the warmth of his smile and the effusive greeting he always offered: “how you?”
Stan Bronson was born with mental and physical handicaps that his parents, John Sr. and Irma Howard Bronson, worked hard to help him overcome. Everyone that knew him would testify that he certainly transcended his limitations and then some. Diagnosed at age 21 with an I Q of 47, Stan accomplished more than most, eventually achieving an honorary degree from the University of Memphis.
Stan’s relationship with the University began in 1958. After a short, unsuccessful stint with the athletic department at Rhodes College, Stan’s mother introduced him to Spook Murphy, the baseball coach at (then) Memphis State, hoping to get Stan into the program. Murphy responded that he had no money to pay for a new hire. Stan famously replied, “don’t need money, just need a job”. He became the Tiger’s batboy and continued for 56 years. He is recognized in the Guinness Book of Records as “The Most Durable Batboy”.
Stan became a fixture at the University of Memphis. After trudging the mile or so up Central Avenue he would begin each school day with a tour of the campus, shouting his signature “how you?” to his friends in the student body. As classes commenced, he sat in the library to “study” until lunch time. The University provided his meals at the Tiger Den. Afternoons would find him on the baseball field if it was in season. Stan was a cheerleader for all the University sports teams — especially the lady’s — but the baseball program was always his primary allegiance. He continued as batboy through many coaching changes until finally, under Coach Schoenrock, his number was retired.
Stan had a lawn mowing business that he ran from his home on Marne Street near Central Avenue in the off season. He could be spotted dragging his rusty power mower and carrying a gas can through the neighborhood all during the hot, steamy months of summer. He was indefatigable, always determined to be productive — and he liked to make a little money.
Stan is survived by his good friend and nephew, Eric Matheson, Eric’s wife Glenda and their children, Sean, Catherine (Corkran) and Emily (Winn) along with a vast collection of devoted Howard cousins, beginning with Katherine Howard, including Stephen, Julie (Pabst) and Beth (Skalish). His dearest cousin, Clarence Howard, Jr., proceeded him in death several years earlier.
Stan is loved by the community of Memphis and he loved them right back. He leaves us with a lesson in life, among other things, that no person need be defined by their limitations.
A memorial celebration of his life is being planned for February 16th, opening day for Tiger Baseball, at FedEx Park at 1 p.m. Efforts are underway to establish an athletic scholarship in Stan Bronson’s name.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery, 5668 Poplar Ave. Memphis, TN 38119 (901)767-8930 “Celebrating Life… Behind the Stone Wall”.

Update on Stan from his cousin:

John Stanard Bronson, better known as “Stan” Bronson, the most famous and
enduring batboy in collegiate sports history (or any other sports history) turned 89 last
July. Stan has been living at St. Peter Manor on Auburndale in Memphis for several
years. He has been receiving assistance a few hours a day from Homecare by Wesley
and naturally made some good friends among his caregivers.
Last week, after a visit to the barber, provided, as usual, by his long time
friend and supporter, Stan came down with a bit of pneumonia and was transported to
Methodist Central Hospital. He recovered with amazing speed and all reports were
excellent. His nurse referred to him as “the sweetest man; he just wanted me to turn to
channel five, then asked me to turn the lights out so he could sleep, otherwise he’s not
a bit of trouble”.
It seems because of his age that Stan will require a bit more care. He will be moving
temporarily to Grace Cordova Healthcare facility in Germantown for a few weeks of
rehabilitation to get his strength back and then on to Assisted Living, also in
Germantown, to take up residence in an environment providing the higher level of care
he now requires.
Nevertheless, Stan soldiers on. He still loves the University of Memphis and everyone
he matriculated with or with whom he played sports. His list of supporters and friends
is endless and as enduring as his term as “Batboy” for the University of Memphis. His nephew, Eric
Matheson continues to visit regularly and keeps him up to date on the activities at U of M.

If you have a moment, say a little prayer for my dear cousin. He may not require it — he
seems pretty well situated with his God — but he will appreciate it.
S.M. Howard

Because of your amazing and ongoing financial support, Stan has transitioned beautifully to his new home at Wesley Living’s St. Peter Manor. His smile is a fine indicator that he has found “home” and is settled comfortably. Please accept this heartfelt, “Thank you” from Stan!

Generations of Memphis Tigers have had their lives touched by the lovable “Stan” walking around campus or attending sporting events. His always visible huge smile and his warm greeting that would brighten almost any day!

For over 50 years, students at the University of Memphis have been blessed by the warmth and friendliness of Stan Bronson. His cheerful demeanor has been a welcome break from the challenges of campus life for many decades. Stan “The Man” Bronson is a treasured fixture around Tiger baseball, receiving a Guinness World record for the “most durable baseball batboy”. Over the course of 55 years, Stan played in approximately 2,353 games with the Tigers making him a literal “living legend” on the U of M campus. On April 25, 2010 Stan’s jersey was retired and is displayed on the right field wall of FedEx Park.