Mary V. F. Stone
Mary Veronica Fanning Stone, relict of Dr. Anthony Robert Stone (1918-1982), departed this life on July 8, 2013 in the belief and hope of a sure and certain Resurrection.
Mary was born in Providence, R.I., on July 21, 1919, the daughter of John and Mary (Sullivan) Fanning and died 13 days shy of her 94th birthday at West Paris, Maine.
Mary spent her formative years at the Fanning Home on Fanning Lane in Smithfield, R.I. She was a 1937 graduate of St. Xavier’s Academy. She held a BS in Education, Advanced degrees in early and young Childhood Education. For nearly 45 years, Mary was a respected and innovative educator in the Rhode Island and Maryland school systems. She retired from teaching in 1973.
Mary married then Captain Anthony Robert del Sasso Stone , U.S. Army Medical Corp, later Dr. Tony Stone. They had two children, the late Anthony Robert “Bob” Stone, Jr. (1946-2008), and MaryAnn Stone Price Owen, widow of Terry Owen of Austin, Texas. Mary had one granddaughter, Johnnie Ann “Cissy” Price of Austin, Texas.
Following Mary's retirement in 1973, and Tony’s, from Johns Hopkins Medical School, they moved to Greenwood, Maine, where they had been summer residents since 1947, the year they built their beloved cottage on Twitchell Pond. In 1974, Tony and Mary bought the Lester Bickford House on the Knoll Road in Locke Mills; it remained their home throughout their lives. The Knoll Road house was a beehive of activity from the start; Tony ran a very busy and heavily sought-after Marriage and Family Counseling practice. Not to be out done, Mary undertook what she knew best educating, mentoring and the tutoring of numerous children in Districts 17 and 44. Not only did she volunteer with adult literacy programs, she mentored many gifted and talented children, assisting them in understanding and nurturing their several gifts. Tony and Mary were elevating the aspirations of many children from families around here -- long before anyone mentioned it was fashionable for a community to do so.
Tony and Mary still took time for the small pleasures of a life: friends, fishing and Mary with her emerging artist talents as a pen and ink sketch artist as well as a noted and award-winning water colourist.
Mary was involved in the Mt. Abram Fish and Game Association as the long-time and last secretary. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Mt. Abram Fish and Game Scholarship Award still given at Telstar High School Graduation each year. She was a member of the Greenwood Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary, and the Ladies Auxiliary of the Jackson-Silver Post in Greenwood.
Dr. Stone died very suddenly at home on the morning of March 27, 1982. Mary ever the onward and upward type shifted gears, as she said, and moved forward as Tony would have wanted. Mary lived another wonderful 31 years in the close company of family, friends that she cherished and her special Twitchell Pond companion in late years Wilfred “Will” Coolidge of Bethel.
Her love of learning and gracious art of living was reflected in her care of and concern for her elderly neighborhood ladies. Tony used to remark often she had a better unpaid family practice than he did as the Greenwood Widow's Therapist. Mary was deeply involved and loved her position as long-time Secretary of the Locke’s Mills Union Church Ladies Circle, out lasting all the original members of the Circle save one. She was ever mindful of the needs of others, and ready to lend a hand always quietly and never boastful. Often the many acts of kindness extended to the greater community were not even known to the recipient. Many a child had school clothes, school supplies, and even help with college education. This was not a hobby for Mary, but her mission following a life of public service in education. Always a Hostess with the Mostess, Mary had a knack for a good party, rich with food, music, flowing beverage and conversation of the highest level. Let there be no mistake, she nor the “Doctor” were ever members of the Greenwood Temperance Society!! Her home was always open day or night to friend or stranger alike. She had a plaque of St. Patrick on her kitchen wall that said: “There are no Strangers Here, Only Friends that have not Met.” Mary was true to the conviction of her faith, as she saw it, fulfilled in her duty. Always devout, humble and charitable to the very end.
Mary is survived by her daughter, MaryAnn Stone Price Owen, the widow of Terry Owen of Austin, Texas and granddaughter, Johnnie Ann Price “Cissy” of Austin, Tex.; her brother, John Fanning and wife Avis, their children, Kathy and husband Bill of Rhode Island and their children and grandchildren and nephew Johnny Fanning of Rhode Island; and Sheila Fanning Octeau and husband of Gloucester, R.I. and their children Kyle and Leah; niece, Shelia and family in Florida; niece, Marguerite Guiliano Rhodes and husband Dusty of California; nephew, Vincent J Guiliano and family of Rhode Island; nephew, Laurence Sasso of Smithfield, R.I. She is also survived by her sister-in law, Phyllis (Mrs. Laurence Sasso, Sr. of Smithfield). Mary was predeceased by her husband Tony; son Robert, sister Margret Fanning Guiliano of Rhode Island; and brother, Dan Fanning of Vermont.
Her loss is mourned by the many children (now adults) of the Knoll neighborhood: Stephanie Fuller Wardwell, and her sister Shannon, Nancy Melville Snyder, Steve Seames and Sue Seames Young. Special long-standing friends Munroe Holley and grown children Robert and Scott of Bel Air, Md., Joe McCluskey and family of Florida always had a special place in Mary’s Heart.
Well done, good and faithful Servant, enter now into the Kingdom of God!
Burial will be private with honorary pallbearers the Brethren of Jefferson Masonic Lodge 100, of which Doc Stone was a member. Family and friends are invited to join in the Rite of Christian Burial at the Locke’s Mills Union Church in Locke's Mills Village at 2 o'clock in the afternoon of Sunday, Sept. 29. Memorial remembrances may be directed to the Union Church of Locke’s Mills or the Greenwood Fire Department in care of the Mary Fanning Stone Fund, P.O. Box 734, Bethel, Maine 04217-0734.
For more information one may call Bethel: 207-824-3393.