October 2, 2010 in City

Washington Trust leader Philip Stanton dies at 80

From Staff Reports

Philip H. Stanton, who led his family-owned Washington Trust Bank for three decades and gave influential support for Expo ’74, died Thursday evening. He was 80.

Stanton will be remembered for becoming president of the bank as a 31-year-old, at the time the youngest man ever to run a major Spokane bank.

His tenure running one of Spokane’s leading businesses also allowed him to give generously to his community. He served on numerous boards and was a founder of the Citizen’s League of Spokane, Spokane Expo ’74, and the Spokane Area Centennial Projects Committee.

He is survived by his wife, Margretta Hillman Stanton, and is recalled as a family man with imagination and energy.

In a newspaper story about the bank’s 100th anniversary, his son, Peter Stanton, current chief executive and chairman of Washington Trust, said of his father: “He is the kindest, and gentlest man I ever met.”

Stanton was born Feb. 19, 1930. He attended Hutton Elementary School and graduated from Lewis and Clark High School.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, and a law degree from Gonzaga University in 1956.

In 1957 he was named a bank vice president, and in 1962 became president. He was the third generation of Stanton men to lead Washington Trust.

Under his watch the bank built its downtown Spokane headquarters at 717 W. Sprague Ave. Stanton became chairman and chief executive of the bank in 1979. He retired in 1993, although he held the chairmanship until 1997 and stayed active with the bank after his son took over the leadership positions.

During his career Stanton served as president of the Washington Bankers Association.

His surviving children are Peter Stanton and his wife, Denise; Barbara Stanton Miller and her husband, Matt; Sally Stanton Poutiatine and her husband, Mike; stepchildren Margretta Voinot Baron and her husband, Glen; Andrea Voinot; and Alison Voinot and her husband, Rick Rosenberry; along with many grandchildren.

Services are pending, according to a Washington Trust spokeswoman.

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