Jim Stone, whose lifetime of service to country and community took him from the Korean War to being honored along with his wife, Bobby, as co-grand marshal of the 2012 Santa Clarita Fourth of July Parade, has died. He was in his mid-70s.
“Both Jim and Bobby — I don’t think they have ever said ‘no’ to anyone when they have asked for help,” parade committee chairwoman Linda Storli said in 2012 when the couple was honored as grand marshals. “They’re the consummate volunteers. They never turn you down. They never say they are too busy, and they started very young serving their country as well as their communities.”
Jim Stone’s commitment to serving his nation and his community spanned seven different decades, starting with his work in the U.S. Air Force, maintaining airborne communication and navigation equipment during the Korean War.
“I worked on anything that was electronic on the aircraft,” he said in a 2012 interview.
After the war, he continued his career in the aerospace industry before shifting gears and going to work for the local Keysor-Century Corp., which manufactured vinyl records. That’s where he became fascinated with audio technology, and began volunteering his services to set up sound systems for events.
Bobby and Jim Stone
His first Santa Clarita Valley volunteer gig? In 1972, he set up the sound system for the inaugural SCV Boys and Girls Club Auction, which had pretty modest beginnings.
“I think that there were probably about 60 people there,” he said. “And you know what that has gone on to become.”
Over his years volunteering in the SCV, Jim Stone worked on the Walk of Western Stars, the Frontier Days rodeo and parade, and numerous events for the SCV Senior Center.
In the 2012 interview, he said his bride got bit by the volunteerism bug before they got married.
“We’ve been married 21 years now, and before she married me she got sucked into working on the Boys and Girls Club Auction and the other stuff I was working on,” Jim said. “That was part of the deal: She would have to come along with me, and she jumped in with both feet.”
Jim and Bobby were a perfect match — they even shared a military background in common, with Bobby having served in the Marines in World War II. Together, they became a fixture at SCV community events for more than two decades.
Robin Clough, director of volunteers at the SCV Senior Center, said the Stones previously coordinated the center’s monthly dance club and were instrumental in the installation of the center’s dance floor and sound systems.
“Jim and Bobby are incredible senior advocates,” Clough said in an interview before the 2012 Fourth of July Parade. “They have given so much of their time and energy to help the Senior Center and the seniors we serve. It is especially meaningful and appropriate with the parade theme of ‘Santa Clarita Volunteers,’ as no one represents Santa Clarita better.”