Reverend John Dawson Stone, 82, of Southern Pines died Saturday, December 26, 2015.John was born March 26, 1933, in Durham, NC to Robert Lee and Mary Sorrell Stone. He was preceded in death by his sister Eleanor Stone Whitfield of Durham and his brother Robert Lee Stone, Jr. also of Durham. After Durham High School, John graduated from Duke University Engineering School in 1955 and married his high school sweetheart. Called to the ministry from a career as a civil engineer, John earned a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. After four years leading Trinity Baptist Church in Raleigh, in 1964 John moved his young family to begin his thirty four years of ministry at Southern Pines First Baptist Church. During his tenure he was a champion of social outreach, and was instrumental in the founding of the Freeman Home (now known as Bethesda Halfway House). John led the church in building a modern new sanctuary in the late 70’s. After his retirement in 1998 he could often be found substituting in pulpits near and far, ministering wherever he went. He was an advocate for the downtrodden and never shied away from the responsibilities of pastoral care.An accomplished outdoorsman, John was a champion trap shooter and avid fisherman. Innumerable hours of his life were dedicated to teaching his children and grandchildren the fine art of bass fishing. John is survived by his loving and dedicated wife of 60 years, Catherine Styron Stone and his four children and seven grandchildren: Kelley Stone Garris and husband Greg and their children Evan, Madison and Cameron Garris of Smithfield, NC; Mary Stone Deakle and husband Terry and their children Courtney and David Deakle of Lewisville, NC; John Douglas Stone and wife Jo and their children Lt. Robert Stone, US Air Force and wife Mallory and Ally Stone of Aberdeen, NC; and Jason Stuart Stone and wife Adra Valentine of San Francisco, CA. He is also survived by an extended family of nieces and nephews.The family will have a private burial service at Bethesda Cemetery in Aberdeen, NC. There will be a public Celebration of Life service on Wednesday, December 30th, at 2:00pm at the First Baptist Church of Southern Pines. A family visitation will be held in the fellowship hall of the church immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The First Baptist Church of Southern Pines. . John’s “Holy Kisses” will be missed by all who knew him.Online condolences may be made at www.bolesfuneralhome.com
Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines is serving the family.