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Published: Sunday, 7/24/2005

Retired credit manager loved to call Toledo his hometown

Norman E. Stone, 83, a credit manager who got to know many of Toledo's businessmen by researching investment opportunities, died Friday in St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center.

Mr. Stone died of a heart attack, said his wife of 28 years, Norma Stone.

Mr. Stone, originally from Birmingham, Mich., was devoted to Toledo, living in the city for most of his life. He read the paper daily to keep tabs on current events and always ran into people he knew when they went out, Mrs. Stone said.

He and his wife moved to Arizona and Florida, spending a few years in each, but found they could not be apart from Toledo for long.

"He could talk to you about anything going on in Toledo. This was his town," Mrs. Stone said. "When we went some place, he always met someone he did business with."

Mr. Stone worked his way up through the National Association of Credit Management-Great Lakes and was executive vice president for 15 years. He retired in 1984.

His business involved research on behalf of businesses into the credit history of potential customers or business relationships, and Mr. Stone was proud to help them make informed decisions, Mrs. Stone said.

"If you were cheating or stealing you didn't get an OK," she said. "And [Mr. Stone] saved them the trouble of doing business with people who weren't honest."

He was a World War II Army veteran, serving from 1941 to 1945. He received a Bronze Star.

Mr. Stone played the guitar and sang and, after military service, enjoyed performing war-time love songs.

"To look at him, you wouldn't think he was a singer, I was shocked when he sang to me the first time, but it was nice," Mrs. Stone said. "Whenever we'd go to a party or a wedding or when we went wining and dining, he'd go up to the orchestra and they'd play a tune and he'd sing to me."

A usually reserved man, Mr. Stone became a different person when performing, Mrs. Stone said. "He wasn't bashful or shy up there on stage," she said. "He enjoyed singing as much as the people enjoyed listening to him."

Mr. Stone was a member of Rossford VFW Post 6409, of which he was a commander from 1985 to 1986. He was a member of the Elks Lodge 53 and the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 197.

He enjoyed playing cards and spending time with family and friends.

Surviving are his wife Norma; stepsons Eric, Michael, and Kevin Mattoni; four stepgrandchildren, and one stepgreat-grandchild.

The body will be in Sujkowski Funeral Home, Northpointe, after 9 a.m. Tuesday. Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Regina Coeli Church.



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