Category Archives: People

Mike Standley 1928-2020

Mike Standley died last month.  What appears below his photo is the nomination of both Mike and Caroline Standley for the 2015 Medfield Foundation Volunteer Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award written by Richard DeSorgher.  And indeed, the Stanley’s were awarded that 2015 Medfield Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.

I first met Mike when our service on the Zoning Board of Appeals overlapped, later we worked together on the Friends of the Dwight-Derby House, Inc., and he eventually recruited me as part of a crew he had assembled, to build a section of the Bay Circuit Trail behind the Wheelock School.  Mike had strong opinions about open space, all things historical, and what he regarded as proper design.  From the trail building I also recall that he had loppers with the longest handles I ever saw – for all the more leverage – and it seemed appropriate that Mike would have the ultimate tool. I believe I am correct that it was because of Mike’s aesthetic preference that no canopy was ever permitted to be built over any gas pumps in Medfield.

Mike’s obituary can be found here –

The following was from Richard DeSorgher’s submission of his 2015 nomination – “I am nominating the Standleys as a couple, not as an individual, for throughout their long marriage, they have been one unit; where you saw one, you saw the other. As a life-long resident of Medfield, I know of no other couple, who together, have done so much for the town of Medfield, and they do so without fanfare or publicity. In each of the 13 different town boards and commissions they have served on (not to mention the many private and non-profit boards), they have contributed in extraordinary ways that have impacted the town. They did not just serve on these boards and committees, they led them.
They are a class-act in every sense of the word. Medfield would not be Medfield today without the Standleys.”

Mike Standley

Carolina Standley grew up in Kentucky and Burgess in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts. Burgess served his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was in the same troop as Medfield’s former police chief, Bill Mann. From Bill Mann he heard about a beautiful place called Medfield, Massachusetts. After their marriage Caroline and Burgess moved to a rented house on Remsen Avenue. In 1954 Burgess and Caroline Standley moved from their rented 10 Remsen Avenue house into the caretaker’s cottage, which they purchased from the breakup of the former McElwain estate on 75 Elm Street. The barn on the grounds of Holiday Farm had been moved to the rear of the caretaker’s cottage and was part of the Standley’s 40-acre property, called 75 Elm Street. Here the Standleys settled, raised a family and became two of the most respected citizens in town.

Clearly no one fits Thomas Jefferson’s description of the “active citizen” more than Caroline and Burgess, known by almost everyone as Mike. For 61 years, the Standleys have given their heart and soul to the town of Medfield. Between the two of them, they have served on the Library Board, Planning Board, Historical Commission, Historical Society, Historic District Commission, Master Plan Implementation Committee, Medfield State Hospital Reuse Committee, Medfield State Hospital Preservation Committee, Town Hall Renovation Committee, Conservation Commission, Open Space Planning Committee, Long Range Planning Committee, Committee to Evaluate Senior Tax Work Off Program, and Zoning Board of Appeals. They have been the driving force, and I mean the driving force, behind every, and I mean every, piece of open space purchased by the town. Of special impact were their efforts for the town obtaining all the Noon Hill property, which is an invaluable treasure of over 400 acres of conservation land, forest and trails now under town and Trustee control. Their efforts in saving the Charles River flood plain and having it turned over to the Army Core of Engineers has also turned out to be an invaluable treasure for the town of Medfield and an ecological bonus and flood protection for the City of Boston and all the towns down river from Medfield. The Army Core purchase included all the lands along the Charles River that pass through Medfield.

They have been vocal participants at every town meeting since 1954, and have been in the forefront in trying to save Medfield’s historical character, including the purchase of the Dwight-Derby House. Mike was the first chairman of the Dwight-Derby Committee, Inc., both were instrumental in having the town save our oldest house and what we believe to be the 20th oldest house in the United States. They have been a leading force behind charities more numerous to list and active participants with the Trustees of Reservation.

