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Ruth Wilma Stone

November 9, 1917 January 6, 2020
Ruth Wilma Stone
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Obituary for Ruth Wilma Stone

Ruth Wilma (Smith) Stone, 102, passed away in her home at Brookdale in Great Falls on Monday, January 6, 2020. Cremation has taken place under the care of Schnider Funeral Home.

Ruth was born on November 9, 1917, in Pataskala, Ohio. Her mother, Jessie B. Smith, was church organist for the Pataskala Methodist Church for 40 years and her father was an active solo and ensemble singer and voice teacher in the region. She and her brothers, Earl and Walter inherited their passion for music. Ruth majored in public school music and voice at Capitol University in Columbus. During the latter part of her college career she received statewide honor by winning the Buckeye State Music Jubilee, and, as a prize, was awarded the opportunity to sing a show with the renowned Ozzie Nelson Big Band. As her brother Walter commented, “she was a warbler of the first water.”

After graduating from the university, Ruth taught music for four years in eastern Ohio. During World War II, she worked for a time in an aircraft factory. On an excursion to Arkansas, she was introduced to an army buddy of her brother, Earl, Vernon Wade Stone, whom she married in 1948. Ruth and Wade moved to Riverton, Wyoming, where Wade accepted an engineering position with the Bureau of Reclamation. Their first two children, David and Don, were born in Riverton. They then moved to Great Falls, where Ruth confirmed her newfound love for the wide, open spaces and resided here for the rest of her life. In Great Falls, daughter, Kathy and son, George were born in 1952 and 1954.

Ruth continued her career in music through years of faithful service to the First United Methodist Church Choir, as well as to the children’s choir, four decades of teaching and supporting piano students, and supporting local music groups. One of her proudest accomplishments was her establishment of the Ruth Stone Music Scholarship, which grew out of her involvement in the Tuesday Music Club. This scholarship continues to pay for music lessons for area youth.

After Wade retired, they enjoyed overseas trips and family get-togethers, always with the joyous foundation of music. Ruth also enjoyed European trips on her own and with her sister-in-law, Vi. Ruth continued to live in her home for many years, enjoying her flower garden, her books, her piano, her church, and her friends and family. She moved to Brookdale before her 80th birthday, and has lived there continuously.

Ruth is survived by her children, David (Nancy) Stone, Don (Cathy) Stone, Kathy Stone, and George Stone; and grandchildren, Matthew Stone, Tobi Stone, Samuel Stone, Andrew Stone, and Claire Dalzell. She was preceded in death by her husband, Wade.

A service and celebration of Ruth’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 1, 2020, at the First United Methodist Church (610 2nd Avenue North).

Condolences for the family may be shared online at In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Ruth Stone Music Scholarship Fund (c/o Montana Community Fund, P.O. Box 1145, Helena, MT 59624).

Previous Events

Celebration of Life




11:00 AM 2/1/2020 11:00:00 AM
First United Methodist Church

610 2nd Avenue North
Great Falls, MT 59401

First United Methodist Church
610 2nd Avenue North Great Falls 59401 MT
United States

Memorial Contribution

Ruth Stone Music Scholarship Fund c/o Montana Community Fund

PO Box 1145
Helena, Montana 59624

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