We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Lord & Stephens East
Frances Wynnette Rhoden Stone, 76, of Athens, Georgia passed away on September 13, 2021.
Born November 29, 1944 in Atlanta while her father was serving in Italy during World War II, she was the daughter of the late Luther Richard Rhoden (1914-1991) and Mildred Frances Lowe Rhoden (1918-1991). She was raised in that city, graduating from Sylvan High School in 1961. During her college years at Georgia State University, she met and married her husband, Carl Stone of Albany, Georgia. He was serving in the Army at Fort McPherson and together they embraced the military life for twenty-two years, moving to France, Virginia, Texas, Alaska, and Kansas before eventually settling back in Georgia.
In 1967, Wynnette graduated from Georgia State with a bachelor’s degree in English that included a teaching certificate. Her first teaching job was at Liberty County High School in Hinesville. Soon she became a mother and homemaker, keeping the home fires burning while her husband served in the Vietnam War. Later, she felt led to the ministry and in 1983 graduated from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Kansas City, Missouri) with a master’s degree in Religious Education. The following year she attended the Candler School of Theology at Emory University (Atlanta) and graduated in 1987 with a second master’s degree in Theology. Upon her husband’s retirement from the Army, the couple moved to Memphis, Tennessee to pursue her career. She served as a chaplain at Methodist Hospital in Memphis and then became a substance abuse counselor at Grace House rehabilitation center for nine years. In 1999, the couple moved to Kennesaw, Georgia and she worked at Northside Medical Center (Atlanta), again as a substance abuse counselor, while her husband worked at IBM. She retired in 2002 and her husband in 2003. They then purchased a motor home and embarked on grand adventures across the United States and Canada. They drove over 90,000 miles and together fell in love with the National Park System as well as the presidential libraries. Wynnette loved snapping pictures of wildflowers along the way. Their last adventure was in 2016, but it was cut short when she began to fall ill. Although her mobility became limited, the Stones enjoyed life together at their home in Athens, welcoming family visits, sharing movies, and watching the hummingbirds until a brief final illness caused Wynnette’s death at Piedmont Athens Regional.
Wynnette is survived by her husband of 56 years, Major Carl Edward Stone (Transportation Corps, U.S. Army, retired, 1961-1987); their two sons, Michael (Kathryn) Carl Stone (Captain, U.S. Air Force, 1991-1995, Santa Clara, California) and Lieutenant Colonel Brian (Valerie) Edward Stone (U.S. Air Force, retired, 1992-2012, Athens, Georgia); four grandchildren: Samantha, Claire, Tom, and Eli; and two siblings, Richard (Janice) Wayne Rhoden of Woodstock, GA and Leila Rhoden of Armuchee, GA.
A small outdoor memorial service will be planned later in the autumn due to Covid-19 pandemic concerns.
In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to The Bowden Fund offering scholarships to both women and men wishing to enter the ministry. Checks can be made out to Covenant Presbyterian Church (1065 Gaines School Road, Athens, Georgia 30605) and marked with Wynnette’s name and The Bowden Fund. Questions can be directed to 706-548-2756 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lord and Stephens Funeral Home, EAST, Athens, GA, is in charge of arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com