Former Juneau Assembly Member and Deputy Mayor David Stone died unexpectedly Tuesday evening after collapsing at home. He was 55 years old.
Former Mayor Bruce Botelho served with Stone for nine years on the Juneau Assembly, starting in 2003. He described him as a bridge builder, who would often mentor new members.
“Invariably members of the Assembly regardless of where they lined up on the political spectrum would work through David to try and reach agreement,” Botelho said.
Stone was chairman of the Assembly Finance Committee for several years and also Deputy Mayor. Botelho says he brought a lot of knowledge and experience to those positions.
Current Juneau Mayor Merrill Sanford served with Stone on the Assembly for eight years. They also attended Southeast Conference and Alaska Municipal League together.
Sanford says Stone’s wife, Laurel, called him at home Tuesday night shortly after he had passed. The mayor and his wife went to the hospital to be with her. He says she was surrounded by a group of close friends, but is understandably devastated.
“Hopefully we can give her all of the love and support and prayers that she needs to get her and the rest of the family through all of this,” Sanford said.
Stone was Deputy Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. He joined Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell’s office as Chief of Staff just after Treadwell was elected, and moved back to the Labor Department earlier this year.
Treadwell released a statement that said,
Before taking the position at the state Labor Department, Stone worked for Alaska Electric Light and Power, first as director of consumer affairs then as vice president of lands. He also was president of AJT Mining Properties.
“You couldn’t find a better person to work with,” said AEL&P CEO Tim McLeod. “Very level-headed, very well liked. I mean he was just a perfect person to have there at the company.
Stone earned his bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Alaska. He was a life-long resident of Juneau, a noted expert on Juneau mining, and author of the book, Hard Rock Gold, a history of Juneau’s gold mines.
Lt. Governor Treadwell said he first met Stone in the late 1970s, when he was helping to create the Alaska Mining Hall of Fame.
Botelho says Stone’s passion for mining history reminded him of Judge Tom Stewart, who died in 2007.
“David had certainly taken on the mantle as the preeminent mining historian, not only for Juneau and Southeast, but the entire state,” said Botelho.
Stone was also involved with the Juneau Chamber of Commerce, Alaska Miners Association, and the Alaska Workforce Investment Board.
He is survived by his wife, Laurel, son Brandon, a U.S. Navy SEAL, who was severely injured in Afghanistan last year, and a large extended family, including step children.