PILOT MOUNTAIN — Scouting was a big part of Dan Stone’s life, so much so that he actually died in a car accident while on his way to a Boy Scout meeting.
That was nearly two years ago, but the leadership contributions Stone made to that organization on both a local and regional level aren’t easily forgotten.
And soon he’ll be remembered through an event offering the opportunity not only to chow down on pancakes, but more importantly to recognize a man who literally gave his all to the Boy Scouts.
“Scouting was the big thing with him, no doubt about that,” fellow scouter Chet Jessup said in announcing the Dan Stone memorial pancake breakfast on Feb. 23 from 8 to 10 a.m.
The event will be held at First United Methodist Church at 202 S. Stephens St. in Pilot Mountain — hosted by Troop 545, with which Stone played a key role. The public is invited.
Donations will be accepted for the breakfast, with proceeds to go toward Troop 545’s annual operating expenses.
“Dan was always very active in charitable activities, particularly the Boy Scouts and Pilot Mountain Civic Club,” Jessup continued, along with supporting activities at East Surry High School. “He was always doing something charitable.”
But it was scouting that was most in Dan Stone’s blood.
“Dan was an Eagle Scout himself and he worked at Raven Knob as a lifeguard,” Jessup said of a summer camp facility for scouts in Surry County.
That dedication continued as Stone grew older and held various leadership roles, with his commitment to youth rubbing off on others.
Donnie Diamont, longtime scoutmaster of Troop 545, said Stone was a close friend who rekindled his own interest in scouting along with breathing new life into that troop in the late 1990s after it fell into decline. Stone had earned his Eagle Scout Award from Troop 545 in 1968.
“He just really got me back involved in it again,” Diamont said of the lifelong Pilot Mountain resident. “We grew up together and we both had careers in law enforcement.” Diamont is a retiree of the Winston-Salem Police Department, while Stone had been an agent with the State Bureau of Investigation and at one time was head of security for then-Gov. Jim Hunt.
Diamont credited Stone with taking the reins of Troop 545 and helping it become what is now the biggest troop in Surry County with more than 50 kids registered. He also was instrumental in a new scout hut being provided for the group. Stone served as its troop committee chairman from 1996 until his death in 2011.
His enthusiasm led to scouting involvements beyond Pilot Mountain. In addition to remaining active with Troop 545, Stone served the Dogwood District and Old Hickory Council made up of troops from throughout the area.
He received the District Award of Merit in 2001 and was a member of the Old Hickory Council Executive Board in 2002. The 2010 class of Eagle Scouts for the Old Hickory Council was named for Stone at a March 2011 recognition and awards banquet.
Among Stone’s roles was chairing a committee that awarded Eagle Scout designations.
It was while en route to a regular Monday night scout meeting that Stone was killed in a weather-related wreck on Old Westfield Road. He was 56.
The Feb. 23 memorial pancake breakfast is the first such event since another breakfast was held on Aug. 20, 2011, Stone’s birthday, said Jessup, who met Stone as a teen-ager.
Those unable to attend can mail donations in Stone’s honor to BSA Troop 545, P.O. Box 1714, Pilot Mountain, NC 27041.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or firstname.lastname@example.org.