Molly Stanley

Molly Frances Deiter Stanley passed away peacefully in her sleep on March 20th, 2019 in Canton, Mo.


She was born in Fulton Mo., on August 4th, 1943 with Dr. Henry Durst serving as the attending physician. He would later help her deliver her three sons in the same hospital.


She grew up in Wellsville, Mo and attended Central Methodist University in Fayette, Mo. After graduating from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, Molly married Joe D. Holt of Fulton, with whom she had three sons. They divorced in 1982. She then married Bert Stanley and traveled across America, finally settling in Canton, Mo. She was a retired Missouri Public School teacher who spent her career teaching English Literature, Publications, and Journalism.


Bert and Molly traveled the world together, by train or car and ALWAYS on the “blue highways” so they could enjoy the ride. After they both retired from Missouri public schools, they moved about the United States living and teaching in Gordon, Nebraska, Colgate, Oklahoma & Gallup, New Mexico. Bert passed away in 2014.  Now the two are together again in the hereafter, as they had made plans to meet in the waters of Scapa Flow in the northern regions of the United Kingdom. 


Molly grew up working with her beloved brother Dan and parents Frances and Duffy in the Wellsville Optic-News in Wellsville, Mo. and developed a life time love of newspapers and correcting grammar errors wherever she found them, sometimes to the detriment of everyone around her. She taught a variety of classes at Fulton High School in the ‘60’s, 70’s, and ‘80s and cherished every minute of her time there. She loved educating and working with other teachers, parents, and children of the community.


Molly was active in the P.E.O., and was due to receive her Sisterhood pin commemorating 50 years of service this year, and donated much of her free time to educating the youth in whatever community she found herself in. She was known for her fondness of black coffee, filter-less cigarettes, anything British (especially dime store novels written by Ellery Queen or Agatha Christie) and was a renowned conversationalist. She was also a formidible bridge player.


She will be missed by her friends Jeannie O., Sandra D., and Peggy whom she’s known since First Grade. In addition, she will be missed by her friends from college, Fulton, and Indian Creek; Anne S., Molly V., and Marsha R. who’ve been with her through thick and thin and helped raise her rambunctious boys. Molly never met a garage sale she didn’t like, and loved to go with her girlfriends Elaine G., Patti M., and Lois B. to help them find “the good stuff” she re-located to her attic or garage. The backdoor to her house was always open to anyone who wanted to drink some coffee or just spend a few minutes with her. 


She is survived by her three sons; Ned C. Holt who is married to Hyun Sook Holt, Daniel P. Holt who is married to Kellie Baysinger-Holt, and Phillip D. Holt who is married to Kanokthip Nilsri. Also surviving is her brother Daniel Woods Deiter (Betty) of Montgomery City and his children Angela (Tom), Marc (Vicki) and Gretchen (Kevin). She is also survived by her granddaughter, Chloe Minch-Ruffin (Jonathan). She loved Bert’s children dearly; Toni Ratican (William), Kay Nichols-Dixon (Gary), Sara Barnett (Bruce), and Mark Stanley (Cindy).  She was “Grandma Molly” to their children and was always thrilled to meet the newest great-grandchild.


She was preceded in death by her mother, Frances Deiter, and father, Charles “Duffy” Deiter, as well as her husband, Bert Stanley.


In lieu of flowers please send a donation to the ACLU in her name at


A celebration of her life was held at the First Presbyterian Church of Fulton on March 30. Her ashes were scattered at a private ceremony afterwards.


Montgomery Standard

115 W. Third St.
PO Box 190
Montgomery City, MO 63361

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