As active members of the Medfield Historical Society, they have opened up their home for socials, fundraisers, programs and on a special occasion to host the donors of the Richard C. Derby donations. Richard C. Derby was killed in the Battle of Antietam during the Civil War and, a collector finding his pistol, diary and other written material, brought it from North Carolina to Medfield and presented it as a gift to the Society. The Standleys opened their home for a spectacular “thank you dinner” for the donors and Medfield history buffs.

Five years after moving into the caretaker’s cottage and with a growing family, they secured an architect from Boston’s Royal Barry Wills Associates to enlarge and preserve the caretaker’s cottage. The result was the addition of two bookend sections on each side of 1910 caretaker’s cottage. Mike and Caroline personally hand planted 1000 trees on the property; 500 Red Pines and 500 Spruces. Today, almost 61 years later, those trees provide an ecological forest that abuts the town’s water wells. The barn has been preserved and converted into a guest house, garage and loft office space. They have placed their property in a conservation trust, so the land around our water wells will always stay in a natural state; financial loss to the Standleys but ecological gain for the residents of Medfield

Through their care and with Caroline personally mowing all of the lawn and extensive open grassland, the once rustic caretaker’s cottage has been transformed into a beautiful home on a breathtaking setting; Medfield’s own Monticello, cared for by a couple who have had a positive impact on the town in so many areas; an impact that has made our town a better place in which to live and an impact that will benefit future generations of Medfield residents.

An appreciation of our town employees

town seal

An appreciation for a job well done

I have been thinking this morning about the Town of Medfield employees who provide we residents with the services that allow our lives to continue with as much semblance of normalcy as possible at all times, but most especially in these truly unsettling circumstances we are currently experiencing. Our water goes on, public safety continues to serve us, the Transfer Station even added Sunday openings, and all the town government systems continue to function, if behind a digital curtain, all so that we residents can continue our lives.

The town employees are providing essential services, so while they likely share the same unease that envelopes us all, they continue to work their jobs.  I wanted to publicly share with the Town of Medfield employees my sincere appreciation for their efforts  and to thank them.

I am extremely appreciative of what all the town employees are doing now, working under difficult circumstances – I want to let them all know just how much this one resident, one who tries hard to observe closely the functioning of the town government so as to understand it as well as possible, truly appreciates what our team of town employees are accomplishing for we residents.

Join the Angel Run team!


The Medfield Foundation’s Angel Run is seeking individuals to assist with the following parts of the annual family friendly race in December, to work with seasoned volunteers:

  • Marketing co-chair
  • Post Race Party co-chair

Join the team, share the fun, and do some good for your hometown!

Email to with interest.

angel run runners


Office hours this Friday

office hours sign

Selectman Office Hours this Friday

I hold regular monthly office hours at The Center on the first Friday of every month from 9:00 to 10:00 AM and will be there this Friday.

Residents are welcome to stop by to talk in person about any town matters.

Residents can also have coffee and see the Council on Aging in action (a vibrant organization with lots going on). I can be reached via 508-359-9190 or this blog.


Please note the numbered Post-Its on the sign above, which were created after one Ralph Parmigiane yelled at me one month for taking too long talking with someone when “people were waiting” to talk with me.  I had not been aware that Ralph was waiting to talk with me, but the issue he raised was real, so I added “Ralph’s numbers” so I could be aware when people were waiting.  In perfect Ralph fashion (loud, brusque, opinionated, but lovable) he made what I was doing better.  I will miss him.

Ralph’s wake is tomorrow evening from 4-8 PM at Roberts Mitchell Caruso Funeral Home and the funeral is a graveside service w/ full military honors on Friday Feb 7th 10am at Vine Lake Cemetery.

