Cover photo for Ralph Earl Stone's Obituary
Ralph Earl Stone Profile Photo
1937 Ralph Earl Stone 2024

Ralph Earl Stone

January 30, 1937 — February 1, 2024

Ralph Earl Stone, 87, of Columbia, IL, died February 1, 2024, in Waterloo, IL. He was born January 30, 1937, in Springfield, MO to Burl Stone & Pauline Avery.

    Ralph was a quick wit, loved conversation, a crossword master and friend to all. Ralph grew up in Leasburg, Missouri where his father was the Tower Man for the forestry service. When he was young, he would work the tower watching for forest fires and doing radio transmissions to help the adults foresters. This fostered his love of adventure as he bragged to us about scaling the outside of the tower to get to the top. He had another  job as a young boy as a cave guide at Onondaga Cave. He loved this and would use lanterns to explore other caves in the area. After high school, he found an outlet for his adventurous soul in the Army. Dad became a Screaming Eagle with the 101st Airborne. He told us he LOVED jumping from planes and that it was , and I quote so much fun. After his service, he came back home and went to work in the St. Louis Area at the Chevrolet plant and finally working for Monsanto in Sauget. He was an electrical maintenance engineer until his retirement. 

            It was when he lived in St. Louis that he met the love of his life, as he would often say, a good woman that he loved very much, Mary Lou. They were married in 1961, made their home in Columbia, Il and raised their family there. Dad took us on adventures too - camping, fishing, running trotlines at night, learning to swim in the Meramec River by jumping off the hog trough bridge or jumping from a rope swing tied high up in a tree, to taking us to the top of that old tower in Leasburg or traveling to Colorado to visit beloved family. His grandchildren loved his silly jokes, and encouraging bad behavior like putting Jello & whipped cream on your cereal. He loved football and one of his joys was watching Ralph & Jake when they played high school football. He taught us to fish, love God, trust a higher power and love unconditionally and that when you become an “old fart”, all you can do is do the best you can.

            In 1970, by the grace of God, dad became sober by following a 12 step program and a higher power. Dad touched many, many lives through his sobriety in AA. Due to Dad’s selfless faith in the higher power, many other families have reaped the benefits of sobriety too.  He proudly celebrated his 53rd year of sobriety in December. 

            Ralph is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mary Lou (Mehrtens) Stone. Two daughters, Julie (Ken) Hubbard, Sandra (Ron) Daniels, two sons Ralph (Donna) Stone and Randy Stone. Grandchildren, Sarah (Jay) Wellen, Laura (Preston) Bogard, Casey (Zac) Carnahan, Robin (Matt) Fisher, Rachel (Ryan) Halley, Jacob Stone, & Ellie (Aaron Brockmann) Stone. Great-grandchildren - Clare & Jackson Carnahan, Ethan and Colton Fisher, Emma, Sophia and Behren Bogard, Tanner Wellen and Blake & Autumn Halley. Sister, Sharon Gilbert, Brother Don Avery, Step siblings, Marilyn Woyak, & Chuck Avery. Dear nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and his AA family.

    Preceded in death by his parents Burl Stone & Pauline Avery, one son, Richard, siblings, James Stone, and JoEllen Wevers.

As an expression of sympathy the family prefers memorial contributions to: 

Alzheimer's Association


    4 PM to 8 PM Monday, February 5, 2024 at Quernheim Funeral Home

    9 AM until time of service Tuesday at Quernheim Funeral Home


    10 AM Tuesday, February 6, 2024 at Quernheim Funeral Home in Waterloo, IL

        Pastor Cory Hartz officiating

    Interment at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, MO

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ralph Earl Stone, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, February 5, 2024

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

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Tuesday, February 6, 2024

9:00 - 10:00 am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

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