Stephen L. Stone

April 10, 1928 – May 30, 2020

Steve with the love of his life, Suzanne.


Stephen L. Stone died May 30, 2020, in Portland, Oregon. He was 92.

Steve’s love of music left an indelible stamp on his home state of Oregon. His enthusiasm and love of music and musical scholarship inspired thousands of people, students and listeners alike over seven decades.

Steve was born in Klamath Falls, Oregon, where his mother, Buena Cobb Stone, was an elementary school principal, author, and Native American historian. His father, Louis “Hub” Stone, was a farmer and barbershop singer. The Great Depression often forced Hub and Buena to work in separate locations, so over the course of his childhood Steve lived in Klamath Falls, Portland, Fairview and Rhododendron.

Steve often recalled that a family friend gave him a pound of bacon for his fifth birthday, a rare moment of plenty in an era of scarcity. Steve referred to this as the greatest gift he had ever received, and it sparked a lifelong patronage of bacon-centric restaurants (such as House of Pancakes in Eugene, where he met religiously on Saturday mornings with a group of friends in his later years).

Steve thrived in school and, as an only child, was doted on by his parents. One of his few regrets was voting for his opponent in an election for student body president of Klamath Falls High School — an election in which Steve lost by one vote.

Steve attended Oregon State University to study engineering. He soon figured out, however, that his passion was for music, and soon transferred to the University of Oregon to pursue Music Education. Steve eventually would earn his Bachelor’s, Master’s and a Doctoral degrees from the University of Oregon School of Music.

Steve playing with friend Dick Wilkins at the Sigma Nu Fraternity in 1950.

After receiving his Bachelor’s in 1948, he taught elementary school in Dayton, Oregon, before enlisting in the US Navy. He served on the aircraft carrier USS Oriskani, and later served as a postmaster on Guam, where he met a number of men who would become lifelong friends. Steve had a prodigious memory for trivia, and one of his favorite party tricks was recalling the many strange and ironic names of the soldiers to whom he delivered mail.

After the service, Steve returned Klamath Falls to teach music. There he formed friendships among artists and musicians that lasted decades, including Barbara and Ken Kensler, Walter Munhall, and Lynn (and later Doris) Sjolund. These times included many late nights of music, painting, and laughter; and Steve and Walt were known as the “swinging bachelors”, according to Barbara.

Steve moved north in the late 1950s and was hired as choral director at Beaverton High School. Many of his students there became lifelong friends. In 1960, he married the love of his life, Suzanne (Finzer) Stone. She was a bookkeeper and art enthusiast originally from Portland with a self-deprecating sense of humor and a distinctive, generous laugh. Sue and Steve loved to entertain together, and their homes in Portland and Eugene became gathering places for teachers, faculty, musicians, and artists.

Steve and Sue on a date.
Wedding Day, 1961.
Steve at the piano leaving an impression on his boys.

They had two sons, David in 1962 and Michael in 1964. Steve was a gentle and supportive father, though not much of a disciplinarian. The kids would hound him to play a game he created called “Walla Walla, Washington,” in which Steve would assume a stance on all fours on the living room floor, and they would proceed to tackle him, attempting to wrestle him to the ground. When saying goodnight to Mike and Dave, Steve would stand at their doorways and recite, “Night night, sleep tight. Don’t let the bed Bugs Bunny.” (Steve was a lifelong Looney Tunes fanatic)

Steve with his dog Alice, the second love of his life.

In 1968, Steve was hired as choral director of the newly opened Aloha High School. Steve often recalled the powerful bonds that formed between students and teachers during the social upheaval of the Vietnam Era. Aloha was an experimental high school, which allowed Steve to write his own curriculum and create challenging, innovative choral and musical theater programs for his students, as well as a humanities course.

Steve (seated with hat) horsing around with his students at Aloha High School.

While teaching at Aloha, Steve commuted to the University of Oregon, where he received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 1973. Three years later, he left Aloha when he was hired as Assistant to the Dean of the UO’s School of Music, working alongside his friend and colleague, Dean Maurice Rider. He would add to his title that of associate professor of jazz history, choral music and music education. Steve served as manager for the School of Music’s Chamber Music Series, bringing more than 80 internationally known chamber groups to Eugene. He directed several UO choral groups, including the University Chorale, the Contemporary Chorus, and the Vocal Jazz Ensemble. In 1982, he and colleague Janet Descutner founded the University Song & Dance Troupe.

