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James Wesley "Stoney" Stone

1937 - 2011
James Wesley "Stoney" Stone Obituary
James Wesley "Stoney" Stone passed away of stomach cancer at his home in Salcha Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011, surrounded by four generations of his loving family.
Stoney was born in Douglas, Ga., April 7, 1937, as James Wesley Stone, but everyone in Alaska called him Stoney.
The third of four children, Stoney grew up in a poor but very loving family. He adored his father and loved to help him in his work as a brick mason. Throughout his childhood, Stoney worked as a paper boy, as a movie theater projectionist and was a star player on the Mainland High football team.
In 1974, Stoney moved to Alaska with his wife, Nola, and four children, to homestead a claim near Rampart. There, he built a sizable cabin and was the unofficial bus driver for all eight of the local kids.
After a brief stint living in North Pole, Stoney moved to an old farmhouse on Johnson Road in Salcha, where he married his beloved "bride," Ann, and adopted her three daughters. He moved three more times in his life but always stayed within the Salcha community - most notably building and living in The Big Blue Victorian House - most recently relocated a mile down the highway to avoid flooding - where he and Ann adopted and were raising three more children.
Stoney was a dedicated worker from a young age and told everyone that "he wanted to die with his boots on."
He started his professional career as an IBEW lineman apprentice with Florida Power and Light. After moving to Alaska, Stoney signed on as a high-voltage lineman with the civil engineers at Eielson Air Force Base, where everyone just called him "Hippy." After 27 years, he retired in 2004, and worked for numerous companies around Alaska - most notably, Miranda Electric, Samson Electric and Salcha Electric. But one of his favorite gigs was when he helped install the underground power lines on historic Midway Island and the time he rewired all the power lines at Mount McKinley.
He also loved working for the Alaska Housing Authority because it gave him many opportunities to visit Alaska's Native villages where he enjoyed barbecues with the village elders and mayors.
Stoney loved people and Alaska so much he could frequently be found volunteering his services to numerous organizations. Many a winter found him maintaining the lighting system on the Salcha Elementary School ski trails, and by his family's calculations, at least a third of the homes in Salcha where wired by his hands and with a big, old smile.
One time, to the amazement of the pastor, Stoney ran some new electric lines for the local Baptist Church and refused any form of payment because, "It doesn't matter if we're not in the same church. We all worship the same God."
Stoney was never much into religion but in 1983, a couple of young Mormon missionaries trekked up his mile long driveway at break-up in mud boots just to give his wife lessons. In 1985, Stoney told the missionaries he couldn't get baptized into the church until the roof was on his house. The next week, a crowd of men came by and got that roof up.
Stoney was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on a chilly March 2, 1985, in the unfinished and unheated shell of the Salcha Chapel. All day long, members hauled water to fill the font and the congregation wore winter coats and boots.
During his time here on earth, Stoney held many leadership positions in the church. The highlight of his membership was the opportunity to be sealed to his family for time and all eternity.
Stoney will always be remembered as the ultimate southern gentlemen. Thoughtful and kind to everybody and always, always courteous. He called everyone "young man" or "young lady," putting a smile on the face of those older than himself.
Stoney loved fishing, hunting and playing softball. He always wore a grin and made everyone feel as they were important to him. Stoney helped people, whether it be a neighbor with frozen pipes or a stranded motorist with a broken car on the side of the road.
Stoney was preceded in death by his mother, Queen Victoria; his father, George Clayton, and his brother, Frank.
He leaves behind his wife, Ann, and 10 children: Della "Tori" Spencer and husband Willie of Ormond Beach, Fla.; George "Clay" Stone of Apopka, Fla.; James "Jimmy" F. Stone of Eugene, Ore.; Roger M. Stone of Salcha; Carie Howard and husband Willis of Salcha; Katie Stone of Fairbanks; Cris Stone and husband, Jerry Delp, of San Antonio, Texas; James D.M. Stone, Stanton Stone and Lucia Stone, all of Salcha.
Stoney was the proud grandfather of 15 grandchildren, and great-grandfather to numerous great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 6 p.m., Friday, Dec. 16, 2011, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Chapel in Salcha, with an informal reception after.
In lieu of flowers, Stoney asked that donations be made to Carroll Cancer Center of Fairbanks, 1604 Cowles St, Suite 1, Fairbanks, AK 99701. Stoney appreciated how kind the doctors and staff were to him during his illness.
Arrangements were entrusted to Fairbanks Funeral Home.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Dec. 13, 2011
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