Staying Active, Interested Keeps Doris Stone Going At 100

(Left) Doris Stone photographed as a child. PHOTO COURTESY OF DORIS STONE. (Right) Doris Stone credits staying active and a daily glass of chardonnay for reaching 100. She was born on March 22, 1923. MIRROR PHOTO BY KAREN GERHARDINGER

BY KAREN |GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — Doris Stone jokes that she’s lived to 100 because God isn’t ready for her yet, but she shares one reason for her longevity: staying active in life and having a glass of chardonnay each day.

“Be interested. Stay interested. Don’t just sit around. That’s the worst thing,” she advised. 

Doris, a Waterside resident for 22 years, has done just that: playing bunco, bridge and – before the pandemic – volunteering with the St. Luke’s Ladies Auxiliary.

Born on March 22, 1923, Doris was an only child, growing up in the South End of Toledo on Ogden Avenue and attending Arlington Elementary. As a kid, Doris took piano, tap dance and toe dance lessons. At age 12, her father taught her how to drive a car, an old Franklin model. Doris earned good grades and was involved in French Club, Zet’s Literary Society and Friendship Club before graduating from Libbey High School in 1941.

After graduation, she worked for Tiedtke’s and in the personnel department for Lamson’s Department Store, where a coworker advised her to go to college. So, she did.

Living with family friends in Shaker Heights, Doris took the street car each day to Fenn College, which eventually became Cleveland State University, where she studied business and joined Gamma Nu Sigma sorority. Since she had a boyfriend in Toledo, Doris returned home each weekend on the train.  

While home for summer from college, Doris was among the first women hired to run the boards for Collin Norton Brokerage Firm, keeping track of the stock exchange.  

“Because all of the men were off at war, they needed to hire women,” she said, adding that she was promoted to head bookkeeper because of her year of college. When they asked her stay on – and not return to college – she agreed, remaining for a few years.

Doris had plenty of dates, but it was one blind date in particular that changed her life. Her friend told her, “Wouldn’t you like to date an officer in the Army Air Corps?” She couldn’t refuse!

“He said he liked my legs,” Doris recalled of Glenn Stone, who was a major in the Army Air Corps. He served four-and-a-half years overseas and got a little miffed when he heard the song “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”

“He never came home for Christmas,” she said.

Glenn did return in 1945 when World War II ended. Doris recalls being in downtown Toledo during the D-Day celebration, where people flooded the streets to welcome back soldiers. The next year, Doris and Glenn wed at St. Lucas Lutheran Church.

“I was so happy to be married into a large family,” she said, referring to Glenn’s eight brothers and sisters, three of whom – Bob, Dottie and Marion – are still alive. Glenn passed away in 2008.

The couple’s first home was an apartment on Auburn Avenue, where son Rick was born in 1947.

“I did a lot of walking at night with that kid,” she said, noting that he cried a lot.

The family bought a little cottage on the river for $3,500 and welcomed a beautiful collie into the fold. While the cottage didn’t have an indoor toilet or laundry facilities, Doris didn’t mind. Growing up in the Great Depression taught her to save and re-use things, she said.

“It’s still in me now,” she said, pointing to her heart. “I was so used to taking care of things and not being wasteful.”

By the time son Don was born in 1951, the couple moved to Highland View in Sylvania and, in 1958 purchased 11 acres and a house on a hill with a separate apartment over the garage on Whiteford Road. A drive through the property was known as the Lover’s Lane of the area and the Stones had to chase people off from parking on their acreage.

“The house was a mess, but my husband said he would get it right,” Doris said. “There were rumors that some burlesque queen from downtown Toledo lived in the apartment that we now owned and they could see her perform from their kitchen window.”

Living on such a big lot meant the ability to bring in all sorts of animals: horses, cats, dogs, chickens and ducks. The boys would ride the horses around the area with their friends, their adventures including discovering the Stranahan home off Corey Road, which is now the Manor House at Wildwood Metropark.

“I heard you had to chase a horse down Whiteford Road with a pail of oats to get him to come back,” her daughter Nancy Jomantas chided.

Doris recalls more horse stories, including burying a horse in a future neighbor’s backyard and a colt born in the stable.

In 1955, the couple sold the acreage to Don Scholz for a subdivision that became Rudgate in the Woods, and Nancy, who was born in 1962, remembers exploring the home construction sites. The new neighbors were of many nationalities, and they got together for progressive dinners. Doris also was in bridge club with the new neighbors and played bridge every Friday night with friends. She still enjoys bridge and bunco.

While Glenn, a civil engineer, volunteered with the Zenobia Shrine, Doris was involved with the Lady Shriners, including playing guitar with The Shemans, a female group that traveled the area to perform.

At Olivet Lutheran Church, Doris taught nursery school for 13 years and played piano for the kids even after retiring. She has been a member of Grace Lutheran Church for over 60 years.

Every summer, the family would head up to a resort on Mullett Lake in northern Michigan. They enjoyed inviting friends up to boat, relax and explore the area, including Mackinac Island.

Doris walked across the Mackinac Bridge for the annual Labor Day walk. 

“Once was enough. My legs were sore,” she recalled.  

In her 80s, she did walk across the Royal Gorge Bridge in Canon City, Colo.

As Doris and Glenn got older and the kids moved out, the couple moved to Waterside in 2001, when Doris was 78. That turned out to be a blessing, as she was able to meet new friends and get involved.

She’s hoping to see some of her Waterside friends, as well as her five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, this weekend during a family party.

Doris, along with fellow 100-year-old Waterside resident Norm Hurlburt, will be honored again on Sunday, April 2 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Waterside Clubhouse.

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