Please give my sincere condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues who will surely miss him dearly. This is an enormous loss. I would love to share a little story about my time working at SBCC with the wonderful, caring, funny, and inclusive man I will always cherish and remember. When I first began working at SBCC in August 2006, I was still quite young, often unsure of myself, a bit shy, and pregnant. David Stone was one of the first people I met, and he couldn't have been more kind. He made me feel welcome and included from the moment we met; like I was a part of something special and that people cared about each other at SBCC. He was one of the most welcoming, caring and funny people I knew then, and he still ranks at the top of that list long after his retirement and always will. He was so, so good at making me laugh and smile no matter what kind of day I was having and no matter what kind of day he was having. He made sure to acknowledge every person that crossed his path; every single day. That takes a lot of energy, and intention, and he always made it look easy even though it probably always wasn’t. He had a very rare quality and unique way about him that made everything come alive in his presence. I don't know many people that have that effect on the world and people around them, but he sure did.
A few months into my time here, and when I was in the last couple of months of my pregnancy, someone hit my parked car and knocked off my sideview mirror. I didn't notice it had happened until the end of the day, when I was leaving work a bit late and after my coworkers in my department had already left campus. When I found the dangling side view mirror, I was tired and feeling oh so heavy. I didn't even know there was a security campus security number I could have called to ask for help. David Stone was still on campus, and his office was located right near my office building. As I was walking from my car and back to my office to see what I could use to jerry-rig my mirror well enough for my 45-minute commute to Ventura, Dave checked on me as he always made the time to do. When I told him about my mirror and my plan, he jumped right in to help me and took care of the whole thing. It’s not that he didn't think I could take care of it myself; he knew I could. He just believed in helping each other out and lived that out every single day. He wanted to lighten my load and make sure I got home safely and that I felt supported. We laughed so hard about the whole thing as he duct-taped the heck out of my mirror until he was 100% sure it wouldn’t budge on my drive home. It was a running joke between us for a long time.
Dave was also always "paying it forward; to his colleagues and to his community. He was deeply invested in that. He was so, so proud of his sons too, and I remember celebrating with him on the walkways near our buildings when he had exciting news and proud father moments. Their happiness and progress and fulfillment meant everything to him, of course. I remember feeling so sad when his workspace was moved far away from my office. I still got a kick out of his campus-wide emails, but things never quite felt the same without him nearby, and even less so after he retired.
We should all strive to be more like David Stone. It’s impossible to capture the full essence of who he was and how he spent his time here on this earth, so I'll keep it simple. He was a great, great man: wonderful, caring, funny, courageous, real, and inclusive and I feel so lucky to have known him for the relatively short time that I did. I will never forget him. Rest in Power David Stone.
~ Jennifer Eggertsen