Cheney Free Press -

Joseph Wesley Stone


Last updated 12/10/2020 at 11:23am

With considerable sadness, we, the family of Joe Stone share the news of his recent passing and reflect on his momentous life story.

Joe was the third born child to Wes Stone and Darlene Ritter (then Stone), on Oct. 22, 1964 in Moscow, Idaho. As a child he was diagnosed with a rare metabolic disease that affects the kidneys known as Cystinosis, which at the time had very little medical research to promise an optimistic future for his life.

When Joe was extremely young, his father Wes was passionate about activating support to fund medical advancements in Cystinosis research and kidney transplants at the University of Washington, Swedish Medical Hospital Seattle, and other research facilities nationwide to save his son’s life. Most notably starting in 1966 and again in 1981, Wes famously embarked on several long distance walks across Idaho and Washington in the “Life for Little Joe” fundraising campaigns which brought a national spotlight on Cystinosis. Joe received groundbreaking treatments and surgeries which led to thousands of saved lives for Cystinosis patients to this very day. As a young adult, he received a donated kidney which added over 35 more years to his time on earth.

Despite the odds, Joe was a fighter and a survivor and had a zest for life that inspired all who had a chance to know him. His grade school friends fondly recall his incredible sense of humor and infectious laugh. He’s been described as a jokester, someone with great compassion and high intelligence, a social being with a large group of friends, a great love of Cheney and a passion for life.

In addition to completing high school in Cheney, Wash., he graduated from Eastern Washington University with a mechanical engineering degree and had a career working for the Boeing Company in Seattle, Wash. As an adult he lived nearly two decades in Seattle where he explored the craft coffee and nightlife scenes, made heaps of friendships, and took a few adventures to travel to tropical locations around the world.

Several years ago he came back to Cheney to peacefully retire in the home he loved, in a town he adored. Joe continued to be an active staple in local social circles and could frequently be spotted visiting with friends and family at places such as Starbucks, Mason Jar and Bill’s Tavern which were among his favorite haunts.

He cherished his life-long friendships and loved to reminisce on good times passed. Other notable passions Joe enjoyed in life included good coffee, The Rolling Stones and other rock music, relics of the Seattle Grunge scene, the Seattle Seahawks, Bud Lite, peaceful moments at a quiet lake, Boeing aviation, working on his Toyota pickup and his little house and being a positive role model for other people to look up to.

In early November 2020, he left this world peacefully at home, to reunite with his brother Andy Stone, mother Darlene Ritter and father Wes Stone in the next life. He is survived by his three eldest sisters, Cassie Holliday, Cheryl Stone, and Stephanie Stone; brothers-in-law Doc Holliday and Dave Hall, nephews and nieces Chris Holliday, Katie Holliday, Sarah Heston, Christina Green, Samuel Carlson, Rebecca Carlson, and Dominique Carlson; and great nephews and nieces from Sarah, Chris, Christina, and Rebecca.

Joe will be treasured forever in our hearts as a unique soul who brightened this world, brought immense joy to all who knew him and greatly changed the lives of so many people. Rest in peace, Joe, we love you so much.

In lieu of flowers Joe has kindly requested for donations to be made to the Union Gospel Mission of Spokane, or 509-535-8510.


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