Mr. Kenneth Stoner, age 93, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Friday, January 4, 2013. He was born on a farm in Solon Township to Carl and Ada Stoner just prior to the Depression and could remember many details about those years. Ken graduated from Rockford High School in 1938 and remembered helping to pour the foundation of the Rockford Post Office in 1937. After his graduation from Rockford High School, he worked at the Wolverine Shoe Factory (W.W.W.) in the office and printing department. On April 16, 1941, Ken was drafted in the U.S. Army, serving in Company “C” 126th regiment of the 32nd division, which is now the “Red Arrow Division”. After being in the campaigns in Papua and Buna, New Guinea, Ken was discharged from the service. He received the Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon with two Bronze Battle Stars, five Overseas Service Bars, one Service Strip and the rank of S/Sgt. Ken remembers on V-J Day that he and Mrs. Myrna Harger went to the First Congregational Church of Rockford and joyfully rang the church bell when “Victory” in Japan was declared.
Ken was one of the two original letter carriers in Rockford (the other was Merton Davis), a service that started on July 1, 1949. Later he served as a rural letter carrier from 1954 through 1979 with 700 stops including the Cannonsburg Post Office, and the Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake areas. He retired after 35 years with the Postal Service. Ken loved being out of doors and would fish all four seasons (a trait his son Kevin inherited). He also tied flies for fishing, which is an art unto itself. In retirement, Ken and his wife, Versa, traveled extensively. Ken is survived by his loving wife, Versa (nee Hornby) whom he married on August 28, 1948; children, Kathryn and Frederick Lyons, Brian and Robin Stoner, and Kevin Stoner; nieces and nephews, Mrs. Carol Bylsma, Janet Bacon, Mary VanOeveren, Ronald and Ruth Crame, and Richard and Cheryl Crame, and several great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Ada (nee Arsnoe) Stoner, his sisters, Mrs. Edith Ploeg and Mrs. Frieda Nelson. The Service for Mr. Stoner was Monday, January 7th at the First Congregational Church of Rockford, U.C.C. with Pastor Laurel TenHave-Chapman and Chaplain Michael VanOeveren officiating. Interment in Rockford Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Endowment Fund at First Congregational Church of Rockford, U.C.C.
The Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford