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Published: Saturday, 3/12/2005

Lifelong farmer was 'straight shooter'

CAREY, Ohio - Ronald E. Stone, a lifelong farmer who also served on Village Council and was known for his discipline, candor, and tireless work ethic, died Wednesday in his home here. He was 66.

Mr. Stone died of pulmonary fibrosis, family members said.

Born at his parents' home in rural Hancock County, Ohio, Mr. Stone grew up working on his parents' family-owned farm, tending wheat, corn, and beans.

After he graduated from Carey High School in 1956, he attended Ohio State University for one year before coming back home to manufacture tires at the Swan Rubber plant in Carey.

Mr. Stone was always known to do several things at once: While working at Swan Rubber, he also took night accounting classes at Tiffin University.

After serving several years in the Army in Vietnam, Mr. Stone returned to Carey in 1963 to buy an 80-acre farm from his father, which he managed for several decades.

"He loved it. He said it was relaxing," said his wife, June, whom he married in 1965.

But working the farm and raising a family weren't enough. Starting in 1966, Mr. Stone worked at the Ford Motor Co. spark plug plant, now owned by Honeywell, in Fostoria. At night, he would return home to tend to his farm.

"He would leave for work at 6:30 a.m. and wouldn't stop working until 9 at night," his wife said. "He was just like his parents - always wanting something to do. He wasn't hyper - just liked to keep busy."

Mr. Stone also served on Carey Village Council from 1975 to 1983, where he was known as a candid, straight shooter.

"He'd give his opinion, he didn't hold back," his wife said. "I married him because you could just tell he was genuine."

Mr. Stone retired from the factory in 1996.

In retirement, he kept busy selling glassware at flea markets, riding his Gold Wing motorcycle, and occasionally taking a trip to Atlantic City to gamble.

"He set his limits and wouldn't go over them," his wife said.

Mr. Stone was a member of Grace United Methodist Church in Carey, and Moose Lodge 846 in Tiffin.

Surviving are his wife, June; daughters, Ronda Morris and Tina Ward; brother, Samuel, and sister, Avonelle Stanfield.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today in the Stombaugh-Batton Funeral Home, Carey.

The family suggests tributes to the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center or Bridge Home Health & Hospice in Findlay.

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