Ocean Beach 07

       


Donald Stone

May 30, 1930 ~ July 17, 2019 (age 89)
Obituary Image

Donald Stone HMCS

SEAL Team 2 Plank Owner

FO/UWSS Plank Owner

May 30, 1930 – July 17, 2019

Don Stone passed away at home in Boca Raton, Florida at age 89, after a month-long fight with a MRSA infection. Born in Philadelphia, PA to Edward and Elizabeth Stone, Don preferred to escape the city to fish and hunt in the woods, becoming a lifelong nature lover. His passion for the ocean started at age 17 with a fourteen day Naval Reserve training cruise from Philadelphia to Puerto Rico.

The Korean War sparked his switch to the regular Navy where he served as medic with the Marine Corps. His next tour, at the Naval Hospital in Key West, introduced him to diving, and he was hooked.  After Deep Sea Diving School and a tour on the USS Marietta, he served as instructor at the Navy Underwater Swimmer School Key West. While in Key West, he met the love of his life, Ardyth Dodson; they married in 1960.

Transferred to the newly-created SEAL Team 2 in Little Creek, Virginia, Don enjoyed the challenges and the excitement of the training and operations. Called back to desk duty in New Orleans, he kept up his diving qualifications with dives in the muddy Mississippi River. After his last tour as an instructor at the West Coast SEAL training facility in California, Don retired from the Navy in 1970, and the family moved to Boca Raton with a five-year-old son and five-month-old daughter. 

Switching from Navy divers to middle school students, Don taught science at A.D. Henderson University School for 23 years. He shared his love of nature with his students, and encouraged them to appreciate and protect the environment. Year after year, his students voted him their favorite teacher. In 1993, the Palm Beach County School District agreed, naming him “Teacher of the Year.” Additionally, he was active in civic life, serving as chairman of Boca Raton’s Environmental Advisory board, which selected environmentally-sensitive properties within the city to be acquired or preserved. He was also a long-time member of the city’s Marine Advisory Board where he facilitated the installation of mooring buoys to protect the reefs.

Don was often aboard his boat fishing, or diving in the waters off Boca Raton. He and his wife travelled the globe, making friends wherever they went. Don helped establish the Fraternal Order of Underwater Swimmers School, Key West, an organization of Navy divers who trained or taught at the school. He is survived by his beloved wife of 59 years, Ardyth, his son Donald Gregg and grandchildren Adam and Carlie of Boca Raton, his daughter Susan Elizabeth of Berlin, Germany, and his brother Robert of Media, PA.

A memorial service will be held 1:00 pm, Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at the First United Methodist Church of Boca Raton. In lieu of flowers you may send a contribution to your favorite wildlife service.

Professional arrangements by:
Gary Panoch Funeral Home
6140 N. Federal Highway
Boca Raton, FL 33487

561-997-8580
www.gpanochfunerals.com

 

 

Professional arrangements by:
Gary Panoch Funeral Home
6140 N. Federal Highway
Boca Raton, FL 33487

561-997-8580
www.gpanochfunerals.com

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