Jerome Stone, Alzheimer’s Association’s (AA) founding president and honorary chair, died on New Years Day at the age of 101. The cause of death was not immediately revealed.
Stone leaves behind a legacy of philanthropy, particularly with his work at AA, which he founded in 1979. His desire to create the organization and cure the disease began after his wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 1970. When he found there were few resources available aside from some support groups, he knew he had to do something to help others suffering with the disease.
“We deeply mourn the loss of Jerry Stone. He was a visionary leader who shaped the Alzheimer’s Association and its mission through his character and commitment,” said Harry Johns, president and CEO, Alzheimer’s Association. “His passion to change the course of Alzheimer’s disease was inspiring from the start and galvanized community caregivers, people with the disease, researchers and advocates that the Alzheimer’s Association continues to work on behalf of and with today.”
The first official meeting of AA was on December 4, 1979, when Stone met with researchers, physicians, caregivers, and a group of seven independent groups interested in forming an organization dedicated to fighting Alzheimer’s.
Stone’s dedication to the cause has led to the evolution of the Alzheimer’s Association into one of the largest and most influential global organization working to advance care, support and research across the world. His meetings with President Ronald Reagan in 1983 led to the creation of a federal task force designed to oversee and coordinate research for Alzheimer’s. That same year, he was instrumental in working with the president and Congress to have November designated as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, which is still observed today. In 1986, President Reagan presented Stone with the President’s Volunteer Award in recognition of his work in the fight against Alzheimer’s.
Stone is survived by his wife Marion, and his three children Jim Stone (of Winnetka), Ellen Stone Belic (the late Nenad Belic) and Cynthia Stone Raskin (of Chicago) and seven grandchildren Meg, Emily, Phoebe, John, Dara, Julie, Maia and four great-grandchildren Annabel, Alexa, Joey and Oliver.
Services for Stone will be 11 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 6 at North Shore Congregation Israel, 1185 Sheridan Road, Glencoe, Ill. After the service, burial will be at Shalom Memorial Park in Arlington Heights.