He taught extensively in the field of jazz history and popular music, wrote several articles on popular music and produced “Jazz Songbook”, a series of weekly programs for public radio that aired on KWAX. Steve was a meticulously prepared educator, which helped explain to his sons—both of whom took his classes—why Steve typically spent his time after dinner (when not dashing off for a concert) until bedtime in his study, listening to music, reading and preparing his materials. Steve was a longstanding member of Rotary, Round Table Club of Eugene, and was the 2009 recipient of the Eugene Arts & Letters Award. He played trombone professionally with the Starliters Big Band for several years. And he never left the field of music education.

Steve at his U of O retirement party.

After retiring from his position at UO in the early 1990s, he joined the Oregon Festival of American Music. At first, he gave a “lecture-demonstration” on Stephen Foster including a vocal quartet, piano and violin. The next year, in 1995, he presented a “lecture” entitled “Say it with Music: The 1920s in Revue” – a two-hour performance that included singers, dancers, and a full big band. This was the birth of the Emerald City Jazz Kings, a group Steve would formally co-found in 1997 and lead until 2012, when he passed the baton at age 84. In all, he produced 51 shows dedicated to the performance of and education about the most prominent contributors to 20th Century American popular song. The group performed in Eugene, Medford, Ashland, Corvallis, Roseburg, Florence and Newport.

Even as Steve suffered from advanced Alzheimer’s, he could still hum any jazz standard, recite countless naughty limericks, blaze through a NYT crossword puzzle, and name his favorite singer (Peggy Lee). In 2015, a pack of Steve’s former Beaverton High School students visited him in his foster home in Southeast Portland. Steve was in classic form for the occasion, reminiscing and joking and conducting his circle of loyal friends from a song sheet he had compiled 50 years’ earlier. It was just like the old days.

Steve was preceded in death by his by his wife, Suzanne (Finzer) Stone, in 2001. He is survived by his son, Michael Stone of Portland; son and daughter-in-law, David and Julie Stone of Kalispell, MT; and grandchildren Benjamin Stone, of Portland, and Anna Stone, of Bozeman, MT.


Classic Steve Stone Lines

Steve coined many phrases and jokes during his life. Here are some of them.

“Good to see you, Steve.”

“Good to be seen!”

Upon seeing family members first thing in the morning

“Ah, if it isn’t sleeping ugly!”

“I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.”

Upon being given a gift

“That was mighty thoughty of you.”

“You ever heard of the food gangsters? You know, noodles Romanoff… Chicken cacciatore… Cherries jubilee.”

“How are you, Steve?”

“Fair to poor.”

“Night night, sleep tight. Don’t let the bed Bugs Bunny.”

“You ever hear about the tuna choir? They used to sing with a porpoise, but now they just sing for the halibut.”


Memories of Steve

Please submit all tributes or memories of Steve through this form and they will be posted below.


Oh gosh…I’ve been wondering about Steve’s status ever since he left Eugene. My late wife Elizabeth was tennis partner with Sue Stone for several years, so that’s how I got to be friends with Steve. What he didn’t know about the American song book was not worth knowing. I relished his impish sense of humor. We attended many of the Jazz Kings shows. It was remarkable how he put together such informed and entertaining concerts; they were not only fascinating historical musical “documents,” but also brought out the essential timelessness of the material through the talents of living musicians. I remember him saying to us that he thought the perfect American ballad was “Time After Time.” He also confided to me that a certain celebrated 19th C composer (who’ll stay nameless here) wasn’t his favorite because that person’s work “didn’t  swing.” I smile when I think of that, because from my own musical background I knew exactly what he was talking about. (Not just a question of syncopation! Tricky to explain.) I share a sense of significant loss with Michael, David and other surviving family and friends who loved Steve. R.I.P., old friend. Thanks for the memories…

Ken Paul


He was indeed a gem in so many ways – a “jazz father” to me, and so influential on the direction of my musical interests & career. A good man without a mean bone in his body (except he did play a “mean ‘bone” at one time!) He will be greatly missed, and possibly never as fully appreciated by any one group as much as those of us at the Shedd who had a chance to be mentored, and create music with him.

