Vernon Travis Stone, 98, of Jonesboro, passed from this life into the arms of Jesus on Sunday, June 13, 2021.
He was born Nov. 2, 1922, at Warm Springs in Randolph County to the late John Wesley and Stella Floyd Stone. He joined the Navy in 1940 at the age of 17. He was assigned to the USS Vestal upon completion of training in December of 1940 in Long Beach, Calif.
His ship left for Pearl Harbor in March to begin repair work on cruisers and battleships. On Dec. 5, 1941, they were moored alongside the USS Arizona to do repair work on Monday, Dec. 8. It never happened. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Vernon and his brother, Horace, both survived the attack.
The next ship he was assigned to was the USS Lloyd E Acree at Orange, Texas. He went through the Panama Canal into the Pacific for escort duty and submarine patrol for the Leyte Philippines invasion. He stayed there until the surrender of Japan. He was discharged from the Navy in December 1946.
He enlisted in the Air Force on Jan. 3, 1948, and was assigned to Chanute Air Force Base, Rantoul, Ill. From there he went to Shaw Air Force Base South Carolina. His next base was Ellison Air Force Base in Fairbanks, Alaska, till 1950. From there, he was assigned to Scott Air Force Base, Ill. Before going to Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah, he married Fredreca and they lived there 16 months.
His next Air Force journey took him to Pusan, Korea for 12 months. Fredreca did not accompany him on this assignment. Upon his return, he reported to Chanute Air Force Base, Rantoul, Ill. From there, they moved to Carswell Air Force Base, Fort Worth, Texas, retiring there May 31, 1963. He has resided in Jonesboro since his military retirement.
Vernon then worked as a heat and air supervisor at Arkansas State University until his retirement in 1987.
Vernon enjoyed playing golf, gardening, studying the Bible and traveling with his loving wife, Fredreca. They were married 71 years. He also enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, and supporting his grandchildren and great-grandchildren at ball games, band performances, cheerleading and other activities.
At the age of nine, he accepted Jesus as his Savior. As a member of Central Baptist Church here in Jonesboro, he was a faithful servant of God. He also taught Sunday school there for years. He was a Christ-like example for all of his family.
In addition to his parents he is also preceded in death by two brothers, Cardwell B. Stone, Horace E. Stone; and stepmother, Myrtle Stone.
Vernon is survived by his wife Fredreca (Freddie) Brady Stone, two sons, Travis R. (Nancy) Stone, and Charles R. (Beth) Stone: six grandchildren, Chris (Amber) Stone, Phil (Dana) Phillips, Daniel (Kala) Stone, Amy Stone, David (Sarah) Stone and Jennifer (Blake) Smith; and 11 great-grandchildren, Trenton Stone, Luke Phillips, Taylor Stone, Hailey Stone, Van Stone, Ella Stone, Tyson Stone, Cooper Stone, Brody Smith, Braden Williams and Lily Smith.
He is also survived by two very special nieces, Carolyn (Bill) Duke and Paula (Dr. Michael) Thompson and their children and grandchildren, Joe (Adriane) Duke, Ellen (Brian) Lisko, Jonathan Pyle, Nate Pyle, Laura Thompson (Jake) Kornegay, Dayton Duke, Margaret Duke, Lucy Lisko and Molly Lisko.
Friends may visit Emerson Memorial Chapel Friday, June 18, starting at 1 p.m., with services following at 2 p.m.
Graveside services, with military honors, will be Friday, June 18, at Lawrence Memorial Park in Walnut Ridge at 4 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked to please consider donations to Central Baptist Church or a charity of your choice.
To sign an online registry, please go to www.emersonfuneralhome.com.