Grace Nicole Stone, 19, of Warrenton, died in a tragic car accident on November 1, 2018.
Grace was born to David and Kelly Stone on August 20, 1999, in Manassas, Virginia. Grace was named from the God given grace that was blessed to her parents. Grace was a beautiful spirit and was a blessing to all those she interacted with. From a young age, her beautiful blue-brown eyes shined light and she had a great love for her family and friends.
Grace grew up giving unconditional acceptance to others. From a young age she loved Jesus and wanted other children to know Jesus. Grace attended many years of Vacation Bible School and then volunteered several more summers, lending both her silly and her serious sides to guiding children in learning about their faith.
Books were another lifelong passion for Grace, whose Nancy Drew collection spans an entire shelf. A Nancy Drew birthday party, Nancy Drew Halloween costumes and her own spin-off – Gracie Drew – resulted from a love of clues and mysteries and writing.
Grace relished traditions, scavenger hunts and game nights with her family, her competitive spirit growing through the years both in the living room and in the athletic arena. Growing up on the swim team and the soccer field, Grace was a lightning-quick defender who would eventually put her speed to work on both the track and the cross-country trails.
Grace holds the Kettle Run High School record for the fastest mile. She was named most valuable athlete each of her four years on the cross-country team. Her running friends nicknamed themselves and their chat group “The Holy Trinity,” for their interdependence on each other and their respect for the sport.
Grace’s friends heard from Grace a lot, both in words and deeds. She loved gum, the color purple and making people feel special, often by baking for them. When her mom half-heartedly scolded her for emptying the pantry of baking supplies she didn’t realize that Grace was baking for others. So Grace stocked up on brownie mix in her room. Notes, posters or showing up was just how Grace rolled. She was loyal and non-judgmental.
Industrious and responsible, Grace became a favorite babysitter and the kids loved her. Her heart for children extended beyond the ones she knew. When she learned about challenges to literacy in Africa, she used her role as Kettle Run National Honor Society president to fundraise for Build Africa’s Learn to Read project. More than $2,000 was generated, much of it through a 5-K Grace spearheaded, and a mini-library was created at a primary school in Uganda. On the back of a thank you letter from Build Africa, Grace’s teachers encouraged her to remember what following through with her vision accomplished.
Vision was never a challenge for Grace. In sixth grade, when deciding what instrument to play, her first attempt trying out a shiny tuba impressed the band teacher and that was all it took. Grace would go on to play the tuba for seven years. She kept a bucket list on her phone, hoping to visit all 59 national parks, write a book and teach a Spanish-speaker English, among other things. She had already checked off running a marathon (Virginia Beach) and skydiving (her 19th birthday). Many of her goals centered around travel and outdoor pursuits. The girl with her own hammock loved hiking, and summitted Old Rag at least 20 times, sometimes inspired to make it before sunrise.
At the time of her passing, Grace was employed at Outback Steakhouse about a year and was a student at Lord Fairfax Community College, ready to move to the next level in seeking a degree and becoming a counselor. The mental health of young people was close to her heart. Kindness was her priority, as she wanted people who were hurting to be cared for.
Grace is survived by: her parents David and Kelly Stone; her sisters Katelyn and Amber Stone; her great grandfather J.D. Dunn; her great grandmothers Nancy Moeglein, and Mary Frasz; her grandparents Stan and Theresa Stone, and Russ and Laurie Frasz; her five uncles, four aunts, and ten loving cousins; and other family.
In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to two causes close to Grace’s heart. Build Africa: https://www.build-africa.org/donate and Voices for Virginia’s Children https://vakids.org/our-work/mental-health. Also, please visit https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/graciestone