Ambassador Galen L. Stone II, an influential senior diplomat and WWII veteran who in retirement helped direct numerous educational and philanthropic organizations in the greater Boston area, passed away on January 23 surrounded by his loving family.
Ambassador Stone was born on the 4th of July in 1921, the eldest child of Robert G. Stone and Bertha Lea Barnes. He grew up in Brookline, MA, attended The Park School, Milton Academy, and Harvard College, and summered in Marion at his family’s beloved Great Hill property. In 1942, he enlisted in the Army and joined the US Army Corps of Engineers as a second lieutenant. He landed in Normandy while still under fire, and after VE Day was appointed Military Governor at age 24 over some 50,000 people in the greater Leipzig region of Germany. He remained active in the Army Reserve until 1970, and rose to the rank of Colonel.
Amb. Stone joined the Foreign Service in 1947 and served in numerous posts around the world. He became Deputy Chief of Mission in New Delhi, India and also served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Paris, France. He subsequently served as US Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, and to the Republic of Cyprus. Amb. Stone was a recipient of the State Department’s Meritorious Honor Award.
After retiring from the State Department in 1981, Mr. Stone’s commitment to public service continued in his private life, as he helped guide and support more than a dozen Boston area educational and philanthropic organizations. He notably served as Chairman of the Board of Overseers of Northeastern University, as Chairman of the Harvard-Yenching Institute, as a Trustee of New England Baptist Hospital and as a Director and Treasurer of United South End Settlements.
Mr. Stone’s son Brewer stated, “My father experienced both the Great Depression and the Second World War, which gave him a deep sense of empathy and lifelong desire to serve. He was born into privilege and spent his life giving back.”
Mr. Stone is survived by his loving wife of 70 years, Anne Brewer Stone, and by his brother Henry, of St. Clair Shore, MI. He is also survived by five children, Diana, of Asheville, NC; Mary Smith of Plainville; Pamela Evans of Marion; Galen III of Marion; Brewer of Mill Valley, CA.; 14 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Mr. Stone loved spending time with his large extended family at Great Hill, taking long swims in the Bay, and cycling throughout the area. A regular participant in the Marion July 4th parade as a WWII veteran, he had a big smile for everyone he met, and was a by all accounts a true gentleman.
A service to celebrate Mr. Stone’s long and wonderful life will be held on May 26, 2018, at 11 a.m. at Great Hill.