John H. 'Jack' Stone; 1930-2013: Man kept nursing home family-owned


John H. “Jack” Stone, who founded a Holland nursing home that remains in family hands, died Friday in Toledo Hospital. He was 83.

He suffered injuries after a tractor he was driving on his property tipped over, his wife, Barbara, said.

In the mid-1980s, Mr. Stone built what is now Spring Meadows Senior Community on land his family owned for decades. He was administrator of the facility until 2006. He remained an owner.

“My dad was really good at being with people,” his daughter Lori said. “He was a man of big heart. He was a gentle man and unassuming. He did not need to be the center of attention.”

His first venture was Resthaven Manor, a 50-bed Toledo nursing home in which he became a partner in the ’70s. It was in an old house not easily remodeled to meet new standards, his wife said. By 1980, he submitted applications to regional health planning trustees and Holland officials to move and expand as a 100-bed extended-care facility.

Spring Meadows opened in 1985 and, in 1999, the Stone family added a 15-unit assisted-living complex.

“His goal was to strive to make a better quality of life for the elderly,” his wife said. By the early 2000s, few Toledo-area nursing homes were family-owned. He resisted purchase offers from nursing-home chains.

“We’re a rare bird,” his wife said. “[He took] pride in what he had done, what they had done as a family. If he sold, he knew it would go down the drain, and that bothered him a great deal.”

He’d built, and designed, the first house he shared with his first wife, Donna. In retirement, he and his wife, Barbara, built a log cabin on their property near Nashville. “It was quite a bit of work,” she said. “By gosh, he kept plugging away at it, and it was gorgeous.”

He was born Sept. 21, 1930, to Vallie and Joseph Stone and grew up near Detroit until the family moved to Holland in the 1940s. He was a 1948 graduate of Holland High School and attended Ohio State University. He was a salesman early in his career, including 10 years at Ed Schmidt Pontiac, and he was good at it, his wife said. “He was a good listener, and he studied everything he sold, and he knew it top to bottom. People trusted him.”

Mr. Stone was a former member of Holland council.

He formerly had a private pilot’s license and, in recent years, flew remote-control aircraft.

He was a Mason and a member of Northern Light Lodge, F&AM.

He and his first wife, Donna Manley, his high school sweetheart, married in 1950. She died in 2001.

Surviving are his wife, Barbara Stone; daughters, Roxanne Warr, Lori Eckel, and Jodey MacQueen; sons, John and Noah Stone; stepdaughters, Lorie Bishop, Heather Mathes, and Linda Washington; stepsons, Don, Mark, and David Manley; 23 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 2-9 p.m. Monday, with Masonic services at 7 p.m. in the Maison-Dardenne-Walker Fun-eral Home, Maumee. Fun-eral services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the mortuary.

The family suggests tributes to the Spring Meadows Senior Community’s activity fund.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: or 419-724-6182.