BILOXI -- Biloxi businessman and artisan Stanley Dellenger was many things to many people, but all in all, he was "pure Biloxi," Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich said.
Dellenger, 83, died Tuesday. He had been diagnosed with cancer four weeks earlier.
"A tremendous guy," Gilich said. "He loved Biloxi. He loved the families of Biloxi. He was pure Biloxi."
Dellenger was a master sheet metalist who worked on many of the city's landmark buildings, including the Tullis-Toledano Manor. He owned and operated a business that bore his name and celebrated its 50th anniversary in September 2014. He enjoyed working with copper in particular.
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Dellenger was a founding member of the Biloxi Bacon Brigade, also known as the Mullet Brigade. It's a group of fishermen who for years have caught mullet and fried them for special events and groups such as the Air Force Blue Angels.
Aside from his work, Dellenger had two passions at different stages of his life, said his wife, Mary Evelyn Anglada Dellenger.
In his younger years, it was being a Little League coach and team sponsor. The kids knew him as "Mr. Stanley."
"He always quit work at four and drove his truck around town to pick up the kids whose fathers were too busy," his wife said. "He took them to practices and games and drove them back home."
Later, even recently, his passion was fishing for speckled trout in Graveline Bayou with his fishing buddies and his grandchildren.
The couple had been married 64 years.
Mary Evelyn said they fell in love in the seventh grade. He was an altar boy and she sang in the church choir. She said she's not surprised her husband had a successful career and a positive effect on others.
"He was an entrepreneur from way back," she said. "As a child, he shined shoes, used the money to buy a bicycle and threw newspapers at Keesler Field when it was nothing but pup tents."
Stanley Dellenger served in the Navy two years after graduating from Notre Dame High. He played semi-pro baseball and organized softball and basketball for 20 years.
He was a lifelong member of Nativity BVM Cathedral and a member of royalty in several Carnival seasons.
'Played hard, worked hard'
"He played hard, prayed hard and worked hard," said Mathew Dellenger, one of his four children. "He taught us good values, how to be role models and better parents."
Mathew Dellenger said he will remember his father for his sage advice, sense of humor and his insistence that family be together for holidays and for each family member's birthday.
Stanley Dellenger had remained active in several organizations, including the Biloxi Business Men's Club. Biloxi's mayor said he often sat with him at the meetings and enjoyed spending time with him after work at the Slavonian Lodge.
"I enjoyed his stories and the camaraderie," Gilich said. "He was a master at his art form and a real great guy."