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George Preston Stone

From Northern Union Outlook, August 31, 1948. Photo courtesy of Michael W. Campbell.

Stone, George Preston (1909–1973)

By Sabrina Riley

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Sabrina Riley was born in Auburn, New York and raised in Dowagiac, Michigan. She received a B.A. in history from Andrews University and an M.A. in information and libraries studies from the University of Michigan. Riley was a member of Andrews University’s library staff from 1998 to 2003, library director and college archivist at Union College from 2003 to 2016, and is presently a freelance researcher, author, and information professional.

 

First Published: January 29, 2020

George Preston Stone, an Adventist educator, taught in Adventist schools and served as an academy principal and conference education secretary for more than forty years.

Early Life

George Preston Stone, born on November 8, 1909, in Caro, Michigan, was the only son of Preston W. Stone and his second wife, Bertha E. Faust (1871–1970; 1877–1983).1 His older half sister, Lorena Maude (1901–1961), served as a missionary in China with her Adventist minister and theologian husband, Edwin Richard Thiele.2 His younger sister, Celia Rachel (1912–1980), became a nurse. She married Paul G. Kenan, and, after his death by drowning, married Roy Goodman. Preston Stone was a lifelong Adventist who helped construct the Seventh-day Adventist church in Holly, Michigan. His wife joined the church shortly after their marriage.3

Education

As a child, George Stone attended elementary and secondary school at Adelphian Academy. In 1927 George Stone enrolled at Emmanuel Missionary College (now Andrews University) in the normal (teacher training) course, which he completed in August 1929.4 He returned to Emmanuel Missionary College in 1935, where he completed a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education in 1937.5 Stone earned an M.A. in 1946 and an Ed.D. in 1965, both from the University of Nebraska.6

Family

Stone married Josephine Rose Steinkraus (1911–1981) on September 1, 1935, in Albion, Michigan.7 A nurse, Josephine Stone trained at the Wabash Valley Sanitarium, where she met her future sister-in-law, Cecelia, who introduced her to George Stone.8 Josephine Stone spent her career working in hospitals and nursing homes.9 They had two children, Allen Preston and Suzanne Kay, a nurse, who married Orieon Dorth Willhite, Jr. (1944–2017).10

Career

George Stone’s career began in elementary education, teaching first in the East Michigan Conference at Owosso11 and Lansing12 between 1929 and 1932, and then in Gary, Indiana, from 1932 to 1935.13 After finishing his bachelor’s degree in 1937, Stone returned to teaching in the reorganized Michigan Conference14 before moving to Nebraska in 1938, where he taught in Union College’s demonstration elementary school.15 While at Union College, Stone also participated in the Medical Cadet Corps as an instructor and officer.16

World War II caused an unexpected turn in Stone’s teaching career, when the United States government decided to cease volunteer enlistments and increase drafts. As a 33-year-old man, Stone faced the strong possibility of being drafted. Thus, in the autumn of 1942, Stone was called to the Southern New England Conference, where he served as Educational and Missionary Volunteer secretary for seven years, classifying him as a minister and exempt from military service.17 In 1948 he was called to be principal of Maplewood Academy, serving until 1952.18 While in Minnesota, he was ordained in 1949.19 In 1952 Stone made another career change when he became a pastor in the Iowa Conference, serving first in Osceola20 and then Council Bluffs21 from 1952 to 1956. From 1956 to 1960 he was Young People’s and Missionary Volunteer secretary for the Iowa Conference.22

Stone returned to Union College in 1960 to teach in the Education Department. In 1965 he became chair of the Department of Education and Psychology. During his tenure he was instrumental in Union College, achieving National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation) accreditation.23

Stone was active in many professional and community organizations, including Phi Delta Kappa, the American Psychological Association, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the Nebraska Council on Teacher Education, and the Rotary Club.24 In 1971 Stone was selected for inclusion in Outstanding Educators of America.25

George Stone’s career was cut short when he developed a malignant tumor. He died on April 18, 1973, in Lincoln, Nebraska.26

Legacy

Known for promoting multigrade classroom experience for student teachers, the George Stone Elementary School at Union College carries on Stone’s legacy, providing a multigrade environment in which student teachers gain experience.27

Sources

“Adelphian Academy.” Lake Union Herald, April 19, 1932.

“Bertha E. Stone Dies at 105, Savored Her Independence.” Battle Creek (Michigan) Inquirer, February 21, 1983. Accessed October 27, 2019. Newspapers.com.

“Closing School Exercises.” Lake Union Herald, June 4, 1935.

“East Michigan Conference.” Lake Union Herald, September 11, 1929.

