Stanley was born in England on 8 February 1913. Her first job was picking feathers on a poultry farm. She won many trophies while racing her MG and AJS motorbikes. During World War II, she headed a fleet of female drivers. She met her husband, Keith Stanley, in a tea room.
In 1947, Stanley emigrated to Canada and married her husband. The couple had a son, Simon, and settled on a farm in Broadbent, Ontario. She started a tap dancing school in the 1950s, and later became the director of the McKellar Agricultural Society. Her car, a red Chevrolet convertible, was her pride and joy.
Stanley and her family moved to Parry Sound, Ontario in 1960, and she was employed as a chef in various restaurants. A passion of hers was gardening, and she was awarded a life membership of the Parry Sound and District Horticultural Society, serving as director for a number of years. Her gardens were often used as backdrops for weddings.
Shortly before her 108th birthday in 2021, Stanley claimed that her secret to longevity was “You have to live a little on the wild side.” At the time, in addition to her son, she had two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Her 110th birthday was celebrated with her family taking her out to dinner.