Eagle Scouts Alexander Fedak & William Maritan

BSA Alexander Fedak & William Maritan-ESCOH

Alexander Fedak & William Maritan receiving Eagle Scout recognition on November 30 at the UCC

Thank You from the 2019 Angel Run Team


Thank you from the 2019 MFi Angel Run Team
View this email in your browser
Angel Run

Dear Angel Run Nation,

You did it again! You came out in good cheer and with bells on to make the 2019 Medfield Foundation Angel Run a great success!  Because of your participation, those in our community who need some extra assistance will have their needs met. The generosity of time, talent and enthusiasm from all is the reason we put this event on year after year. Together we are building a stronger Medfield and truly helping our fellow community members.


We Need Your Help!

As you probably know, the Angel Run is organized by volunteers from the community and we cannot do it without people being generous with their time and skills. As we like to say, “the Angel Run doesn’t run itself!”

After six years as a co-chair of the Angel Run and the person behind the amazing decorations and entertainment on the race course, our Race Course Coordinator has now retired. We are looking for a new Race Course Coordinator to pick up and run the effort. This is a critical leadership role for the Angel Run for someone with great project management and organizational skills.

Additional Volunteer Opportunities

  • Corporate Sponsorships team
  • Decorations team
  • Post-Event Party team
  • Publicity team
  • Race Course Coordinator
  • Registration & Reporting team
  • Shirts & Bibs team

We have an experienced group of leaders and a great team that work closely together and will help any new volunteers with any questions. And don’t worry, we only meet in person to kick-off the planning and to do a wrap-up so you won’t be bogged down by lots of meetings.

We’d love to have your involvement. Please email us at and let us know if you would like to help or if you have any questions.


Photos of 2019 Event

MFi has a Flickr site with high resolution photos available for you to download at no charge. There are over 1,300 photos for you to explore as well as a “Best of 2019” album. And if you have any photos, be sure to upload them so everyone can benefit!

Thank you Jeffrey and Kristina Bunce and MFi Youth Leader John Shelley for the great photos.


angel run start 2019
Go to Flickr to see hi-res photos from the 2019 Angel Run


In addition, RaceWire, the company that provided the timing system at the event, took photos at the finish line. Be sure to check them out to see your finish photo!

angel run 2019 group of photos


Race Results

If you haven’t already done so, you can view your race results on RaceWire as well.

angel run 2019 standings


Thank You and Save the Date

Save the date for the 15th Annual MFi Angel Run on Sunday December 6, 2020. We hope to see you there. Cheers to all and many thanks from the bottom of our hearts.

On behalf of the Medfield Foundation Board of Directors and the 2019 Angel Run Committee, our most sincere Thank You!
The 2019 MFi Angel Run Committee


Copyright © 2019 Medfield Foundation, All rights reserved.
You registered for the Medfield Foundation Angel Run

Our mailing address is:

Medfield Foundation

Medfield Town House

459 Main Street

Medfield, MA 02052

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“The Open Door Policy”

Mike Sullivan

Medfield TV Documentary on Mike Sullivan

Friday evening I was fortunate to be invited a pre-release showing of the Medfield TV movie, “The Open Door Policy,” a documentary about Mike Sullivan at The Center.  The movie recounts Mike’s career as the long time Town Administrator by means of interviews with those with whom Mike worked.  Former selectman and current town historian, Richard DeSorgher was positioned as the de facto  narrator.  There were also clips of Mike at BoS meetings and at town meetings.

About sixty people attended, more than half were Mike’s family, including many nieces and nephews, and their families, as well as his brother Dennis Sullivan, who had flown up from Virginia to attend.  The balance in attendance were the town employees who had been interviewed for the movie and the Medfield TV staff who had distilled the hours of video interviews to create the movie.  I know that my interview lasted for about an hour, and accounted for only maybe two minutes in the movie.

The world premier of the movie will be this coming Friday at the Medfield High School auditorium.

It was nice to see that my neighbor, Olivia Deval, got credit in the movie for her production assistance work on it.  Olivia interned at Medfield TV while at MHS, graduated last June, and is now at Babson.