Ralph W. Stanley Death – Cause of Death – Master Boatbuilder Ralph W. Stanley, has passed away. He died in December 2021. Stanley was the recipient of a 1999 NEA National Heritage Fellowship, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. He earned an associate’s degree from Ricker Junior College in Houlton, Maine, and returned to Southwest Harbor to pursue his career in building boats. Stanley became interested in boat-building during his high school years.
Reports states that during the winter of 1951-1952, Stanley earned the money to buy locally available wood and other construction materials and built a 28-foot lobster boat. The boat was a huge success and was purchased by a local person. After that, orders for other boats grew. There was a one-hour documentary titled Ralph Stanley – An Eye for Wood, which tells the story of the Ralph Stanley.
The funeral arrangements and obituary will be released by the family of Stanley at a later date.
Nat’l Endow f/t Arts said in a tweet; “It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the passing of Master Boatbuilder Ralph W. Stanley, recipient of a 1999 NEA National Heritage Fellowship, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.”