Obituary: Tom Stone

It is with great sadness that we wish to convey the passing of Tom Stone on Saturday December 6th, 2014, in his 68th year.

Tom was a highly regarded leader in ethnographic conservation and has left an indelible mark in the field of objects conservation in Canada and beyond. After graduation from Waterloo Lutheran University in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Tom developed his interest in conservation during an archaeological dig in Israel. His selection as a participant into the ‘Conservators in Training Program’, created shortly after the CCI was created, was the start of a long, fruitful career at the CCI as a practising conservator for over 20 years and as Head of CCI’s Objects, Archaeology and Furniture Sections for a decade. Tom was involved in the development and outfitting of CCI’s five Mobile Labs, a program (1979-1986) that had conservators travelling by van across Canada to advise and assist local and regional museums in the care and treatment of their collections.

Tom’s love of the north and his deep respect for Aboriginal peoples and their cultures was evident in his professional work: one of his foremost contributions to the field has been to have fostered advancements in ethical issues, approaches and relations with regards to the care and treatment of Aboriginal material culture. This is best highlighted by two CCI landmark international events: Symmposium 1986, The Care and Preservation of Ethnological Materials, for which Tom was on the organizing committee and a Postprints editor; and Symposium 2007, Preserving Aboriginal Heritage : Technical and Traditional Approaches, a pivotal event in the field which he initiated and directed for over 4 years to resounding success. Tom’s vision was to embody within the Symposium itself, a respect and sharing of knowledge and expertise along with honoring intangibles such as language, ceremony, feelings, traditions and beliefs. Tom also organised and hosted CCI’s Inuit Skin Preparation workshops in 1989 and 1993, held with Inuit experts in Churchill, Manitoba. Tom taught preventive conservation courses in Kenya and Ghana as part of ICCROM’s PREMA (Prevention for Museums in Africa), for which he developed new and innovative didactic techniques and materials.

Tom also specialized in the care and treatment of precious metals, coins and medals, carrying out treatments at CCI in this area as well as providing workshops, advice and publications. Tom’s many years as a senior conservator or section manager provided him with numerous opportunities for supervising, guiding or mentoring many younger colleagues, a role he excelled in and enthusiastically enjoyed. Tom devoted some of his time as a volunteer and advocate for the profession and its enhanced professionalism, serving on boards of the Canadian Association of Professional Conservators (CAPC) and of the Canadian Association for Conservation (CAC, formerly IIC-CG).

Tom was an outstanding skier, a certified sommelier, an immensely proud father of his two sons Michael and James, and a devoted husband to his wife of 30 years, textile conservator Jan Vuori. Above all, Tom was a gentle and thoughtful man, and a friendly and dedicated colleague. He will be missed.

His obituary with a link to the Guest Book is at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/ottawacitizen/obituary.aspx?n=thomas-st...

Carole Dignard and Janet Mason
Canadian Conservation Institute