Stone leaves legacy of hearts touched in community

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, July 23, 2019

“That is your legacy on this Earth when you leave this Earth: how many hearts you touched.”

Surely, Pattie Davis was thinking of Otis Stone when she wrote those words.

There is no way to know how many hearts Otis Stone touched and many hearts were deeply saddened to learn of Stone’s death on Monday.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Otis Stone was the personification of a community servant.

For 18 years, he volunteered three days a week with WTBF and shared with the community the joyous occasions of birthdays and anniversaries, said Tammy Powell, also a volunteer with the radio station.

“Otis took those calls and he enjoyed talking with the people who called and they enjoyed sharing those wonderful times with him,” Powell said. “Otis was such a sweet, thoughtful person. He would go out of his way to do for others. He would bring biscuits to the station in the mornings so we could have an early breakfast. He was thoughtful and kind in so many ways and, what he did, he did out of the goodness of his heart. Otis had a kind, loving and caring heart.”

Powell said Stone loved his friends and his family.

“Otis was a good daddy and granddaddy. He recently walked his granddaughter down the aisle to be married and was so proud to have that honor,” Powell said. “He had lost a daughter and granddaughter in the last few years but, even through those deeply sad times, he never stopped caring about and doing for others.”
Powell said Stone’s wife Lucy was the love of his life and his recent focus had been to spend more time taking care of her.

Ralph Black, WTBF, said, too, that Stone was an asset to the station and the community.

“He was a faithful volunteer and looked forward to sharing good news with the community and to being a part of the community,” Black said. “Otis didn’t just volunteer at the radio station, he was actively involved in the Troy Exchange Club, the American Legion and the Salvation Army, and of course his church, First Baptist of Troy where he taught Sunday school and held other positions.”

Black said Stone was known as the Exchange Club’s “onion man.”

“Otis knew how good those sweet Vidalia onions were and wanted everybody to get to enjoy them,” Black said with a chuckle. “He would bring onions to the station for people to pick up. The Vidalia onion sale was club’s main fundraiser and Otis saw the good that came from it and worked hard to make the onion sale a success, year after year.”

Dennis Griffith, Troy Exchange Club president, said Stone was an inspirational and valiant member.

“He taught us many lessons that we have passed on,” Griffith said. “We adopted a lot of his ideas. He was instrumental in the efforts to build the Miracle Field playground. He served our club as president and was also on the district board. He made may contributions to our club and our community.”

Stone worked hard to get the Exchange Club’s Freedom Shrines into the schools. The shrines include the most important and historic American documents.

Stone was a great American patriot. He served in the United States Navy and transferred to the Air Force to take advantage of the opportunity to learn about the fast-moving computer technology of the time.

Kim May, Pike County Salvation Army director, said Stone was an 11-year member of the Salvation Army’s advisory board.

“Otis always did everything asked of him and more,” May said. “He was a Red Kettle sponsor and he would also ring the bell. He supported our other programs including the Angel Tree, camp stew sales and Empty Bowls. When something needed to be done, Otis was willing.

Stone was also a dedicated and active member of American Legion Post 70 in Troy, said Bob McLendon, Post commander. “He honored our veterans and our country with his presence at patriotic celebrations.

“Otis was one of those people that meant a lot to any organization he was affiliated with,” McLendon said. “Otis would jump right in and do whatever needed to be done. He held several offices including Post commander and, most recently, he was the chaplain.

“We are all going to miss Otis because he was a good friend and a dedicated community servant. Otis Stone was the most valuable member of any organization he was in because of his commitment and his willingness to do whatever needed to be done. He did everything right and in the right spirit.”