“Emmanuel Missionary College Notes.” Lake Union Herald, October 30, 1929.

“George P. Stone obituary.” ARH, May 31, 1973.

“Holly Couple Celebrates Golden Anniversary.” Lake Union Herald, September 23, 1958.

“In Memorium.” Clocktower (Union College), April 27, 1973.

“Medical Corps has Inter-Union Camp.” Clocktower (Union College), November 20, 1940.

“Michigan Conference.” Lake Union Herald, December 1, 1942.

“News Items.” Northern Union Outlook, July 15, 1952.

“News Notes.” Northern Union Outlook, September 7, 1954.

Nixon-Ray, Marjorie. “Wedding Bells.” Lake Union Herald, October 1, 1935.

“Preston W. Stone obituary.” Lake Union Herald, December 8, 1970.

Rittenhouse, F. O. “Lorena Thiele obituary.” Lake Union Herald, June 13, 1961.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1930–1973.

“Six Teachers Given Outstanding Educators of America for 1971 Award.” Central Union Reaper, August 10, 1971.

Stone, George Preston. “Belated and Steady Achievers.” Ed.D. diss., University of Nebraska, 1965.

“Stone Services Set on Friday.” Lincoln (Nebraska) Journal Star, April 18, 1973. Accessed October 27, 2019. Newspapers.com.

Notes

  1. “George P. Stone obituary,” ARH, May 31, 1973, 23; “Preston W. Stone obituary,” Lake Union Herald, December 8, 1970, 15; “Bertha E. Stone Dies at 105, Savored Her Independence,” Battle Creek (Michigan) Inquirer, February 21, 1983, B-2, accessed October 27, 2019, Newspapers.com.

  2. F. O. Rittenhouse, “Lorena Thiele obituary,” Lake Union Herald, June 13, 1961, 13, 14.

  3. “Holly Couple Celebrates Golden Anniversary,” Lake Union Herald, September 23, 1958, 13.

  4. “Emmanuel Missionary College Notes,” Lake Union Herald, October 30, 1929, 8.

  5. “Official Graduation List,” Andrews University, accessed October 27, 2019, https://vault.andrews.edu/vault/goto/registrar/gradlist/get/closed/terms.

  6. “George P. Stone obituary”; “In Memorium,” Clocktower (Union College), April 27, 1973, 4; George Preston Stone, “Belated and Steady Achievers” (EdD diss., University of Nebraska, 1965).

  7. Marjorie Nixon-Ray, “Wedding Bells,” Lake Union Herald, October 1, 1935, 2, 3.

  8. Allen Stone, telephone interview by the author, November 11, 2019.

  9. Ibid., October 30, 2019.

  10. Ibid.; “George P. Stone obituary.”

  11. “East Michigan Conference,” Lake Union Herald, September 11, 1929, 2.

  12. “Adelphian Academy,” Lake Union Herald, April 19, 1932, 3.

  13. “Indiana Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1932), 42, 43; “Closing School Exercises,” Lake Union Herald, June 4, 1935, 5.

  14. “Michigan Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1938), 42, 43.

  15. “Union College,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1939), 280, 281; “Nebraska Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1942), 27.

  16. “Medical Corps has Inter-Union Camp,” Clocktower (Union College), November 20, 1940, 1.

  17. “Southern New England Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1943), 24, 25; “Michigan Conference,” Lake Union Herald, December 1, 1942, 6, 8.

  18. “Maplewood Academy,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1950), 273; Allen Stone, telephone interview by the author, October 30, 2019.

  19. “In Memorium,” Clocktower (Union College), April 27, 1973, 4.

  20. “News Items,” Northern Union Outlook, July 15, 1952, 8.

  21. “News Notes,” Northern Union Outlook, September 7, 1954, 8.

  22. “Iowa Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1957), 42.

  23. “In Memorium.”

  24. “Stone Services Set on Friday,” Lincoln (Nebraska) Journal Star, April 18, 1973, 8, accessed October 27, 2019, Newspapers.com.

  25. “Six Teachers Given Outstanding Educators of America for 1971 Award,” Central Union Reaper, August 10, 1971, 5.

  26. “George P. Stone obituary.”

  27. Kenna Lee Carlson, email to the author, October 16, 2019.

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Riley, Sabrina. "Stone, George Preston (1909–1973)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Accessed February 29, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9A8I.

Riley, Sabrina. "Stone, George Preston (1909–1973)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Date of access February 29, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9A8I.

Riley, Sabrina (2020, January 29). Stone, George Preston (1909–1973). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved February 29, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9A8I.