Others Remember Stanley Ainsworth

If you have additional information or special memories of Stanley Ainsworth, please email them to Judy Kuster

  • Woody Starkweather wrote on April 17, 2000: Stan "The Man" we called him during the SFA conferences that I attended. He was the steady hand at the tiller during many boisterous seas of controversy and could take any heated discussion down to a more moderate level without losing the important thread.

    I had lost touch with him in the past few years, but for more than a decade, Stan was my main mentor. He had seen everything there was to see in academic life and survived. But more importantly after he retired he became very open to the spiritual side of life, and I found this very surprising, because he was very much the scientist. I was impressed with the extent to which his mind could be open to new, even outrageous ideas. At the time that I knew him I too was beginning to see that science didn't quite cover all the bases, important as it was, and Stan was very enthusiastic about my being able to open up in somewhat the same way he did. Helen too was an important part of my life at this time, and as a couple they were quite extraordinary, still very much in love after many years of marriage. I remember on one of the SFA meetings, when it was cocktail hour, we were all ordering drinks, and Stan declined, noting that alcohol interfered with his sex life. He was then about 70. "Stan the Man indeed", I said to myself.

  • Don Mowrer wrote on April 15, 2000: We exchanged Christmas cards with the Ainsworths every year since I left Fla. St. Univ in 1953 where he served as my major professor for my MA degree in Speech Pathology. Stan was one of the most professional men I ever knew. He was dedicated to his field and to his students. On several occasions he invited students to his home in the evening for a social hour with his lovely wife Helen. He presented to students a model of what a professor should be like - a love of teaching and a love of his students. I will miss his Christmas cards and words about his family but I will reflect upon our friendship for the rest of my life.

  • Ainsworth edited a book for The Stuttering Foundation of America - If Your Child Stutters, A Guide for Parents. He is pictured on the SFA anniversary poster - third from the left in the front row, bottom of the following page. He was the last survivor from that group of people on that poster. in Jane Fraser's History of SFA, she states "Getting back to that Delray Beach conference, one of the important things that came out of the first conference was the fact that Dr. Stanley Ainsworth was chosen to chair the next conference. He understood what was needed to keep this group of authorities focused on the task at hand, producing a book to help those who stutter; the result of the next conference was just that -- a slim book entitled On Stuttering: Its Treatment. It was published 38 years ago in 1960. The authors (Van Riper, Johnson, Sheeran, Williams, West, Ainsworth, Luper, and Freund) state in the introduction "the members of this group, encouraged and guided by Malcolm Fraser, have laid aside their prejudices. They have been surprised that they have so much in common. This book summarizes those objectives and steps of therapy on which the participants agreed." We tend to forget nowadays how much disagreement there was in the 50's and 60's; reaching any agreement at all was a monumental task. These conferences went on through the years, each one culminating in another book on stuttering.

    added May 1, 2000