Friday, April 20, 2018
Business

Longtime Tampa Bay banker David Stone dies at 74

Longtime Tampa Bay banker and civic activist David Stone died Wednesday morning after a lengthy illness.

He was 74.

In a banking career that spanned more than 50 years, Stone was known as a go-to executive to help struggling institutions or those working through management changes. He most recently came out of retirement to run NorthStar Bank in Tampa for two and a half years before returning to retirement last September. He stayed on the bank board at the time.

A Pinellas County resident since his family moved here from Boston when he was 10, Stone served in the U.S. Air Force for four years before starting his banking career in Massachusetts. Returning to Pinellas, he began working for the Bank of Clearwater in 1968. That bank later became First Florida Bank. Stone and another officer from First Florida started Citizens Bank & Trust in 1985, staying with the institution through a series of mergers as it eventually became part of Fifth Third Bank.

After retiring in 2004, Stone initially returned to banking to help Liberty Bank in Clearwater, which later merged with USAmeriBank and later joined the board of NorthStar.

He was a past chairman of the board of Ruth Eckerd Hall, Mease Health Care and the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce and had been active on such boards as the Upper Pinellas Association of Retarded Citizens Foundation, Morton Plant Mease Health Care System, Clearpac Inc. and the Long Center Foundation, according to a biography on the NorthStar website.

The city of Clearwater, Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce and Clearwater Bar Association all recognized him for extraordinary service to the community.

"He was almost as well-known for his work in the community as he was in the banking industry," said longtime friend Ron Stuart.

Among other notable projects, Stone put together a consortium of banks for the construction and renovation of Ruth Eckerd Hall and was involving in financing to build the Long Center in Clearwater. He was on board at Morton Plant Mease during a $25 million expansion and construction of a new emergency room at Mease Countryside Hospital.

He is survived by wife of 31 years, Debbie; daughter Shannon; three grandchildren, and a sister, Susan Stone Littlejohn.

Funeral service details are pending.

Contact Jeff Harrington at [email protected] Follow @JeffMHarrington.

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