Vicki


i must say Steve changed my life. I managed a coffee shop for many yrs down the street from his home. Almost daily i let him in early so we could talk, work on crossword puzzles together , and laugh. He was a man i highly respected, treated everyone with kindness, respect and no judgement. I was gifted many jazz king concert tickets and never missed his show for yrs ! i think often of Steve and miss him. rest his soul but his legacy will live on.

Bettina Evans


I knew Steve for many years. We were in Eugene Rotary together where he played the Star Spangled Banner every week to open our meetings. We both did shows at KWAX on Friday nights. He produced Jazz Songbook and I did Straight Ahead Jazz hour. It was fun watching him through the studio window. He looked like he was having fun and effectively showed his love of jazz. We were both devastated when the station manager came in while we were taping and said “KWAX is not going to do jazz anymore starting next week.” Steve was also a loyal customer of mine when I had Cat’s Meow Jazz And Blues, a cd and lp store. We loved talking about music together.
He will be missed.

Jeffrey Ogburn


Steve was my instructor in Introduction to Music in 69-70 at Aloha High School. He had developed the curriculum. He introduced us to the concept of music. Answered the question, “Just what IS music?” He introduced us to and had us play a variety of instruments, many of which I had never seen before. He helped to give me a life-long interest in music. In 2010, at our 40th High School reunion, Steve attended and we had, forty years later, a long conversation about what actually IS music? Five years later, at age 62, inspired by that conversation, I decided to learn to play my first instrument.

Thanks Steve for the education and inspiration. You impacted my life.

Stan Biles


WHAT A WONDERFUL TRIBUTE THIS MEMORIAL REFLECTS ON STEVE AND SUZANNE. I ALWAYS ENJOYED MY MEETINGS WITH THEM AND OVER THE YEARS I HOPE THAT THEY WERE PLEASED WITH MY ADVICE.

DENNIS RANDALL


Steve and the Stone Family are cherished friends of my family- the Kenslers. I admire Steve’s passion for music and the arts, which he so creatively shared with so many! Music was always on his mind and in his heart. At my mom’s 80th Birthday, he was quick to remind her that she shared her birthday with Beethoven.

Steve brought so much joy to mom’s life, sharing their mutual love of the arts by providing her with tickets to endless performances of all types- symphony, ballet, Jazz Kings, and others. Thanks to Steve’s generosity, mom had a social life for many years that ran circles around those of her four children!!

 We also got to share several special and loving visits with Steve and Michael at his foster home in Portland. A wonderful man! A treasured family friend! A bright spot in our lives! You are missed, dear Steve- and lovingly remembered, honored, and celebrated! Much love and our heartfelt sympathies to your family.

Sue Pepper-Reed


Steve was an inspiration when I was first teaching French at Aloha High School starting in the ’70s. His music students learned so much from him, and he cared about each one. It was a fractious time for the faculty and administration then, but Steve would sit down with the then principal and present points of view, and listen. I too remember his sense of humor and making others laugh. A striking memory of the high school days was a music program featuring a couple dancing to In the Mood where the female dancer was lifted completely above the boy in a handstand, at the end.

Susan Hayden


Such a dear man. We shared just a sliver of your influence in this world but I am so grateful. You are remembered.

Marcia James Gluz


As the “canary” in the Starliters Big Band, I had the pleasure of working with Steve for almost 30 years. We shared a lot of good times, and he was always such fun to be around. Steve was not only a fine musician, but a wonderful human being, a genuine gentleman. I will miss that smile of his, and the ever-present hint of mischief in his eyes. Rest in Peace, dear friend. You will always have a special place in my heart.

Donna Courtell


I was his student at Aloha from 72 to 75. We called him Doc Rock which fit him because he loved a good pun. I inspired in me a love for choral music which has been a passion of mine for more than 45 years. He was always supportive and fun and delightful person to know. He was a wonderful teacher and I will always remember him fondly.

