The Life of Leon Stone

Leon "Lee" Stone

Leon "Lee" Stone….. An Answered Call….

Pressing towards the mark of the high calling, and receiving that eternal peace that only God can provide, Leon "Lee" Stone answered his highest and heavenly call close to midnight on October 7th after a lengthy and courageous battle with Alzheimer disease.

Leon answered his "first call" as the fourth born son of the late James Stone and Willie Mae Wilson, in Decatur, Alabama. He continued to answer as he confessed Christ at an early age and joined Shiloh Baptist Church, Decatur, Alabama. Upon graduation from Decatur Negro High School, he joined the United States Army, where he served diligently for three years. Following an Honorable discharge from the Army, "Lee" moved to Akron, Ohio to join his older brothers. During this time, Leon answered another call as the first African American Basketball Coach at East High School, while also working at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. Being an innovator, Leon started his own business "Lee''s House of Wax", where he provided a car detailing service to many throughout the city. His slogan was "You''ve Tried the Rest Now Try the Best", His passion for the Gospel, sports, coaching, and mentoring would continue throughout his life.

Continuing his Love for the Gospel……… Leon united with The Greater Bethel Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Rev. G.A. Humphrey, Sr. and continued under the leadership of the late Dr. William K. Hawkins, Sr. He served on the Finance Committee as the Chairman and Treasurer for over 25 years. He also started and coached the church''s Basketball League, winning All-City Church Championships for numerous years, making GBBC ''s team a force to be recognized. He loved to win. During this time he also played a big role in mentoring NBA basketball greats such as the late Gus Johnson, and Nate Thurmond. His favorite NBA team was the Boston Celtics.

Leon answered yet another call…… as a mentor to many preachers and deacons in the city and across the country, he accepted this role with humility and gratitude as God Inspired him to write and compose sermons/and messages for their ministries. This also provided Leon the opportunity to travel and witness the preaching of the gospel. He loved God, church and what it really meant. He read, knew, and believed in God''s Word. Some nights he would be reading, writing and singing hymns (I Love the Lord, He heard my Cry) into the wee hours of the morning.

During, his entrepreneurship at Lee''s House of Wax, Leon had the opportunity to meet "Pop" and David Nelson. He took David Nelson under his wings, and David hired "Uncle Lee" to work at his corporation Cell-o-Core, until his illness. They instituted a friendship-work relationship that lasted until Leon''s final transition. Also, during his latter years, he joined Zion Temple Baptist, under Rev. Mark. T. Ward, where he was a faithful member until his illness.

He was preceded in death by his father, James Stone; his mother (whom he loved with all his heart) Willie Mae Stone; and five brothers, London, Willie, C.H, Arthur, and Hodges Stone.

He is survived by four sisters, Cora M. Hendricks of Akron Ohio, Lillie Maxwell (Bennie) of Dayton, Ohio, Ida English (Rev. P.Q.) of Anniston Alabama; and his "devoted sister to the last call, "Christine Stone-Flakes; (special friend, Bill Ferguson) of Akron, Ohio; his "devoted niece and nephew to the last call", Liandre Gaines (Donald) of Uniontown, Ohio, and the "sparkle in his eye" his great niece Chavonne Gaines (whom he affectionately called "Worm") of Uniontown, Ohio; two sisters-in-law, Leola Stone, and Frances Stone; Best Friend, Eddie L. May; three God sons, Dr. Booker J. Person (The Little Preacher) Pastor Mark T. Ward (Big T), and Dennis Stone; "Special extended family of "Uncle Lee", David (Sue) Nelson, Chase and Evan Nelson; and a host of other nieces, nephews, and friends.

Calling hours will be Monday, October 14th, at 11 a.m., Home going services-celebration begin 12 p.m., at the Stewart & Calhoun Funeral Home, Pastor Mark T. Ward, Officiating, and Dr. Booker J. Person, Eulogist. Procession will form and condolences may be sent to 948 Bloomfield Ave., Akron, Ohio 44302. Interment at Mount Peace Cemetery, Repast at the East Akron Community Center, 550 S Arlington St., Akron.

Special Thanks to the entire staff at MaisonAine Specialized Alzheimer''s Center Nursing Home in Stow, Ohio for your professional service, sensitivity and deep love that was provided to (as you all called him) "Uncle Lee" We know "Uncle Lee" was loved and taken care of by you. God Bless you!

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