Kiwanis Club, community say goodbye to Allan Stone
“He was always there.”
Every person who described Allan Stone’s service to Rocklin had those words to say about the steadfast volunteer the community lost when his battle with cancer ended Dec. 18.
Stone, 83, a member of the Rocklin Kiwanis Club since 1999, is remembered as a friend, a mentor and a kindhearted man whose death leaves a hole in the Kiwanis community.
“Allan Stone was truly the finest Kiwanis member our club has had in 19 years of operation,” said Tom McClelland. “He was an inspiration to all other members.”
Stone’s Kiwanis Club legacy includes 40 years of perfect attendance, beginning with clubs in Inglewood, Glendale and Rocklin. He was a lieutenant governor for Div. 3 and past president for all three clubs. He was named Member of the Year five times, and was honored in January of this year with a Kiwanis Legion of Honor Award for his 40 years of service, bestowed by Lt. Gov. Bernie Bowes.
Stone married his wife, Marie, in 1981 in Southern California. She met him through her best friend, who lived in the same condominium complex as Stone. Marie remembered the first time she saw her future husband, when he was in the pool teaching his 9-month-old grandson how to swim: “It was kind of cute,” she said warmly.
In addition to his loving wife, Stone is survived by his daughter, Julia Roemer, and grandson David Roemer.
Professionally, Stone spent his career in the fire service. He was with the fire department in Inglewood for 28 years, attaining the rank of battalion chief, and then moved to Glendale as fire chief, where he stayed until retiring in 1984. Throughout his career, he was active in Kiwanis and as part of the Verdugo Mental Health Association and on the board of trustees for Glendale Adventist Medical Center.
Upon retiring, he dabbled in ambulance management and real estate sales, and moved to Rocklin with Marie in 1998. She said Rocklin was an attractive place for Stone because of his love of hunting and fishing – one of his hunting buddies lived here. But as Stone got older, the long bird-hunting treks started to take their toll.
“He came out of one of the rice fields and realized he didn’t have his boots,” she said. “They were somewhere in the six miles he had just walked. And that was it.”
Stone’s health issues began 15 months ago, Marie said. When the couple learned that Stone would be home in hospice care, she said, the outpouring of support was immediate. Members of not only Rocklin Kiwanis, but also Stone’s previous clubs, called and visited. Since his passing, Marie said, Stone’s friends and co-workers have been expressing their condolences in an endless stream of appreciated calls, emails and visits.
Per her husband’s wishes, no funeral will be held, but Marie said she will host a cocktail party for friends after the first of the year.
Marie was so supportive of her husband’s Kiwanis activities, Rocklin club President Lydia Khachadourian said, that the club made her an honorary member.
“We consider her absolutely a member of the club,” she said. “And we expect that she will continue to be a very important part of the club, because we are family.”
Karen Lokey, who joined Rocklin Kiwanis in 2006, said Stone quickly took her under his wing, guiding her through Kiwanis’ programs.
“He was a great mentor and he was always there to help you,” she said. “Any questions, you could call him up.”
Lokey and Stone were also members of the Rocklin Historical Society. Lokey said one of the things that surprised her to learn about Stone was that he was an avid tennis player, playing two or three times a week at Sierra View Country Club right up until he was too sick to hit the courts.
Another cherished activity cancer took from Stone was volunteering at the Kiwanis K-Kids event, in which needy children in Rocklin are treated to a morning of shopping at Kmart during the holiday season.
“He was always involved with that,” Lokey said. “This year was the first time he was not able to work with us. He was always there.”
Stone also loved serving on the Kiwanis membership committee and interviewing candidates for Kiwanis Club scholarships. Last year, the club gave $7,500 to local students.
“Everybody in the club just loved him,” Lokey added.
Khachadourian echoed Lokey’s sentiments about Stone’s mentorship, commenting that Stone was the one who encouraged her to step into a leadership role.
“It’s a big loss,” she said. “There isn’t a single person in that club who hasn’t been touched by Allen – on a personal level, not just as part of the club.”
In Rocklin, the Kiwanian with perfect attendance served on the board, edited the “Knewz” newsletter and volunteered for any and all service projects the club was involved with. Even in his failing health, Khachadourian said, Stone still managed to work a shift in the Kiwanis See’s Candy store.
“He’d walk into a room and you were like, ‘Yay, Allen’s here!’” Khachadourian remarked. “He always made you feel special, always made you feel loved and just appreciated what you were doing.”
“He was always there,” McClelland said, “helping members in their endeavors to be better Kiwanians, working with Key Clubs, doing everything he could for his community.”