Ed Doyle


Wow Michael, I didn’t know your father but he was larger than life. And this memorial says so much about the man you became under his love and influence. So beautiful. You saw him so clearly and attended to him in really sweet ways. My hat is off to you in love!

Joan


Doc Rock got me to join choir my senior year at Aloha HS…or told some girls to get me to join choir after I told him I wasn’t interested…my life has been SO enriched by participating in choirs ever since. Eternally grateful.

Kevin Shiley


We first met Steve in 1957 when he lived for a short time with his parents who lived two houses up on 8th St. in Klamath Falls. Ken and I had a silk screen Christmas card business. Every night we would print cards down in the basement. Steve would appear with his trombone, sit on a stool and play. I did a casein painting of him playing and gave it to him. Many years later he gave it back and said “the fingers on the “bone” were not correct and it’s always bothered me!!!” I forgive you, Steve 🙂 and I will always count you as a very dear, special friend.

Barbara Kensler


Steve was my first real voice teacher at UO. His generous and patient disposition was exactly what I needed at the time. He always wore a smile and had something silly to say. I sang in his UO Song and Dance Troupe, performing a Frank Loesser tribute. I swear he knew EVERY piece of music ever written! He was so much fun and I have thought of him often over the years. Thank you for your wonderful influence, Steve. You will always be remembered!

Stacy (Brawn) Swartout-McKee


He was a special guy! Remembered in some of my earliest memories with my father… 
I enjoyed performances with him at the worlds fair in his song and dance troupe (what a fun trip that was). RIP Dr Stone!

David Gustafson


When did our long friendship start?  It seems like it just happened way back then.  It was probably in University Singers about 1949. Steve had gone to Oregon State, I believe, thinking he would get his advanced education there.  Oregon and music had too much pull on him and he transferred to Eugene and seemed never to have regretted the change.  While the band side was his first love and mine was orchestra, our paths crossed often.  Both being in music education was one of the things that brought us together.  That and classes with Ed Cycler, Dr. Nye and Don Allton gave us common experiences.

Steve was tired of playing second fiddle to other fine teachers in Klamath Falls and decided to move north to Beaverton.  There he and Sue, settled down and started a family.  Their place turned into our home away from home when we went there.  I can’t remember exactly when he and Sue got married, but it was always a happy, beautiful relationship. There was something musical going on all the time.

My respect for Steve as a musician is boundless.  He had that facility many fine musicians have of being able to recognize any pitch.  They say perfect pitch is both a joy and a curse, but having it always impresses me. But, far more important than perfect pitch was Steve’s memory for music he had heard.  He seemed to remember when and where everything came from.  His knowledge extended far beyond his love of jazz to all kinds of choral and classical instrumental music.

Steve’s long association with the Jazz Kings made him popular in Eugene because of all he brought to the community about that idiom.  Every time Doris and I heard a program we marveled at how extensive his background and understanding were of songs, composers, artists and performance.  He must have spent about thirty years directing and organizing concerts for the group and sopping up more facts.

One summer somewhere in the early eighties we co-taught a graduate summer class on comparative music education.  Steve was a great teacher.  He not only knew his material but knew how to get the students to stretch their thinking to look at problems in different ways.  I think I learned as much as the students.

After I retired in 1986 I did some teaching at various universities.  Loyola in New Orleans, Southern Oregon in Ashland and  Lewis and Clark in Portland as well as the University of Oregon where I filled in for Dr. Clark with the University Singers and taught graduate classes in conducting and “problems in music education”.I would go north from Medford on Monday, teach Monday afternoon, rush home for Chorale Rehearsal Monday night and then do the same rush on Wednesdays.  When I did this I would head for the Stone house after rehearsal on Wednesday and stay in Michael’s downstairs room until Friday came and I headed home. It sounds frantic but it worked and Steve often showed me the best restaurants in town.  If you went down town after evening classes you could go to that restaurant that was across from the Old Eugene Hotel and they would give you free French bread. 
 
I know I have left out oodles and will try to remember to write down events we remember.  Doris is betterat that than I, so we can work on it together. Time seems to pile altogether and specifics are hard to find. My very best to both of you. Your parents were wonderful people who were great friends and who made our world a better, happier place.

