WILLIAMSBURG—The Hon. William T. Stone Sr. of Williamsburg died January 18, 2018.
Judge Stone was born January 8, 1931, in Washington, D.C., to the late Joseph Thomas and Beulah Cooke Stone. As a teenager, Judge Stone witnessed commitment to family and service to the community while being cared for by his aunt Edna and her husband McKinley T. Whiting of Newport News.
He attended public schools in Baltimore, Md., Newport News and Manassas. He graduated in 1948 from Bruton Heights School in Williamsburg. He assisted his family in Whiting’s Funeral Home.
In 1953, he earned a bachelor’s in business administration and economics from Central State College in Wilberforce, Ohio. He served in the U.S. Army as a military policeman and also was trained as an embalmer while stationed in the U.S. and the Republic of South Korea.
In 1956, he graduated from the New England Institute of Anatomy, Sanitary Science and Embalming in Boston, Mass. That same year, he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army and married Sara Cumber.
Judge Stone earned his Juris Doctorate in 1962 from American University’s Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C. He established Stone & Associates in Newport News and moved his law practice to Williamsburg in 1964, becoming the first black attorney to open a law firm and practice in the Williamsburg area. His firm also was the first integrated law firm in Williamsburg.
In 1968, he became the first African-American judge in Williamsburg and the Commonwealth of Virginia. As a substitute judge, he presided over cases in the Ninth Judicial Circuit of the General District Court, including Williamsburg and surrounding areas.
Upon retiring from law practice, he continued to operate Whiting’s Funeral Home, the only African-American owned funeral home in the Williamsburg area and the oldest and longest running African-American owned business in Williamsburg.
Judge Stone was a founding member of the Zeta Mu Mu Chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity in Williamsburg. He was a member of the Improved Benevolent, Protective Order of the Elks of the World Inc., Old Capital Lodge Number 629.
He also was active in the National Funeral Directors Association, the National Funeral Directors & Morticians Association, the Virginia Morticians Association, the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, the Peninsula Bar Association, the Old Dominion Bar Association, the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association and the Williamsburg Bar Association.
Judge Stone is survived by his wife, Sara; and children, Tommy, Jackie, Michael and Chris; sister, Edna; brother, Horace; son-in-law, B.K. Fulton; daughter-in-law, Alicia; six grandchildren, Tommee, BeAna, Sam, Tyana, Jalen and Harmony; and one great-grandchild, Aiden.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Beulah Stone; sisters, Elizabeth, Beulah and Carolyn; and brother, Samuel.
A funeral service was held January 27 at the Willamsburg Community Chapel, Williamsburg, with the Rev. Dr. Reginald F. Davis, presiding, and Minister Christopher D. Stone, eulogist.