ALTON - Stan McAfoos was a winner as a coach, teacher, and mentor, but also as a husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
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McAfoos died at the age of 78 back in July 2020 in Alton, but his legacy will not soon be forgotten. This past week, the Alton School Board and Superintendent Kristie Baumgartner, family, and friends dedicated Stan’s new house - West Gym now named after him.
Stan won a lot of basketball games in the West Gym, where Alton High School used to play. Stan won 290 basketball games as Alton’s head basketball coach. His Redbirds won six regional titles and he was the Illinois Basketball Association’s Coach of the Year in 1979 when his team went 23-3.
Stan’s players never forgot what he meant to them. Multiple players were back on the court this past week at West Gym for the dedication, remembering, and celebrating Stan.
Stan’s family said he was a “Redbird” always, attending school there, and starring in basketball from 1958 to 1960, then serving as a coach and retiring as an athletic director. One Alton coach said: “Stan never tooted his own horn. He was very quiet and that was his personality. I don’t think I ever saw him belittle anyone, he was just a gentleman most of the time. We all miss him.”
Stan married his wife, Edith, in 1965. They had two daughters, Marcy and Meme, and a son named Morgan. He also left behind five grandchildren, two brothers, Dwight and Wendel, and three sisters, Denise, Sue, and Lauren.
Edith said Stan did understand the secret of a successful marriage. Despite his busy coaching schedule year-round, she acknowledged that Stan found the proper balance to offset his work with his wife and family. For Stan, his wife and family were the rock on which he built everything else in his life, she said.
“Stan was very easy going and we were very different, they say opposites attract, but we had very similar values about family," Edith said. "He approached things much quieter than I did and had more of an easy-going personality.”
Stan loved sports, Edith said. She described him as not only a good basketball player, but a very good tennis player and baseball pitcher. “Stan loved tennis, too, and when he coached tennis at Lewis and Clark Community College, he was able to recruit a lot of talented local players.”
Edith said her greatest memory involved Stan and a swimming pool. "He wanted a swimming pool because he knew if he had one, his grandkids would be around him a lot.
“Stan just loved his family,” Edith said. “He was a great man, a great husband, father, and grandfather.”
Meme Evans, Stan’s daughter, followed his footsteps as an Alton teacher. Stan was so proud to see that legacy continued.
This past summer, Meme said it was such a loss for the family and was hard to put into words how much Stan meant to all of them.
“Although I find comfort in knowing we had similarities and skills in common, I can only hope I have raised my family the way he raised his and impact as many lives as he did as a teacher.”
Annie, Meme’s daughter, and Stan’s granddaughter said: “I can only think of the connections he made and the smiles he put on other people’s faces throughout his life.”
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