Lynn Sjolund


Steve Stone was an amazing man. He had a great impact on my young life. He was my music director at Aloha High (1971-1974). He would ask me to “do my best”, then when I thought I had he would ask for more. And because of him I would give more than I ever thought I could and became a much better musician and person. He received his doctorate during this time so from that time on we called him “Doc Rock”. He loved it! I am so thankful that he was in my life those three years I was at Aloha, he truly helped mold me into the person I am today. Rest in peace Doc Rock, you have earned it. Love and hugs to his family.

Shelley (Dove) Langhorst


Steve will always hold a special place in my heart. Some of my happiest days were spent under his tutelage as a student at Aloha High School from 1968-1970. I loved music, I loved to sing… ”Mr. Stone” took me under his wing and encouraged me as I pursued my passion for music. He was a tremendous mentor from whom I learned so much while participating in choir, choral ensembles, and musical (drama) productions at AHS. He made all my music related experiences such fun and so exhilarating! But he was more than a teacher. I had a difficult relationship with my father during my youth. Steve became a father figure to me, providing me with wise counsel and showing me genuine care and concern during some very trying times. I will be forever grateful to him for that. Of ALL my teachers, Steve had the greatest impact on my life. We stayed in touch over the years. I was so honored when he came to my wedding! And I am so very grateful that I had a chance to visit him several times at his foster home in Portland before I moved to Michigan a couple years ago. I am not sure if he always knew who I was but he always greeted me with his sweet smile and we had some lovely conversations. The last time I saw him, I asked if I could kiss him goodbye as I wasn’t sure when I might see him again. He said yes. I gave him a kiss on his forehead and told him I would always love him. I will…and I will miss him! How blessed I am to have called him friend. He was a remarkable man who has left a remarkable legacy!

Dena (Slovick) Bindewald


Thank you Mr. Stone. I had 1 choir class with you my senior year at Aloha. I was a quiet (invisible) girl who was graduating early. You asked me why I wanted to do that and what I was going to do with my life. I replied, I want my life to start and I wanted to be an author of mystery books. I didn’t know that I wanted to be a mystery writer until that very moment, It just came out. I remember you trying to advise me that graduating early and getting out in the world wasn’t the best idea for a kid who wasn’t planning on college. Of course, 10 years later, I realized you were right. The most meaningful part of this story is that you, a teacher that barely knew me, took the time and showed an interest in me, yeah, little ole me. You really listened to me without judgement, had I known what I was in for, I would have given my life more thought! That conversation was HUGE! Thank you so much. You will be missed BY ALL! Keep on singing Mr. Stone, keep on singing, we’ll all be listening to you this time.

Shari Hess Peterson


My time with “Doc Rock” was High School – 1972 – 1975. Many wonderful memories of my high school years centered around the music department and Steve Stone. I had the privilege of singing in the choir, Jazz Ensemble and Madrigal Society under Doc Rock. He had a wonderful way of bringing out the best in us. Thank you!!

Daniel Dunham


What a wonderful memorial tribute!! I had no idea how accomplished Steve was, although that special group of friends (Steve & Sue, Gordon & Barbara, and Walt) always amazed me. Still does!

Sherry B.


What can I say about Doc Stone? He was the only true mentor in my life, though I certainly didn’t avail myself of but a small fraction of his depth. He coached me to wins in the state solo competitions, fed my brain as well as my budding musical abilities, and encouraged me to shine. I remember the unusual videos he would occasionally show during choir practice, and how he had us get to know new members, then introduce them to the rest of the class. I truly regret not keeping in touch after my time with him was done.

Calvin David Hooning


I had quit singing in choir after the seventh grade, but came back to it in my senior year at Aloha (’70-’71.) Mr. Stone was instrumental (no pun intended) in sparking my interest in singing in choirs, which has continued to this day (I hope that we can get past this plague and sing together again.) Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols” was a particular highlight that year – challenging music indeed for a HS choir. In the spring, he gave me and two other singers the opportunity to conduct one piece in the concert – mine was “We’ve Only Just Begun.” Not a profound piece, but a good sentiment to take into the wider world. So glad that I got to talk to him again at our class reunion ten years ago! Thanks to the family for putting together this splendid memorial!

