Stanley Craig Buchanan (April 1, 1950 – March 14, 2023)
In his daughter’s words, Stan Buchanan was "deeply serious and deeply silly man"—with a wry wit and a deep love of academia, family, cats, history, and physical fitness. He was also a quietly persistent man who faced multiple barriers in his life and pushed through them to achieve his dreams.
Born April 1, 1950, in San Francisco, Stan was adopted as an infant by Henry “Buck” and Lois Buchanan. He grew up in the Central Valley town of Manteca, where he excelled scholastically and lettered in high school track as a member of the cross-country team. As an English/History major at California Baptist College, he continued to run cross-country and also became involved in the new-to-America sport of soccer, eventually managing the college varsity team.
Graduating with honors from Cal Baptist in 1972, Stan parked cars for celebrities in Palm Springs and worked in a sugar mill before moving to Waco, Texas, in 1976 to follow his dream of higher education. (He didn’t know it at the time, but he was also there to meet future wife Anne.) While working on his Master of Public Policy and Administration degree and for years afterward, he held several government positions, gaining practical experience to supplement his academic knowledge. He also married Anne in 1981 and became the father of Elizabeth in 1986.
Still drawn to academia, Stan decided to pursue doctoral work in his early 40s. He completed his PhD in Political Science from the University of Tennessee Knoxville in 1997 and taught at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. In 2001 he moved to Terre Haute, Indiana, to join Indiana State University’s Department of Political Science. Promoted to Associate Professor in 2007, he also became Director of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, where he successfully managed the program’s transition to an online format, advising and instructing hundreds of MPA students who went on to successful careers throughout the state and nation. He served as chair of the Political Science Department from 2016 to 2020. He was a corecipient of the 2006 “Pollyprize” for developing an election forecasting model accurately predicting a Democrat Party takeover of the House of Representatives.
A DNA test in recent years helped Stan connect with members of his birth family and revived an old passion for genealogical research. Stan not only compiled extensive family trees for both his adoptive and biological families but assisted other in their research. When not working or researching, Stan could be found cycling the rail trails of the Midwest, poking around antiques shops, or simply sitting and reading in the company of one or more cats, often while drinking a comically oversized glass of iced tea.
Stan is survived by his wife, Anne Christian Buchanan, daughter Elizabeth Buchanan and son-in-law Noah Wright, sister Becky Duncan, sister-in-law Suzii Parsons (Joe), brother-in-law David Christian (Kim), nephews Jeremy Duncan (Cathy) and Elijah Parsons, nieces Savannah Christian, Sydney Christian, and Ella Parsons, great nieces Isabella and Katelyn Duncan, and cats Mungo and Mia. He would also want to recognize the members of his biological family he was able to meet in person or connect with online—sister Susan Maddock (Brian), first cousin Tom Francis (Charla), half-brother John Davis and nephew Joshua Davis, and the family of his late brother, James (Rita): Sarah Tidd (Chip), James Davis (Lori), and Jason Davis.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Hospice of the Wabash Valley, the Humane Society of Terre Haute, or the League of Women Voters of Vigo County, Indiana.
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