David Guy Stone, 55, a longtime resident of Juneau, Alaska, passed away unexpectedly after collapsing at his home on November 20, 2012. He was a devoted family man, scholar, community leader, public and private executive, wonderful raconteur and committed Christian.
Stone was born in Hillsboro, Oregon, on June 26, 1957, to Dale and Donna (Phelps) Stone. The family moved to Juneau when David was in the seventh grade. He graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School in 1975 and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in geology from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 1979. In 1980, he co-authored Hard Rock Gold, a history of the three major mines in Juneau that was published by the Juneau Centennial Committee.
David worked for the Alaska Electric Light and Power Company (AELP) as vice president of Consumer Affairs and for a sister company, AJT Mining Properties, from 1980-1989. By l989, Echo Bay Mines, an international mining company, had come to Juneau to try to re-open the AJ Mine. The company brought David on staff to manage public affairs in Juneau from 1990-1996. During this period, he was asked several times if he would re-publish Hard Rock Gold. His reply, every time, was that he would do so if he could add a new ending. Sadly, the attempt to re-open the AJ was discontinued in mid-1996 and the company moved David to its head office in Denver, Colorado, where he worked through 1997. This job required travel to Canada, Russia, Mexico, and the Philippines.
He met Laurel Anne Hanson when they both worked at Echo Bay in Juneau. Both moved away from Juneau in 1996 following separate paths but they reconnected in California. Their love was instantaneous, absolute, deeply appreciated by themselves and obvious to all. They were married on July 8, 1997, in Arapahoe County, Colorado, wearing shorts and tee shirts so they could immediately set of on a hike in the mountains. The couple moved back to Juneau shortly thereafter where the strength of their relationship was made clear to their family and friends as they confronted both the joys and sorrows of life.
An accomplished public affairs executive and negotiator, David began a consulting service in 1998 which led to a senior position with the McDowell Group. He then went back to work for the AELP/AJT family in an executive position. In many of his jobs, David was active with the Alaska Workforce Investment Board, knowing that mining, or any other industry, depends on trained workers. This interest led to his appointment as Deputy Commissioner of the Alaska State Department of Labor and Workforce Development in 2008 to the present. David served a time as Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell's Chief of Staff from late 2010 to mid-2011 after which he returned to his previous position.
Stone was very involved in Juneau and Southeast Alaska communities. He was first elected to the Assembly in 2003 and re-elected twice more, serving as Deputy Mayor during his last term which ended in October 2012. He was active in the Southeast Conference (awarded lifetime membership) and in the Alaska Municipal League, and Rotary International. He was a state and community "treasure," valued for his ability to engage people, to be diplomatic, and to compromise. His brother-in-law Michael Pits said that he "loved to mine the strata of the human condition."
David was a devout Christian and had considered a ministerial career early in life. He was well-schooled in the Bible and applied religious guidance to everyday life and to the challenges he faced. He and Laurel were active in Chapel-by- the-Lake Presbyterian Church and both provided leadership, comfort, skill and love together in church life.
David Stone was a family man. He had children, step-children and several grandchildren as well as other family members that he cared for, led, and loved. He was the leader and manager in confronting deaths, expected and unexpected and other family issues. He managed with grace, dignity, generosity and skill. These characteristics were also evident in his way with others. He loved to tell stories and teach history.
David's passion was mining. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of Alaska mining history, and hoped to write a book on mining engineer Bart Thane, who managed Juneau's Alaska Gastineau and Perseverance mines, the largest gold mines in the world during their heyday. He was a president of the Alaska Miners Association, a trustee of the Alaska Miners Hall of Fame, and chairman 1993-1997 of the Juneau Historic District Advisory Committee. He frequently made presentations on Alaska mining history and was very active in the Treadwell Society, a group dedicated to rescuing the Treadwell Mine complex history on Douglas Island. David approached all of these positions and services without personal agenda and always with the intent of serving those who asked for his help.
Former Mayor Bruce Botelho told the Juneau Empire, "David loved his community, loved his state. His untimely passing is a sad day for all of us." Governor Sean Parnell told the Empire, "David will be remembered as a kind, thoughtful man who always put others frst." Bill Corbus, David's long time mentor and friend said "There is no other person more responsible for bringing mining back to the Juneau area than David Stone. His contribution to that industry and to our community's economic well-being is unmatched."
David is survived by his wife, Laurel, of Juneau; his daughter, Carlin Stone (fiancé Ryan Stidolph) of Juneau, and grandson Indigo Sage; and by his son, US Navy Lieutenant Brandon Stone, (SEAL) (w. Samantha), of Alexandria, Virginia and their children Luke, Mathew, and a baby girl due in February. David is also survived by his father Dale Stone, Sr. (w. Carolyn) of Munro, Oregon; his brother Dale Stone, Jr. (Skip) (w. Barbara) of Juneau as well as his stepchildren, Camille Miller (h. Lee) of Nokomis, Florida, and Cara Lyn Brenton (grandchildren Kyler and Chalice Lyric), of Sitka, several brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his mother, Donna M. (Stone) Rowles of Gaston, Oregon, and a brother, Duane Lewis Stone, of Juneau.
A celebration of life will be held at Centennial Hall on December 5th at 2 pm, with Steve Olmstead presiding.
Interment will be at the Shrine of St. Terese. Donations may be made to the "David Stone Memorial Fund," Alaska
Miners Association, PO Box 32025, Juneau, AK 99803
Call 586-1106 for more information.
Published in The Juneau Empire from Dec. 2, 2012 to Jan. 1, 2013