Michael Hooning


I believe it was 1973. Having being cast in a play as a mute King, I had found some success. A little further down the road I found myself cast as the Dick Van Dyke role in Bye Bye Birdie. 

Of course I knew DocTor Stone well as I was a choir member and also a member of the vocal jazz ensemble. DS always referred to my voice as a buffer voice. He told me that he could “put me between two stronger voices and I would round the 3 voices out nicely.”

Yeah. I knew what that meant. Not the greatest singer of all time.

My most fond memories of high school include Doctor Stone. Traveling for Christmas concerts. The shows. The laughing. The rehearsals. He was always firm but extremely positive – all the time.

But I digress. So I end up in Birdie with a major singing part. I was PANICKED! I marched myself into Doctors Stones office and asked what him, what the heck am I going to do? {We didn’t swear back then}

After he heard me out, he gave me a big smile. Then calmly sat me down and said this:

“You’re going to do great. I’ll be with you the entire time working on it together. Trust me. I won’t let you fail.”

He was good to his word. The play was a huge hit. I did all the work and Jeff Kerner got all the attention!

I digress. 

Doctor Stone single handedly lifted me up to be in that play. Not only did I not fail, I did a very passable job with all the singing.

The two last things I did when I left high school was to sit on the stage by myself and say goodbye To the stage AND then walk to Doctor Stones office to thank him for everything He had meant to me.

My heart will always be full with the love he gave us all. 

Sweet dreams Doctor Stone.

Rick Livingston 1972 – 1974 Aloha High School


I have never forgotten Mr. Steve Stone, I have to say Mr. because of the deep respect I have for our Wonderful Music Teacher, Instructor and mentor. I remember his leading us through the paces as we all prepared for the Musical “Finnian’s Rainbow,” after hanging around after class 2 day in a row, he confronted me on what was up. I wanted to be in the production, but didn’t know what to do or how to ask about it. He told when and where to go. He then spent about a 1/2 hour getting to know the real me, not the one I tried to display in- front of others. He had a tremendous impact on in that Senior year at Beaverton. Many things have kept me from getting back to Beaverton, I wish I had gone back from time to time. A day late and dollar short. 
To the Family he has left behind, I can only say; You have truly been blessed, by having a front row seat in the adventures of Mr. Steve Stone. May God Bless you in all that you do, he did me the day I met Mr. Stone. Thank You for Sharing HIM with us.

Terry W. Fleming


What a beautiful tribute to an amazing man, a man that has been a powerful influence in my life as well as to my family. I was at Aloha High School from 1971-1974 and sang in choir with Dr. Stone, Doc Rock, as our director. I will never forget my first year – we sang Carmina Burana and I was stunned at the quality of sound that he produced from high school kids. As others have said before me, he was so much fun, so positive, and so passionate about music. Steve and Sue became good friends with my parents through attending our choir concerts and participating in the community choir that he also directed. Mom and Dad also valued their friendship. 
Dr. Stone had a profound influence in my life, encouraging me to go into Music Education which I eventually did. After attending the U of O music school for a year, what a surprise to see Dr. Stone as part of the faculty! He pulled administrative strings for me to allow me to student teach in Beaverton, which he thought to be the best district for music education in Oregon. Because of him, I had a 36 year career in public education here. Dr. Stone and Sue attended my wedding, and I will never forget seeing him sitting on the lawn in my parent’s back yard with his ever-present smile. 
My fondest memories of Aloha High School are all about singing in choir, madrigal groups, going on choir trips and participating in Bye Bye Birdie. Thank you, Dr. Stone!

Kristin (Flesher) LeMon


What a lovely tribute & thoughtful memorial to this wonderful man! I had the pleasure of sitting, talking and singing with Steve during the last years of his life- for many months! Those very months with him got him to call me “buddy,” which is a very dear word to him! I felt honored. What can I say other than I never felt bored sitting or even chatting with him. In fact, being around him made me feel closer to my own family, especially my dad. Steve, you are gone now, but you are never forgotten! You will always be in our hearts. Thank you, buddy! 🙂

Sarkawt Sabir


Class of ’71 – ’73 – who remembers this?

