Rollins Funeral Home

1401 W. Hudson Rd, Rogers, AR

Phone: 479-631-6617

Vernon Eric Stone

Memphis, TN

1923 - 2013

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Published: January 22, 2013

Vernon Eric Stone passed away on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, in Cordova, Tenn. Vern was born in St. Cloud, Minn., on June 15, 1923, to Albert Emery Stone and Christine (Duus) Stone, the fifth of six children.

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in December 1941. Vern was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and became a Marine Corsair pilot in the WWII Pacific Theater. After his tour, Vern was assigned to teach in the Navy Pre-Flight School at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where his first child, Pherne, was born. Upon his return to Minnesota after the war, he met Gayle Marie Cota. They were married on April 24, 1949, and moved to Minneapolis, Minn. They had three children, Timothy Michael, Mark Wade and Jeanne Marie.

Vern was employed as a parking lot attendant at the foot of the historic Foshay Tower in Minneapolis when he met a Coast to Coast Hardware store owner. Vern then worked for Coast to Coast Hardware in several capacities from 1963 to 1977.

He transferred to Rogers, Ark., and was recruited to work for Wal-Mart Stores, where Vern established the company's recycling programs, set up chain-wide pharmacies and served as liaison between municipalities and Wal-Mart. He retired from Wal-Mart in 1988.

Vern and Gayle were active members of First Baptist Church Rogers for 34 years. Vern loved being near water and was an avid fisherman. Vern was young at heart, relentlessly funny, compassionate toward those less fortunate, and generous with his family and his church. Vern, nicknamed "Poco," considered his family and his deep Christian faith in Jesus Christ to be the most important things in his life.

He and Gayle spent many happy retirement years traveling, working in medical and dental missions in Central America, Romania, Israel, Jamaica and wintering in the Mexican village of Bucerias, Nayarit. Vern was a member of Bellevue Baptist Church since 2005 and joined on the first Sunday they attended.

A memorial service will be held at the First Baptist Church in Rogers, Ark., Wednesday, Jan. 23, at 11 a.m. (visitation at 10 a.m.), with internment following.

Vern is survived by his devoted wife, Gayle; his children, Pherne (David) Osborne, Burlington, N.C., Timothy (Rosemary) Stone, Easley, S.C., Mark (Amy) Stone, Lakewood, Ohio, and Jeanne (Phillip) Newberry, Cordova, Tenn.; his brother, Elroy of Clearwater, Minn.; as well as eight grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Memorials may be given, in lieu of flowers, to the Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova Tenn., John Addison Life Group Missions Fund.

Local arrangements are by Rollins Funeral Home of Rogers.

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