WHITEWATER — John Stone, of Whitewater, passed away at the age of 61 on Wednesday, June 11, 2019, following a long battle with complications from his pancreatic cancer surgery.
A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at First English Lutheran Church at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 15, with a visitation from 1 to 2 p.m.
John was born on May 23, 1958, in Richfield Minn., as the youngest of three siblings. Growing up he was known for being the quintessential helper, a trait that earned him the moniker “Doctor John” even at a young age.
John would go on to earn his bachelor of arts in communication from Gustavus Adolphus College, and would go on to earn his master’s and Ph.D in speech communication from the University of Minnesota.
He married his wife, Sandra, in June of 1988, which marked the beginning of a close and happy marriage that would last more than 30 years. The same open-heartedness and boundless supportiveness that made him a favorite of his many students as a Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, also endeared him to his many close friends, and most of all to his wife with whom he would share an uncommonly loving marriage.
His joie du vivre for his life in Whitewater was reflected in his many hobbies and interests he would share with those around him. He was a lifelong fan of tennis, golf and biking, activities he would go on to share for decades with his family. The peals of laughter from the family’s backyard patio would signal the deep and unique humor he could bring to even the most casual of gatherings.
His son, Ian, would be born in 1993 as another fortunate person who would share an indelibly close bond with John and his worldview. Ever the patient and supportive father, John inspired a lifelong curiosity and love of learning in his son, with whom he would read to every night and make breakfast for every morning.
More than just a dedicated father and husband, he was a close friend and emotional anchor for the Stone family, where he made an often uncertain and intimidating world feel intriguing, embracive and hopeful. His absence will be long felt, as will the influence of his unique mind and quick wit on those who were closest to him.
He is survived by his wife, Sandra; and his son, Ian; as well as his older sisters, Leslee Lund and LynnHolt.
Nitardy Funeral Home in Whitewater is assisting the family with arrangements.