Barbara Nell Stone
March 17, 1929 – October 18, 2017
Barbara Stone, 88, passed away Wednesday, October 18, in College Station, where she had recently relocated after spending her retirement years in Alpine, Texas.
Barb was born in Cookeville, Tennessee, to Mary Elizabeth and Bryce Douglas Stone. She attended George Washington University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and was a member of the women’s rifle team. She received her Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of Tennessee (the REAL UT).
As a child, Barb was active in the Girl Scouts and remained active through her adult years. She worked professionally for the National Office of the Girl Scouts of American in the training division. Summers were often spent either attending or running Girl Scout Camp. Hundreds of women and girls benefitted from her dedication, creativity, and love for Girl Scouting and, especially, for camping.
Barb left the Girl Scouts to pursue a Doctorate of Education at Boston College, where she studied under Malcolm Knowles. Upon completion, she served as a member of the faculty at James Madison University as Associate Professor of Sociology. In 1977, Barb joined the faculty of the College of Education at Texas A&M University as Associate Professor of Adult & Extension Education. During her years at Madison and A&M, Barb guided graduate students from all over the world in finding their own understanding of learning and ways to contribute to the learning of others. Many of her students remained in Barb’s life as her legacy and her “chosen family.” At Texas A&M, Barb was a founding senator of the Faculty Senate and served as department head; she retired from Texas A&M in 1991.
Barb is the recipient of numerous teaching awards including the Association of Former Students’ Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching, College of Education, in 1983. She had over 65 published articles and presentations. Barb always listed her profession as “teacher.”
Barb spent her retirement years in Alpine, Texas, where she fully embraced life in the Big Bend. She became an EMT and volunteered with Terlingua Medics, where she served as their “oldest living medic.” She was a HAM radio operator, call number KM5VM, and regularly participated in local and international events. Barb volunteered at Big Bend State Ranch and taught an Elder Hostel course on medicinal plants of the desert. She was an amateur astronomer and helped at the McDonald Observatory’s Star Parties. She founded the “Double Diamond Gang” of volunteers for the Cowboy Poetry Gathering at Sul Ross State University. Barb received an abundance of recognition for her contributions to the communities in the Big Bend.
Barb traveled and camped throughout the US and Mexico in tents, vans, trailers, and eventually her motor homes, usually accompanied by a dog and a telescope.
Barb was predeceased by her father, Bryce Douglas Stone, her mother, Mary Elizabeth Stone Jarsen, and her brother, Bryce Douglas Stone, Jr. She is survived by countless friends and family and her pets, Quincy and Simon and Frankie and Knobby.
At Barb’s request, there will be no funeral. Her ashes will be spread in the Big Bend at a later date. Barb’s family and friends will plan a gathering to share pie and memories in her beloved Big Bend of Texas in the near future.
Those wishing to may make a donation in Barb’s memory to the Alpine Humane Society – Ezra Fund (alpinehumanesociety.org).
Barbara Nell Stone