Eugene P. Tone
March 22, 1928 - January 6, 2021
Tacoma, Washington - Gene Tone was born in Tacoma on March 22, 1928 the third of five children to Ralph and Nora Tone. He grew up in South Tacoma, graduated from Lincoln High School, the University of Puget Sound, and received his PhD from Washington State University. He served in the Korean War and had a 30 year career in the Tacoma School District serving as a teacher, counselor, principal, and district administrator. He spent his work years developing and implementing programs that would directly benefit the students of Tacoma. His mantras during this time were "What's best for kids" and "Let's Go!" One of his last programs was the nation's first publicly funded school for homeless children. It operated within the Tacoma School District and was named The Eugene P. Tone School.
Always a staunch believer in physical fitness and nutrition, Gene was walking two hours a day until his 90th birthday. He could be seen in all kinds of weather walking through Fircrest and, in the last ten years, University Place.
Gene loved all kids – especially his grandchildren, and was fond of saying that given a choice of talking to an adult or a child, he'd pick the child every time. He adored listening to their views and said that he learned something every time he visited with them. His gentle and listening nature drew friendships wherever he went.
A stroke two years ago, along with dementia, slowed his movement but not the Irish twinkle in his eyes. Mom was an amazing caregiver for her husband and they were best friends for 68 years. We'd like to thank Dr. Waltman and the Weatherly Inn Memory Care for taking such wonderful care of our dad the past ten months.
Gene is survived by his wife of 67 years, Colleen, daughter Claudia Ball (Jim), daughter Cindy Johnson (Dan), son James Tone (Cindy). Grandchildren: Danny Gall (Wendi), Nate Gall (Lauren), Brian Johnson (Annie), Stephen Johnson (Lindsay), Emily McBride (Corey), Isabella and Riley Tone, and 8 great grandkids.
Although it's really hard to lose the patriarch of our family, he has left us with so much kindness, love and friendship. In his memory, take a minute to visit with a child, go on a brisk walk, or do a kind act for someone. And, as always, "Take Good Care".
Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on Jan. 10, 2021.