Thomas D Stonerook, 89 and longtime resident of Arvada, Colorado, passed away in comfort and peace on 13 May 2018. His wife, LaDonna, and many family from near and far were by his side as his life here came to a close.
Tom was born in Erie, Pennsylvania to Howard and Edna Stonerook on 1 July 1928. He grew up with a sister, Mary Jean, in Erie and later Youngstown, Ohio. He also had 4 half brothers and sisters. As with most kids during those times, Tom helped his Dad with any work that was at hand, from building homes to raising pigs. He was active in sports, playing both football and basketball during his high school years. Late in high-school, he enlisted in the Army Air-Corp and graduated high-school while serving.
The Army sparked two of Tom’s lifelong interests, flying and engineering. He was stationed in Panama, where he worked on the Panama Canal and learned to fly. He laughingly would tell everyone that during the war he, “protected us from the Southern front”. He escorted dignitaries by flying a P-51 throughout South and Central America. After his military obligations, Tom went back to Youngstown State University and graduated with an Electrical Engineering degree.
Tom held several engineering jobs throughout his life, working at places like Philips, Goodyear, Keebler and Consolidated Mutual Water Company where he finally retired in 1991. He also was a home-builder, car wash owner, and retail store business man. The greatest job he had, however, was the one that brought him to Minot, ND. This is where he met the love of his life, LaDonna.
Tom married LaDonna Peterson in 1952. LaDonna’s large family quickly became Tom’s. They hunted, played sports and generally did all things together. And this would continue throughout their life. In 1955, they welcomed their first child, Pam and within 3 years had 2 boys, Tom (1957) and Tim (1958). Rick, the youngest, was born in 1965, making a packed household of 6, very similar to the family Tom wed into.
The family followed Tom’s work from North Dakota to Cincinnati, OH to Chicago, IL, finally settling in Arvada in a home he built and lived in until his death. He was a “friend” of hard work but the best work he did was that of a husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He showed up at everything he could, be it school activities or sporting events, often being the first in the stands and the last to leave. His love of family was clear in these situations. Tom also loved holidays, Sunday night dinners, and daily “coffee-hour”, as he knew an entourage of family and friends would be by his side.
In addition to family time, Tom enjoyed playing cards with his bridge-group, wood-working in his shop, fishing with his buddies, and taking care of dogs, his or others. He loved getting his hands dirty in his large garden as well. Tom would share the fruits (or vegetables) of his labor to all-comers. Finally, he and LaDonna relished the opportunities to travel, going to places like Russia, Norway, the Caribbean and throughout the US. He particularly liked cruises as they provided great food, fun adventures and, once again, the opportunity to spend time with his large family.
Tom is survived by his sister Mary Jean and his wife, LaDonna. Also, he is survived by daughter Pam Flora and husband John, sons Tom Stonerook and wife Kendall, Tim Stonerook, and Rick Stonerook and wife Sarah. He has 14 grandkids, Jeff (Tracie), John and Scott (Erica) Flora; Chris, Carolyn (Mike) and Laura Stonerook; Trent (Kristie), Grant (Sami), Leigh (Josh), and Carly Stonerook; and Zachary, Ricky, Anna and Tommy Stonerook. He has 7 great-grandkids including JT, Jackson, Brooklyn and Jordyn Flora (Jeff/Tracie); Cooper and Cody Flora (Scott/Erica); and Emma Stonerook (Trent/Kristie).
A Memorial Service will be held 19 May 2018, 11 am at King of Glory Lutheran Church (10001 W. 58th Ave, Arvada).
Contributions in his memory can be made to Collier Hospice (3210 Lutheran Parkway, Wheat Ridge, CO, 80033) or to King of Glory Lutheran Church (address above).