Fred Stone, W8LLY SK

Fred Stone, W8LLY, long time Greene County ARES EC, District 3 ARES EC, and a fixture of the Miami Valley amateur radio community became a Silent key on 26 July 2021.  He leaves a large gap in our community that will hard, if not impossible to fill.

Obituary published in the Bellbrook Amateur Radio Club (BARC) September News Letter

Stone, H. Fred, “W8LLY”, age 83, of Bellbrook, passed away peacefully with his children by his side on
Monday, July 26th, 2021. He was born April 7th, 1938 in Portsmouth, Ohio to Kathleen (Hamilton) and William Harold Stone. From the beginning, family was important to Fred who grew up in Portsmouth with both parents, a younger sister and his grandparents. Portsmouth was also where he learned the importance of community. His father was a police detective who later retired to oversee the television/radio towers in the area, while his mother and grandmother worked at the local department store and participated in many church functions. Fred was involved in his church, scouts, and played tuba in his high school marching band. He met his wife, Mary Ann, in the kindergarten sandbox, they were high school sweethearts, and he eventually married her and together they raised three children.

He attended Ohio University, and was a member of Delta Upsilon Fraternity. His degree was in broadcast engineering and he began his television career in 1960 in Fort Wayne, Indiana as a Broadcast Engineer. In 1964 he moved his family to Bellbrook, Ohio, where he worked for several Dayton television stations. He then spent 40 years with the Dayton PBS station, Think TV, as Director of Engineering and Special Projects. Over his lifetime in broadcasting he worked on analog to digital conversions, oversaw several updated television tower installations and control room redesigns, as well as writing grants, purchasing broadcast equipment and completing licensing/ regulatory paperwork. He never retired, working up until a few weeks before his death.

Communication technology was Fred’s passion, in both his work and his personal life. His love of Amateur (Ham) Radio impacted many and was at the core of his service to his community. Ham Radio was an integral part of his life, having earned his license and call sign “W8LLY” at the early age of 14. In high school, the Army reached out to him to participate in the MAARS program. He started the Bellbrook Amateur Radio Club {BARC}, taught Ham Radio licensing classes and for more than 20 years used Ham Radio to share area scores during Friday night football games. He liaised with Bellbrook Police and Fire Departments and the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association on various projects, including disaster plans and emergency communications, that were used during the Xenia Tornado, blizzards, and disaster drills. He most recently worked with federal authorities on secondary communications plans, should there be a loss of primary communication, holding a leadership position within the regional area. His wife, son and parents were also Hams.

Fred enjoyed participating in periodic Ham competitions and was recognized for having Worked All Stations, Worked All States, Worked All Countries, and Worked All Continents. For more than 40 years he has helped organize the logistics for the Bellbrook parades and many community events, as well as other neighboring community parades and events. He was always onsite handling communications for the various bike races, fun runs and marathons around the area. He also enjoyed attending Hamventions, Field Days, and conferences.

Fred was a great dad, taking on the roles of Scout Master for his son, ‘baton dad” – transporting his youngest daughter around the country to compete with the Bellbrook Eaglettes, and career advisor for his oldest daughter when she received a Naval ROTC scholarship to college. He shared his positive attitude, humor, and smiles on family picnics and camping trips, and travels to visit kids, grandkids and great grandkids. He recently started video chatting to keep up with his family scattered across the southeast. There was always laughter and entertaining conversations at the dinner table, wherever he was. Fred treated his friends like family and was kind to everyone he met. He was an active member of Bellbrook United Methodist Church and believed in the work his late wife started with Open Arms Health Clinic, remaining actively involved in its operation. He loved his God and his country; he was a Christian, a Patriot and a good man. He will be greatly missed by many. 73 good friend! May God rest his soul.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Mary Ann (Carter). Fred is survived by his children, Kat (Matt) Doyle, David (Kelli) Stone, and Amy Stone; grandchildren, Casey (Michael) Santas, Kylee (Matt) Cameron, Zack Clark, and Samantha Stone; great – grandchildren, Gus and Audrey Santas; and his sister, Marilyn (Roger) Pitts.

To help the family celebrate his life, you are invited to share during the visitation at Conner & Koch Life Celebration Home (92 W. Franklin St. Bellbrook, Ohio 45305) on Friday, September 3rd, 2021 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. His Life Celebration will then continue the same day with Services at 2:00 pm at Bellbrook United Methodist Church (47 E. Franklin, Bellbrook, OH 45305). The family will also receive family and friends following the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Open Arms Health Clinic (4403 SR 725, Ste E, Bellbrook, Ohio 45305). You are welcome to send a condolence, plant a tree and share a story or picture about Fred at www.ConnerAndKoch.com

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