Arnold Stansley, Colonial Downs’ Original Principal Owner, Passes Away at 84.

Arnold Stansley, who put together a group in the mid 90’s that was awarded Virginia’s sole pari-mutuel racetrack license, passed away last week at the age of 84. 

Columbus, OH — Arnold William Stansley, 84, of Sylvania, Ohio, died April 21, 2017, after losing his seven-year battle with ALS.

He was born June 16, 1932, in Sylvania, to Peter and Grace Stansley. He was a successful businessman with many different business interests throughout his life, but his life revolved around family.

As such, he partnered with his brother, Richard, in the trucking and excavating business (Sylvester Materials); partnered with his brother-in-law and sister, Jack and Cheri Lenavitt, in a salvage yard (AJ’s Auto) as well as mutual ownership of several racetracks (Raceway Park, Trinity Meadows and Colonial Downs).

His love for horses was evident from an early age and it kept him involved in training and racing horses much of his life. He partnered with the aforementioned as well as his cousin, Chuck Sylvester, in the ownership, training and racing of Standardbreds.

Mr. Stansley had a passion for being “on the road.” One of his favorite pastimes was traveling around in his bus, often taking family members and many others to different destinations both near and far.

He is survived by his loving wife, Georgia “Jeanne;” sons, Arnold Jr., Mark (Michele) and Brett (Holly); stepsons, Jeff and Todd Walasinski; grandchildren, Alicia (Mike Hollifield), Samantha (Ali) Merhi, Mario, Chad (Tricia) Walasinski, David (Shannon) Walasinski, Danny Walasinski, Dominic, Mackenzie, Matthew, Mitchell and Ashton Utz; great-grandchildren, Hydar Merhi, Zeynab Merhi, Sebastian, and Kara Walasinski; sister, Cheri (Jack) Lenavitt; brother, Richard (Darlene); and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his stepdaughter, Laura Walasinski.

Visitation will be held Friday (April 28) from 4-8 p.m. at Reeb Funeral Home, 5712 Main St., Sylvania, Ohio. A funeral mass will be held Saturday (April 29) at Little Flower Catholic Church at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at Ottawa Hills Memorial Park.

Memorial contributions may be made to the ALS Association of Northern Ohio, 6155 Rockside Rd. #403, Independence, OH 44131.