SUMMITVILLE – James D. “Jim” Stone, 89, entered in to rest on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, at Northwest Manor Health Care in Indianapolis following an extended illness.
He was born Feb. 14, 1931, in Summitville, to Chance and Leona A. (Ice) Stone and was a lifelong resident. Jim graduated from Summitville High School in 1949, Purdue University in 1953 and he earned a master’s degree from Ball State University. He was married to Forrestine Hull on June 1, 1951.
Basketball was a large part of Jim’s life. He honed his skill as a Summitville Goblin and helped lead the storied 48-49 team to a regional championship. His athletic ability led him to Purdue University where he was a three-year letterman and an honor student. Jim spoke gratefully of the college opportunity, “Basketball gave me a career for a lifetime.”
After a two-year stint in the US Army where his job was “to play basketball,” as he would say with a smile, Jim returned to take the coaching helm of the Goblins in September, 1955. Many fine athletes graced the floor during those next years including the 1961 County and Sectional champion team.
Jim was one of the group of men who faithfully managed and developed the baseball program at Summitville, spending hours grooming fields, building facilities, coaching, scorekeeping and playing with the Summitville ACs men’s softball team.
Along with other men, Jim served with the Summitville unit of the Civil Defense. One particular event being the Palm Sunday tornadoes, aiding other communities, clearing trees and debris from the storm.
Jim’s teaching career became a passion for encouraging and inspiring students to achieve their best and seek out opportunities for their future. He retired in 1990 after 37 years in the Madison-Grant School Corporation and completing his coaching career as an Argyll.
Together with his wife Forrestine, they were faithful members of the First Baptist Church of Summitville for many years.
Jim was from a long lineage of fishermen; tying flies, painting “Hootin’ nannys” and tossing a line in every chance he had, anywhere, any time of year. He shared this love with his daughters and grandson.
Through the years he also enjoyed golf, waterskiing, and gardening. He developed a skillful hand at woodworking from a simple jig-sawed dog sculpture to wall cabinets. Pencil drawings led to studying painting nature scenes. Once again, challenging himself to master a new skill.
Jim will long be remembered and missed by those who knew him as Dad, Grandpa, Uncle, “Mr. Stone,” “Coach” and friend. A Goblin has finally hung up his shoes. A Boilermaker has stoked his last engine. And an Argyll warrior has laid down his spear. But the whistle of this gentle giant will resound forever.
He is survived by daughters, Beth Anne (Charles) Dodson of Indianapolis and Meleah (John) Longenecker of Angola; grandchildren, Amaris and Josiah Longenecker; and several nieces and nephews.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Forrestine; brothers, Bernard, Alfred, Max and Eugene; and sister. Mary.
Due to current pandemic constraints, a private family service will take place followed by cremation. Jim’s service will be recorded and downloaded on Jim’s obituary at owensmemorialservices.com on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. A public celebration of Jim’s life will be announced for June 2021.
Jim’s care and service arrangements have been entrusted to Noffze Funeral Home in Alexandria.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the First Baptist Church, PO Box 188, Summitville, IN 46070, Summitville Fire Department, 913 E. Mill St., Summitville, IN 46070, Madison-Grant Educational Scholarship Fund @ Grant County Community Foundation, 505 W. 3rd St., Marion, IN 46952 or the Fairmount American Legion, 522 E. 8th St., Fairmount, IN 46928.
Online condolences may be made at owensmemorialservices.com