In Memoriam: Dwayne Stone (1934-2013)

dwayne-stone

Dr. Dwayne D. Stone may have “officially” retired in August of 1993, but in some ways he never really stopped working for Marietta College.

Upon his retirement, he put in writing all of the things he wanted to continue doing for the College “at no salary.” They included cataloging the fossil collection, assisting junior and senior geology majors on projects, assisting other professors on field trips and continuing to help with the dinosaur dig in Utah each summer.

That’s why for some it felt like Stoney never really left.

Stoney’s contributions to the College and community will be missed dearly as he died Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, at the age of 79. He was born March 23, 1934, to the late Dr. and Mrs. D.H. Stone in Knoxville, Iowa.

“In my short time at Marietta, I unfortunately never got an opportunity to meet Dr. Stone,” said President Joseph Bruno. “From everything I have heard from his former colleagues and former students, I do have an appreciation for the impact he made at Marietta College. It is a sad day and the Marietta College community is mourning the passing of ‘Stoney’.”

Jim Emerson ’74, a former student who remained in contact with Dr. Stone, said he will always remember the special moments they had during his time on campus.

“The news of Stoney’s passing has saddened me to a great level. I had been stopping by to see him for the last few years while on my way to Pennsylvania to visit friends and family,” Emerson said. “I have in my hand a photo of Stoney and me just before one of our geology field trips to Franklin, W.Va., circa 1973. It’s only black and white but his expression is the one I will always remember. Always cheerful and encouraging to students and others with a smile for all.”

He started his illustrious career at Marietta in the fall of 1964 after Warren G. Steel, Chair of the Department of Geology, hired him. Stone earned a Ph.D. from the University of Utah in 1964 and earned a Bachelor of Arts from Iowa State University in 1957.

In 1981, Stone was promoted to full professor and he received the following comment from then President Sherrill Cleland. “It is a recognition which you have earned, as the enclosed recommendation of your peers on the Evaluation Committee strongly indicated. I appreciate the many contributions, both within and outside the classroom, that you have made to maintain and enhance the quality of Marietta College.”

Stone also received praise from other colleagues. In a note dated Dec. 18, 1985, to the Office of the Provost, then Director of Admission Daniel J. Jones ’65 shared his appreciation the help they were getting from faculty in the recruitment of students.

“Dwayne Stone is one of those people who has volunteered to help us this school year and I wanted to make sure that his volunteer service and dedication are somehow noted in his employment file,” Jones wrote. “We couldn’t do our job without the help of people like Dwayne.”

Hundreds of former students joined Stone and Dr. Fred Voner on their annual trip to Utah to dig for dinosaur bones. Stone uncovered his first dinosaur bones over the span of three summers in the 1960s, while pursuing his Ph.D. In 1972, he discovered 95 bones from a large Camarasaurus. Arguably his most famous find was the skull of an Apatosaurus in the late 1990s.

Wendy Bartlett ’74 is a former student who remained close to him as she returned to her alma mater as an instructor of Geology.

“He was an idiosyncratic individual; I’ve never met anyone comparable,” she said. “He liked teaching and did many ‘extra’ things for the students. He loved to have the students over to his house and furnished his basement with a pool table and things like that so the students would hang out there. He loved to play poker with the students (mostly vets from the Vietnam War).”

She also noted his love of dogs, including Llewellyn Terriers that he always named Tina and later in life Cocker Spaniels that were all named Heidi — including two that survive him.

There are no funeral services planned. His wishes were that donations be made to the Stone Family Fund at Marietta College, 215 Fifth St., Marietta, Ohio 45750. Linda Stroh, who is the Director of Donor Relations, can be reached at (740) 376-4451 or linda.stroh@marietta.edu.