Jack LeRoy Stone
02/26/1935 - 03/09/2020
Jack LeRoy Stone died peacefully during a brief hospital stay in Riverton
Utah. He was 85. His family provided the following.
Jack said good-bye to the world surrounded by his wife, JoAnn, and
daughters, Cindy Zabriskie and Susan West, in the early hours of March 9, 2020.
Jack was the third child born to Olive (Jackie) Geneva Shaffer and LeRoy (Roy)
Cornell Stone. His mother had adopted the nickname of Jackie when she was a
child, and her first-born son gave her an opportunity to name him Jack. Jack
joined the family on February 26, 1935, when they lived in McCammon, Idaho.
His two older sisters, Myrna Lee and Rita, were his early playmates and they
adored their little brother, Jack. Siblings Cal and Judy followed and Vickie joined
the family much later.
Most of Jack’s early years were spent moving with the family to various
places where his father could find work. The kids attended a new school every
year. Growing up during the Great Depression era, the family struggled to make
ends meet. These difficult times fostered Jack’s determination and ambition that
stayed with him throughout his life. He worked hard to lift himself above the
obstacles of poverty. He paid for his own clothes, his college education and also
looked after others. His younger brother Cal was especially close to him. Cal
described how they attended one room schools and slept in very cold rooms.
The family eventually set roots in Idaho Falls in 1949 and that is where Jack
excelled. He played on the Idaho Falls High School basketball team that went
undefeated for 3 years straight, 1951-1953, and took the Idaho State
Championship for those same consecutive years. In 2005, he and his team mates
received the prestigious Legends of the Game Award from the Idaho High Schools
Activities Association. They were honored with a standing ovation during a Boise
State basketball game, in Boise, at half time. Jack was an all-state athlete in
basketball, football and track. He once scored 5 touchdowns in one football
game! He received a scholarship to play football at BYU. Unfortunately, he hurt
his knee in the All-Conference game his senior year and had to red shirt at BYU.
You can’t tell the story of Jack without JoAnn. Jack met the love of his life
in high school, JoAnn Telford. She was a cheerleader and mascot, Tillie (JoAnn’s
nickname) the Tiger. The summer they graduated from high school in 1953, Jack
and his friend hitchhiked to California to work for his uncle. He had saved his
money during the summer to purchase an engagement ring. At the end of the
summer he hitchhiked back to Idaho Falls to surprise JoAnn at a big dance in
Island Park, at the Mack’s Inn, where he proposed to her. Jack was a very
handsome young man with black hair, brilliant blue eyes and a warm smile.
JoAnn said yes and he married his high school sweetheart on June 24, 1955 in the
Idaho Falls Temple. They borrowed, Jack’s sister, Rita’s car and drove to the
newly opened Jackson Lake Lodge for their honeymoon. Jack and JoAnn loved to
dance. They married in the era of big band sounds, early rock ‘n’ roll and blue
suede shoes. His sister Vicki said he actually had a pair of blue suede shoes! They
once won a dance contest later in their years and had not even entered the
contest. While others were dancing on the dance floor, Jack and JoAnn quietly
danced off to the side enjoying each other and the big band sound. They caught
the judge’s eye and he declared them the winners!
Jack graduated from Idaho State University with a degree in Pharmacy.
Jack and JoAnn had a basement apartment in Pocatello where Michael was born
in 1956. The cutest baby Aunt Lee had ever seen! Susan was born in Idaho Falls
in 1960 and was the apple of her dad’s eye. The family moved to Montpelier,
Idaho in 1962 and Jack worked at Lowe Drug. Cindy was born in 1964 and
completed their family. The years in Montpelier were happy with lots of family
friends and activities. They would take weekend snowmobile trips and the family
would camp in their trailer on the Palisade Reservoir where the kids would spend
many hours catching minnows. They eventually purchased a cabin up on the hill
in Alpine in 1968.
Jack had a dream of owning his own drug store and that opportunity came
in 1972 when he moved the family to Jackson, Wyoming to purchase Lumley
Drug. Jack was a hardworking man. He worked 7 days a week when he first
purchased Lumley Drug. He commonly worked 12 to 14 hours days. He always
provided for his family and JoAnn worked beside him every step of the way. They
opened Stone Drug in 1976. Jack operated the two drug stores for several years.
In the early years of Stone Drug, Santa would arrive by helicopter and he would
dress as Santa and have the kids line up to tell him what they wanted for
Christmas. A very big event in Jackson in the early 70’s! The store provided a
wide variety of goods comparable to the lager stores in Idaho Falls. The store at
that time was the size of Stone Drug, Plaza Liquor and Hong Kong Buffet
combined! Although he has not owned Stone Drug for many years, Stone Drug
remains an icon in the valley and one of the last independently owned drug stores
in the State of Wyoming. John Crook, who owned the store for many years and
the current owner, Laura Lee Nelson have continued the legacy.
Jack and JoAnn opened another successful business, Plaza Liquor, in 1982.
Many people remember the store mascots, parrots Sangrey and Papaguy. That
business also continues on today.
Jack loved the outdoors and big game hunting and fishing. He would saddle
up horses and with his young son Michael set out for week long hunting trips up
the Greys River. This love of hunting and sports showed in the extensive variety
and selection of equipment in the sporting goods section at Stone Drug. He took
great pride in watching his children participate in their various sports and
activities and was a generous supporter of high school sports. When the kids had
sports events, you could find him raking the long jump pit at track meets or sitting
in the stands routing for the wrestling, football, basketball, volleyball or rodeo
teams. He would hike the mountain for ski races.
Jack was kind and honest. He was witty and got along with everyone. He
had an amazing ability to remember people and their names. It was not
uncommon for him to open up the store after hours so that a customer could get
medicine for their sick child. He was a self-made man. He was always willing to
help. Jack provided jobs at his businesses for many in the Jackson area and was
always generous in supporting local causes and organizations.
Jack and JoAnn enjoyed being snowbirds and the warm climate of Arizona
during retirement. They had many friends and lots of fun in Yuma, Arizona. They
took day trips to Mexico and had frequent BBQ’s by the pool. They enjoyed their
well-earned rest and relaxation in the Arizona desert sun. Jack was always busy
mowing lawns or taking care of projects for one of his properties.
Jack was probably most proud of his grandchildren. He delighted in them
and traveled to events ranging from various sporting, music, 4-H and scholastic
performances and competitions in and around Wyoming and in several
surrounding states. He was always present, supportive, loving and encouraging to
them. Jack was blessed with 4 grandchildren – Audrey West, Tyson West,
Annalise Zabriskie and Peter Zabriskie.
Jack is preceded in death by his father Leroy Cornell Stone, his mother Olive
(Jackie) Geneva Shaffer, his sister Judy Stone and sister Rita Simonson.
Jack is survived by, his wife JoAnn Stone, son Michael Stone, daughters
Susan West (Boyd) and Cindy Zabriskie (Scott), his sister Myrna Lee Higham,
brother Cal Stone (Carolyn) and sister Vicki Harris (George).
He was a very kind and loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and
friend. His love for the Lord was evident in the way he treated others. Jack loved
fully and was loved in kind.
In lieu of flowers during this Easter Season, the family suggests donations in
Jack Stone’s name to the American Heart Association, Primary Children’s Hospital,
Jackson or Thayne Volunteer Fire/EMT Departments.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.LarkinMortuary.com