Brother Ralph E. Stone passed away suddenly, yet peacefully, on September 5, 2015 in his Gainesville, VA home. Ralph was born November 2, 1942 in Washington, DC. He was the only child of Elbert H. and Edith D. Stone. He grew up in Alexandria, Virginia and attended St. Mary's Catholic School and George Washington High School.
He went on to earn his undergraduate degree at East Carolina University where he was a member of the Eta Beta chapter of Sigma Nu fraternity. He then went on to earn a Master's Degree at the University of Tennessee. Later in life he completed a PhD in Education. In 1965 Ralph began his teaching career at Zachary Taylor Elementary School in Arlington County Virginia as a physical education teacher.
In 1971, after six years of teaching, he became the youngest principal in the county when he took over the principalship of Patrick Henry Elementary School. Through the years he served as principal in various Arlington elementary schools and in administration. In 1978 he was appointed principal at Zachary Taylor Elementary School where he had begun his career thirteen years before. He served as principal at Taylor until his retirement twenty years later in 1998. Ralph's work with children was his life's joy. He was skilled at hiring talented teachers and creating a school environment where all children could thrive and learn. He loved greeting the school buses each morning, walking the school hallways, and visiting with the children in the cafeteria and in their classrooms.
Ralph had nicknames for the children and knew them on a personal level. He loved them and they knew it. He would send them "Taylor Pride" notes to honor their achievements, and continued to send them for years after his retirement when he would hear of milestones in their lives.
Brother Stone brought that same devotion to his wife Lori and his beloved boys Tim and Jeff at home. He delighted in his role as father. They knew they could call upon him for anything, and that no request was too much. They brought him joy each day and he expressed this daily with his favorite saying, "I'm a lucky man! "In his professional life Ralph was a member of the Arlington School Administrators, Arlington School Administrators Associates, of which he was president of at his death, and the Northern Virginia Athletic Directors, Administrators and Coaches Association, Inc.
In 1990 he was honored to receive The Washington Post Distinguished Leadership Award for Arlington County.
Ralph was preceded in death by his loving parents Elbert H. Stone and Edith D. Stone. Ralph is survived by his wife of forty-seven years, Lori, of Gainesville and two sons Tim Stone (Kathryn) of Haymarket and Jeff Stone (Brett) of Crozet, and four grandchildren: Jackson, Madeline, Jordan, and Harper. He also leaves a host of family and friends.
Family and friends are invited to join the family at a memorial service for Ralph on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Pierce Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 9609 Center St., Manassas, Virginia.
On Thursday, September 17, 2015 at 11 a.m. there will be a funeral Mass at St. Stephen the Martyr Catholic Church, 23331 Sam Fred Rd., Middleburg, Virginia with a reception at the Stone family home following the Mass.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Ralph Stone Taylor Pride Scholarship. Checks should be made payable to "Arlington Community Foundation" and marked in the memo line as being for the Ralph Stone Taylor Pride Scholarship. Donations can be mailed to Arlington Community Foundation, 818 N. Quincy St., Suite 103, Arlington, VA 22203.
Eta Beta Alumni Association & Snake Reunion
Operated by Alumni of Sigma Nu, East Carolina University
Providing Alumni News to Brothers, Pledges and Friends of the fraternity