(To the tune of “Swanee” by Stephen Foster)

Stevie, how we love ya! How we love ya!
Our dear old Stevie.
We want the world to know,
That we’ll keep singing
Even if my voice won’t let me.

Stevie, waitin’ for us, prayin’ for us
At dress rehearsal.
And when we’re singing that old sweet song
Steve wants you to sing along!

Calvin David Hooning


It was always fun when Mr. Stone would visit us in Garden Home. I was a little boy, he was my Dad’s friend. Beyond that, I didn’t know who he was exactly except he was always warm and smiling and talked to me in a friendly manner that put me at ease even though he was a grown up. I’ll always have good memories of Steve, Suzanne, and their sons David and Michael. My sincere condolences.

Tyler Munhall


Sad to hear about Doc Stone’s passing. Being in the choir at Aloha was the highlight of my high school years. He was always extremely generous in allowing me to be the assistant choir director and letting me accompany the choir and vocal jazz ensemble. When I think of Aloha High School he’s always in my memory.

Lee Robinson


I first encountered Steve Stone when my oldest brother Lee Robinson attended Aloha High School where Dr. Stone directed so many wonderful choir and musical production, including “Bye, Bye, Birdie” and “Godspell”. In 1983 I started undergrad at the University of Oregon and met up with Dr. Stone again. Despite my busy schedule, Dr. Stone encouraged me to get my minor in Music, as he knew I’d be able to test out of several of the theory and performance classes. I performed in the Song and Dance Troupe he founded (along with his son Michael), as well as a vocal quartet called “All of the Above” which did local dinner theater, etc. I recall him being so kind, knowledgeable and supportive.

Kimberly Robinson


Steve gave me my work-study job as the stage manager at Beall Hall, which I held onto for several years. I loved that job because I got to meet Richard Stoltzman when Tashi came to town, and even sat next to him while they rehearsed. I also sang in the University Singers when he directed, and all the choirs combined to perform Carmina Burana (the 2 piano, 6 percussion version). It was marvelous. He always had time to talk as I worked my way through the various programs. A truly great man.

Ben Farrell


This is a great tribute & many thanks to those who put this together.
A standard memorial occasion with many former students & colleagues would also have been memorable but with the virus this was unfortunately not possible. Steve Stone was absolutely pivotal in my becoming a professional singer. Prior to high school choir I had no musical background or special interest whatsoever but this changed gradually under Steve‘s influence. I even had more opportunities to work with him when he became director of the choir at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church shortly after I had begun singing in his choir at Beaverton High. I just need to mention one special memory here & this took place shortly after the new year 2004. I had planned to give an informal recital as a surprise for my mom‘s 80th birthday. All went according to plan except for the weather which even for Portland was exceptionally full of ice & snow in addition to temperatures around 15 degrees F. Somehow Steve had found out about it & curious about the state of my voice, having not heard me for some 35 years, made the trip up from Eugene despite the inclement weather. I was surprised & honored that Steve had taken the time & effort to make it. I signaled him out in the sparse audience as being primarily responsible for my having chosen the career I had.

Peter Graham Ashbaugh – Class of 1967 Beaverton High School


So sorry to hear of “Doc Rock’s” passing. The man taught me so much about music and I’ll never forget him or how much we all loved him.
I was in his last Class at aloha and went to U of O the next year. I found the New Assistant Dean was teaching a Choral class and I found as many former Aloha music students as I could to sign up and on day one we all sat in the front row. The look on his face as he walks into a new class room and it looks like his last. He had to double take. What fun.

Dan Williams


Doc Rock. I was so very lucky to have gotten to be a member of your choral department at Aloha High School. I have kept the image of your impish smile in my heart my entire life. Whether it was music theory class where we daily tried to get you sidetracked because your knowledge was so fascinating, to “Hello My Baby” on Fridays while you held us wrapped, or just watching your eyes go dewy during our Menucha retreat breakfast anthem of Randall Thompson’s Alleluia…being a part of something high class with you at the helm, challenged me and ignited in me the yearning for excellence and joy in music the rest of my life. Thank you beyond measure for your gift, given so freely.

Lori Carothers Calhoun