Saluting Rear Admiral Leslie O. Stone – Rocky Mount’s Dr. Stone – Part 1

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Leslie O. Stone represents a way of life that is in peril. That’s why his story is important in Rocky Mount, NC and in today’s world.  It’s worrisome! The previlent sense of entitlement that now exists, politicians promising free “stuff.” There’s something wrong in the message to a child playing sports today, everyone gets a trophy, which recognizes and celebrates participation, rather than performance. These kind of things are taking us further down the road from the admonishments we were once given, that hard work and perseverance lead to success. Dr. Stone’s feet were firmly planted in this tradition that made America great; his story illustrates what must not be forgotten. In 1895, he began life in a house with a dirt floor and became Commander of the National Navel Medical Center, referred to as Bethesda Naval Hospital, from 1953-1955. He was Rear Admiral, Medical Corps, U.S. Navy.

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After 37 years, Dr. Stone, retired in 1955 from the Navy. He served in World War 1 & 2 & The Korean War. He went on to practice Eye, Ear Nose & Throat medicine in Tryon, NC for one year, 1956, before moving his family to Rocky Mount. Here he became associated with his brother, Dr. M.L. Stone at Memorial Hospital 1957-1971 when he retired. He was a member of the Fifty Year Club of N.C. State Medical Society.

His son, Leslie O. Stone, Jr. shared  recollections of his father while we looked at photographs and through an old photograph album, the color fading from the 4×4 prints.  This proud son, a man with a quiet heart and piercing blue eyes, takes time from his consulting work, fishing, picking up grandchildren, a beautiful family of his own, and tells me that he feels blessed to have been raised by Irma Rose Stone from Kenley, NC  and Leslie O. Stone from Kittrel, NC.  Many of you know Leslie Jr. who in 1977, became the youngest Road Master with offices in the old REA Building. He retired as The Assistant Division Engineer for the railroad. A few years have passed since his first summer job selling vegetables from his wagon. Vegetables Dr. Stone grew in the 800 block on Eastern Avenue, located in what is now known as the Edgemont Historic District. The photograph above is of Dr. Stone on his son’s wedding day to Walda Talton Stone.

 Next: Part 2 –                                                                                                                                      A Mystery That Has Never Been Solved  

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About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
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5 Responses to Saluting Rear Admiral Leslie O. Stone – Rocky Mount’s Dr. Stone – Part 1

  1. jan_pit@msn.com says:

    Dr. Stone, oh what an awesome, caring, compassionate, not only doctor but human being. When growing up my parents often called him in the middle of the night and we would meet him at his office for a lancing of an abscess of a young child (me) in the ear canal. He always felt like no one especially a child should suffer that much pain and discomfort as long as he could do something about it. Then came the invention of the “tubes” for the young ones ears. Dr. Stone always made his patients and their comfort his number one priority. He was surly as blessing from God for the Rocky Mount area when it came to the ears….and nose and throat, and he always had some great stories to share that you actually could learn from.

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  2. Remember both Dr. Stones …… I don’t remember the last time I saw Leslie in public school though (can’t remember if it was Jr. or Senior High). I’m just wondering if he perhaps left the public school system to go to military school. It bothers me that I have trouble remembering people’s faces at this point ……. but I’ll never forget his bright red hair.

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    • Helps me to be patient with myself when I find someone else’s memory tape skips over a few things as mine does.Thank you for leaving a comment about both Dr. Stones.They both made a difference in the medical world of Rocky Mount.

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  3. Tommy Drake says:

    Dr. Leslie O. Stone was an officer and a gentleman, and I was blessed to have had the opportunity to visit with him and Mrs. Stone in their home! There son, Leslie, sure had a full head of hair in the above photograph; I wonder how he looks now?

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