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Kimberley Families

The Eric Stone Family

as told by son John

Eric Stone was born in Shoreham, England. His father, William Daniel (Dan) Stone came out to Winnipeg in 1905 when Eric was only nine months old. Dan was in the real estate business in the Winnipeg area until 1912 and two more children were born there, Bill and Gladys.

Dan's first wife died when Gladys was an infant and he married Margery McCluskey. They moved to Cranbrook where Dan obtained some property in the Kootenay Orchards and raised chickens and opened up a greenhouse. Two more children were born in Cranbrook, May and Jim. Eric began working at Lumberton in 1928 and then came to Kimberley a year later, to work for the Company at the Concentrator. In 1939, he transferred to the Mine and worked underground as a miner, a timberman and a timber crew foreman.

He married Eva McKim, a daughter of another pioneer family, in Kimberley, and they had four children, Ruth, Marlene, Norma and John. Mrs. Stone died when John was only a year old and the children were cared for by housekeepers, their last one was Florence Dietz who stayed with the family for twenty-eight years.

All the children went to school in Kimberley and the three girls graduated from high school. Ruth took her nurses training in the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria. She met Larry Kahler when he was in the Navy and they were married after the war. They are now living in Calgary and have three children. Marlene also trained for a nurse, in the Royal Columbia Hospital in New Westminster. She married Carl Stevenson and they too live in Calgary and have four children. Norma became a teacher and married Frank Me11, they have three children and they live in Penticton.

John has lived in Kimberley all his life, with the exception of one year in the Navy. After finishing his grade eleven, he worked for one summer laying railway track on a spur line to the Fertilizer Plant. He then took an apprenticeship with the Company in the Mine machine shop where he still works.

John married Donna Dingwall of Nelson and they have three children, Kelly, Bart and Shannon. Kelly is working at the Concentrator, Bart works for a lumber mill at Dease Lake and Shannon is still a student in Kimberley.

John is almost six feet, six inches tall and was a natural for basketball. He played senior basketball for one year, but preferred playing baseball. He was first baseman for the Hobo's baseball team when Kimberley had an inter-city league. Jim Sommen and Dave (Couger) McLay were the Hobo's coaches. Their rivals in the league were the Kimberley Dynamos.

He played hockey and was the assistant trainer for the Dynamiters Hockey team for two years and then their full time trainer for several more years.

In 1975, the first Old Timers Hockey team was formed in Canada. Tick Beattie and Bill Moore were instrumental in getting one started in Kimberley with coaches like Harvey Nash, Ken McTeer and Walt Peacosh, all over thirty-five and ex-Dynamiters. John Stone was their choice for a trainer. In 1977, they went to Saint John, New Brunswick and brought home a gold medal and in 1978 they won a silver medal in Regina in the National Old Timers Hockey Competition. John said the Saint John's trip was fantastic. They helped to finance their trips by building a modern house and selling it.

John was a member of the North Star ski patrol for three years until a knee injury prevented any further skiing. His wife Donna, manages the Elks Bowling Alley at present.

Eric retired from the Company in 1966. He was an active member of the Moose Lodge and helped to build their hall in Lower Blarchmont in the early 1950's. He was an ardent curler and loved a good card game. Eric Stone passed away in 1974.

Eric's sister, Gladys came to Kimberley in 1928 and worked in the L. D. Cafe as a waitress. She married Bob Clayton in 1929, who worked for the Company in the Mine welding shop. They had four children, William (Bill), Lorraine, and twins, Robert (Bob) and Joan.

They moved to Creston in 1944 where Bob opened up his own welding and machine shop. Bob was accidently killed two years later on a hunting trip. After Bob's death, Gladys went to work in the fruit packing plant for three years. She returned to Kimberley in 1949 and married Dennis Bush, a miner for the Company. Dennis passed away in 1955. Gladys had been working as a clerk in the Hudson's Bay Store and continued to work there after Fields took over. She retired in 1975 after working there for twenty-two years.

Her son, Bill, was a successful businessman in Calgary and now in Phoenix, Arizona, building houses and condominiums. He married Joan Kennett of Kimberley and they have three children. Lorraine took her nurses training in the Vancouver General Hospital. She now lives in Coquitlam and is married with three children. Bob married Julie Mountain and they have three children, he is the manager for Rae Graham Company, Chain Link Fencing in Calgary. Joan also lives in Calgary and is married and they have three children.

Since Gladys has retired, she enjoys traveling but keeps Kimberley as her home base.

John has enjoyed growing up in Kimberley and says that in all his travels he has yet to find a more friendly place.

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