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Obituary: Betty Stone '49

YARMOUTH, MA - Betty Jean Walters Stone passed away in Missoula, Montana, on September 22, 2011, six days after her return from a cruise to Alaska that she had been looking forward to for quite some time. She was accompanied by her caregiver and her eldest son, Jason. Born in Toledo, Ohio, on September 1, 1925, Betty was the daughter of Esther and Edward Walters, former owners of Toledo Mirror & Glass Company. After graduating from Toledo High School, she attended Antioch College, where she met her future husband, Jerome Stone of Omaha, Nebraska. At Antioch Betty established other great friendships that lasted throughout her life. Betty and Jerome '49 were married in 1948 upon Jerome's return from fighting in WWII. The following year they both graduated from Antioch College. Before starting a career and beginning a family, they spent the next couple of years exploring and traveling throughout Europe on a shoestring budget before eventually settling in Greenwich Village, New York. In her early years, Betty was known to most as ""Cricket."" Her nickname seemed to all who knew her back then and now, to be a much better fit for the cheerful, optimistic and never stuffy woman that she was. In 1954 they moved to Boston, where Jerome accepted a publishing position with Little Brown & Co. Shortly thereafter, they moved to Concord, where they decided to start a family. In 1956 Betty gave birth to her first son, Jason, who went on to become a successful real estate broker/developer on Cape Cod and in 1960 her second son David was born, who went on to become an airplane and turbo-jet mechanic. Betty was a wonderful mother and caregiver to her children, as well as to most of the other kids in the neighborhood, who would often bring their troubles to Betty. She always had a willing ear, never prejudging anyone until she had heard the entire story and then offered advice along with her wisdom. Betty and Jerry spent countless hours donating their time and money to various charitable organizations as well as local and national and politics. She was also an active volunteer at DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Mass., where she collected a diverse array of abstract and contemporary art with which she lovingly decorated her home. Betty enjoyed all types of music and shared her boys' love of the Beatles and other contemporaries, but the sounds of Big Band and Jazz were always her favorites. Most of all, she loved animals, having had many pets during the course of her life. She loved feeding the birds on the edge of the marsh behind her home, often grabbing her bird book to identify her newest visitor. Betty also loved gourmet cooking and because of her innocence and genuine enthusiasm, often left the restaurant where she had dined with the recipe for her entrTe, which she would proudly prepare for family and friends, shortly thereafter. As her children grew older, Betty took a part-time position as an accountant for Liberty Mutual Insurance, where she was immediately embraced by her co-workers. In 1974 Jerome was promoted to Sales director of the Law Department at Little Brown & Co. and shortly thereafter they moved to San Antonio, Texas. Once again, Betty became involved in numerous charitable activities, often volunteering at the local soup kitchen to feed the homeless. After Jerome retired, they joined the Camel Corps, a local travel club and went on to explore the rest of the world, where they took trips to Eastern Europe, most of South America, Egypt and the rest of Africa, China and India. What was Betty really like? Several of her closest friends described her as ""unique"" because in truth, she was like no one else. She had her own way of looking at things, a special vision. Betty was truly non-conventional. She had a great eye and ability for seeing beauty in small details in buildings and works of art that others failed to notice and she was earthy. The construction of a Las Vegas hotel was every bit as fascinating as some magnificent European cathedral. Simply put, Betty appreciated things for what they were. What was most special about Betty was her almost childlike enthusiasm for life. She loved to meet new people, try new things, and never had a bad thing to say about anyone or anything. Betty was fortunate enough to spend almost her whole life with Jerome, her true soul mate, who predeceased her in 2006. She then sold her home in San Antonio, Texas, and moved to Cape Cod to be near her children. She made many new friends on Cape Cod and took great pleasure in visiting the local antique shops and art galleries along Route 6A, in Provincetown, and throughout Cape Cod. After several setbacks to her health, she decided to experience one of her life-long dreams, an Alaskan cruise. At the Hubbard Glacier, she insisted on being on deck in the teeth of a 40 mph headwind to watch the Glacier calving, rather than viewing it all from the comfort of her stateroom. Betty also saw an assortment of wildlife, including grizzly and black bear, elk, seals, whales and her favorites, a group of spirited sea otters. After the cruise, unable to fly due to health complications, Betty attempted to have her caregiver drive her across the country and back to her home on Cape Cod. But her health failed her in Missoula, Montana, where she passed peacefully at St. Patrick Hospital. Betty is survived by her two sons, Jason and David. There will be a Memorial Service to celebrate her life at The Yarmouth House Restaurant on Wednesday, October 26, 2011, between 4 to 6 p.m. In lieu of flowers, Memorial donations in her name may be made to Doctors without Borders, Saint Jude's Children's Hospital and The National Audubon Society