H. Dean Stone, the longtime editor of The Daily Times newspaper in Maryville, died Monday at the age of 92.
Stone covered the news of Blount County for nearly seven decades. He retired at the end of 2015 at the age of 91 after 68 years at the newspaper.
He died about 1 p.m. Monday at the home of his only son, Neal.
“It is hard to imagine Blount County without Dean Stone. For most of his 92 years he was our historian, storyteller, and editor-in-chief. His photographs of the Smokies and his eight books about county history line our libraries,” U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander said in a statement Monday.
Alexander, of Maryville, said Stone gave him his first real job when he was a student at Maryville High School in the 1950s.
“There is no one from whom I have learned more about my home county than from Dean Stone,” he said.
Stone started at The Daily Times in June 1948, according to The Daily Times.
“Dean Stone represents an age in journalism when it was known to be a calling as much as a profession,” said Daily Times Editor Buzz Trexler. “He understood that one could remain an objective chronicler of the life and times of the community while also actively working for the betterment of that very community in which he served.”
Stone was inducted to the first class of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame in 2013.
Carl Esposito, publisher of The Daily Times, said Stone was fully committed to his community, his trade and his hometown newspaper.
“His contributions to all three were so substantial that he helped make Blount County a better place to live, gained well-deserved recognition for his many journalistic accomplishments, and ushered The Daily Times through revolutionary changes in the industry,” Esposito said.
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, of Chattanooga, said he was “saddened” to learn of Stone's death.
“Dean was an institution in Blount County and will rightly be remembered for his commitment to his beloved hometown," Corker said in a statement. "Decade upon decade, he approached his work at the paper in a fair and thoughtful manner, always showing great hospitality when people from all walks of life visited his newsroom.”
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Smith Funeral and Cremation Service in Maryville.