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Stanley Resor, 94, Formerly of New Canaan

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Stanley Rogers Resor, formerly of New Canaan, died April 17 at his home in Washington, D.C. He was 94. 

Resor served as secretary of the army under President Lyndon Johnson. He previously lived in New Canaan and was a board member of New Canaan County School. 

Resor was born Dec. 5, 1917, in New York City, the son of Stanley B. and Helen L. Resor. He was raised with his two sisters, Helen and Ann, in New York and Connecticut. In 1929, at the age of 11, he traveled to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with friends of his family for the summer, beginning a lifelong love for the valley of Jackson Hole. 

He graduated from Yale University in 1939 and Yale Law School in 1946. His time at law school was interrupted by service in the 10th Armored Division of the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945. He served in World War II, rising from lieutenant to major. Resor was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart. 

In 1942, Resor married Jane Lawler Pillsbury of Wayzata, Minn. After the war, they moved to New Canaan and Resor began working for Debevoise and Plimpton, a law firm in New York City. The family spent part of each summer in Jackson Hole on the family cattle ranch that his father started purchasing in 1929 per Resor's request. 

During the Vietnam War, President Johnson appointed Resor undersecretary of the Army in March of 1965. Later that year, in July, he was appointed secretary of the Army. He served as secretary under Presidents Johnson and Nixon through June 1971, becoming the longest-serving service secretary during the Vietnam War. Thereafter, he returned to law practice in New York City. 

He served as the first undersecretary of defense for policy from August 1978 to March 1979. In November 1979, he again resumed the practice of law with Debevoise and Plimpton. He stayed on as counsel to the firm from 1988 until retirement in 1991. 

In 1974, Resor was awarded the Gen. George C. Marshall Medal by the Association of the U.S. Army for selfless service. In 1984, he was awarded the Sylvanus Thayer Award by the Association of Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy for outstanding service to the nation. 

A strong supporter of education and the law's role in preventing international conflict and protecting the environment, Resor was a former fellow of the Yale Corporation  and chairman of the board of directors of the Arms Control Association. He was a board member of the Atlantic Council, Lawyers Alliance for World Security, WNET public television in New York and a founding board member of the Jackson Hole Land Trust. 

He was predeceased by his wife, Jane, in 1994. Resor is survived by his second wife, Louise Walker Resor; his sister, Helen R. Hauge; seven sons; seven daughters-in-law; 20 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. 

A memorial service will be held in New Canaan at 2 p.m. on Saturday at New Canaan Country School. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Arms Control Association of Washington, D.C., or the Jackson Hole Land Trust.

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