WESTERVILLE — Alpine Drive in Genoa Township was renamed Dimitrious Stanley Way on July 1.
Hundreds of friends and neighbors of the former Ohio State University wide receiver turned out for the unveiling, just off of Worthington Road in the Genoa Township community he resided in with his family. Many were wearing Ohio State colors, and some wore the No. 3 to celebrate the life and legacy of Stanley.
Stanley, who passed away on Feb. 9, was an OSU standout at wide receiver, later playing professionally in the Arena and Canadian football leagues and commentating on football locally. Born in Worthington, Stanley lived with his wife, Jessica, and their three daughters in Genoa Township. At just 45 years of age in 2019, Stanley was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The disease claimed Stanley’s life at the age of 48, but not before he formed a foundation that encourages men to get early cancer screenings.
“My hope is to raise awareness through my foundation, Brave Men Inc, by gaining knowledge through our research and sharing this valuable information with the public,” Stanley wrote on its website. “Prevention is key so let’s work together to end this terrible disease that is ravaging men’s bodies all around the world.”
Prostate cancer claims the lives of 33,000 men each year, the second leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States, said the Brave Men Inc website. Nearly 192,000 American men are diagnosed with the disease.
“Brave Men Inc told us tough guys to not be afraid to talk about men’s health issues,” said prostate cancer survivor Joe Matessa at the dedication. He said that the foundation’s “Brave Box” care package program will expand nationally in 2024.
“Let’s keep the momentum going and do it for D,” Matessa said. For more information, visit www.bravemeninc.com.
Shortly after Stanley died, Jessica Stanley wrote a letter requesting the street name change.
“His heart was pure. He loved his community and was continually thinking of ways he could improve it,” said Jessica Stanley at the dedication. “This is a physical sign to remind us that he’s still with us.”
Delaware County Commissioner Barb Lewis, who also lives in Genoa Township, said it was the most heartfelt letter she’d ever read.
“It touched my heart,” Lewis said at the event. “We went into action to make this day happen.”
With the help of Genoa Township Trustee Renee Vaughan, they made the request a reality. At a meeting on April 6, the Genoa Township Board of Trustees gave consensus on the name change.
“Today is an important day in Genoa Township and Delaware County,” Vaughan told those gathered for the dedication. “Today it is our turn to give back.”
“This is a deserving honor for a deserving man,” said 97.1 The Fan’s Anthony Rothman, who emceed the event. “This is a big moment of bravery for his family who live here, to see this every day.”
Former Ohio State football coach John Cooper, who just turned 86, said Stanley was foremost among those players responsible for leading the Buckeyes to the Rose Bowl during his tenure.
“Thank you to anyone who had anything to do with this,” Cooper said at the unveiling. “We need to have more of these.”
Former OSU linebacker Ryan Miller also spoke. He remembered Stanley’s “big heart and bright smile. For him, the top of each mountain became the start of a new journey. As good of a player as he was, he was a better friend and teammate.”
“Dimitrious represented the best of us,” said another speaker, former Buckeye player and rapper Mekka Don. “May we live in such a way that when our time is over, we have a street named after us.”
When the speakers had finished, the Stanleys and Vaughan pulled down the scarlet and gray balloons covering the wooden sign along the roadside to reveal Dimitrious Stanley Way.
The day became a “Tailgate Block Party,” with food trucks, local agency booths and The Bounce Club cheerleaders on hand for the dedication. Alpine Drive was closed at 8 a.m., with access to the event via Ketterington Lane. Dimitrious Stanley Way was later opened to traffic at 1 p.m.
Assistant Editor Gary Budzak covers the eastern half of Delaware County and surrounding areas. He may be reached at [email protected].