Former Bayfield resident and Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon Jay Stone died Jan. 30, 2011, at his home in Norfolk, Va., where he was stationed. The cause of death is undetermined at this time.
Stone, 24, had served a tour in Afghanistan as an independent augmentee filling in for a different branch of the military with an Army unit.
Hed only been over there a couple of months when he was awarded his Cavalry Combat Spurs, his mother, Pat Stone, said. He didnt talk much about being over there, but he got about 15 medals, one for being injured.
Stone, a computer-communication specialist, enlisted in the Navy in 2007. He had been interested in computers since he was young and could type more than 135 words a minute, Pat Stone said.
He was a kid who had a lot of troubles, and the Navy turned his life around, his mother said. He loved the Navy, and I can honestly say the Navy loved him.
Brandon Stone had the Navy motto Honor, Courage, Commitment tattooed on his back.
The Stones moved to Bayfield in 1987, when Brandon was just 8 months old. He grew up there, moving with his mother back to the Baton Rouge, La., area just before his senior year in 2004. He attended Central High School for a short time before going on to get a GED diploma. His mother said he had the highest score theyd ever seen on the math test.
He always enjoyed playing sports, especially soccer and wrestling, his father, Charlie Stone, said, about his sons involvement in athletics at Bayfield High School. We had a place out by Arboles, and he loved to ride four-wheelers and hunt prairie dogs with a .22.
One of Brandon Stones main interests was Boy Scouts.
He received his Eagle Scout in Bayfield Troop No. 506 in December 2002, his former Scout leader Bill Faust said. I ask those who remember him to take a moment ... to remember him and his family.
Brandon Stone enjoyed playing computer games, particularly EverQuest.
I saw a tribute on Facebook where a young man said, I played a lot of EQ with Brandon. Ive been out of work and ran out of money, so Brandon paid for a three-month subscription for me so I could keep playing, Pat Stone said.
Charlie Stone agreed that his son was a fine man.
He was always a gentleman, he said. He would go out of his way to open a door for a lady.