Traverse City

STONE, Florence Jun 4, 1922 –

BEULAH [mdash] Florence Orr Stone passed away peacefully while surrounded by her family after a short illness at the age of 96. She was born on June 4, 1923 to Bert R. Orr and Mary Edna Baker in Beulah.
Florence and her family lived near the Champion Hill area with her grandmother’s brother, George Buchan, while her father worked in the area lumber camps. When she was 4, the family moved to Warren Hill on the north shore of Crystal Lake, where both parents worked for Robert Warrens. That location made it handy to find summer work when she was in her teens. She and two good friends spent their high school summers working for Chicago families on the north shore of Crystal Lake, where she claims she “really learned to cook.”
Florence was very active in high school; she participated in track and held various leadership positions in her class. She graduated in 1941 as the class valedictorian from Benzonia High School.
It was through her summer connections that she was nominated for an Alumnae Undergraduate Scholarship to Michigan State College (now MSU). She and another student from Frankfort were the very first Benzie County students to receive a four-year MSC Alumnae Undergraduate Scholarship. Due to her interest in 4-H as a young girl, she majored in home economics.
Upon graduation she taught in Elmira. As World War II was ending, she and Eugene F. Stone (a classmate) were reacquainted and married in a Methodist church on March 16, 1946 in Napoleon, Ohio. Since Florence was teaching, the marriage was kept a secret until the end of the school year. At that point, she quit her job and moved back to Beulah and settled with her husband at Thornhill Orchards near Thompsonville. There, they raised their two children among acres of apple, cherry and Christmas trees.
Florence returned to teaching after her children were born. She taught in Thompsonville, Arcadia, Kaleva-Norman Dixon and ended her career in kindergarten at Betsie Valley Elementary for Benzie County Central Schools. She then turned her talents to bookkeeping for the family business for several years.
She helped her husband introduce golf, tennis and bowling to their children. She taught Sunday school and Bible school at the Thompsonville Congregational Church. She was an avid reader and follower of current events. She loved crosswords puzzles, solitaire, and Scrabble.
She was a DIY lady long before it was popular. A true child of the Great Depression, she could fix just about anything around the home. Once she had grandchildren, she sewed many Halloween costumes, made them a playhouse and pitched in with daycare. She lived her long life quietly, generously and with great character and strength.
She and her husband, Gene, were married 59 years prior to his death in 2005. She was also preceded in death by her parents; all five siblings, Albert (Pete) Orr, Margaret Swain, Lillian Cook, William Ellis Orr and James (Gene) Orr; and her son-in-law, Cameron Tonn.
She is survived by her son, Eugene Lee (Christopher) Stone, of Beulah, and Jane (Jon Kreski) Tonn-Kreski, of Beulah; her grandchildren, Amy (Abe) Schneider, of Rockford and their son, Austin Lee and Nathan Stone, of Honor, Garrett Tonn, of Beulah, and Aaron (Stephanie) Tonn, of Spokane, Washington, and children, Ethan, Arianna and Atavera.
The family will celebrate her life in a private memorial service.
Arrangements are by Jowett Family Funeral Home.

View Original NoticeSTONE, Florence Jun 4, 1922 -