Congratulations to Muriel Stone of the Rotary Club of Fleischmanns-Pine Hill for being named April's Rotarian of the Month.
 
Muriel embodies the Rotary motto of 'service above self'. We thank the Catskill Mountain News for allowing us to share this wonderful article about Muriel.

Highmount’s Muriel Stone a model of fitness

By Paula DeSimone
For some, the term “active senior” is more aspiration than actualization. For Muriel Stone, it’s the key to a long and happy life. Pushing 90 and still on the go every minute of every day the Highmount resident combines exercise and volunteering with other social activities to stay engaged and fit. The Brooklyn native had early connections to the Catskills and worked in a Borscht Belt hotel during WW II. In those days, the hotels preferred male waiters but women were allowed to work as waitresses because the men were fighting the war. When the war ended, the men were eager to return to work. But Stone was such a stellar employee she was allowed to keep her job waitressing and soon met her husband Ray, who was the hotel tennis pro. Love bloomed as Muriel finished Brooklyn College, and a week after Ray graduated from medical school, they were married.
The Stones moved to New Jersey, where Ray established a medical practice even as Muriel worked in Brooklyn as a Therapeutic Dietitian planning healthy food regimes for hospital patients. Soon children arrived, and after giving birth to five children in eight years, Muriel stayed occupied with children. But when the kids started school and the medical office got very busy, she began to work a day or two a week in the office and even answered business phone calls at home with the kids around her.
As an obstetrician, Ray had a busy schedule of day and evening hours and house calls on weekends so family vacations were planned around expectant mother schedules. When someone was not having a baby and the children were not in school, the Stones took vacation time; although many vacations were canceled or rescheduled. When people ask Muriel what it’s like to have five kids, she says “it doesn’t get any easier but it gets a lot more interesting.”
Muriel always encouraged closeness among her children and believes that’s what keeps them very much connected in their adult life. “The kids are best friends,” she adds. One son lives next door and helps with some routine tasks around her home. All Muriel’s children have emulated her work ethic and become successful grown-ups. A psychotherapist, physician, food distributer, banker, and investment manager would cause any parent to brag. Muriel has no slackers here and she is very proud of her offspring.
After 55 years of service, Ray sold his medical practice and the Stones relocated full time to the Catskills where skiing, tennis and a host of other activities filled their days until Ray’s passing after 58 years of marriage.
But Muriel’s giving nature has helped to keep her busy. An active volunteer, she has assisted the Belleayre Conservatory, Fleischmanns First, and the Fleischmanns/ Pine Hill Rotary. She is the treasurer of the Rotary, and participates in the Christmas party, Butterfly Project, and graduation ceremonies for Head Start in Arkville.
Since that is not enough for Muriel, she is also the RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) chair, helping to find and sponsor high school juniors in a week-long training program in June. When she’s not volunteering, Muriel somehow still finds time to keep healthy. She admits to being a gym jock for 38 years, playing tennis, participating in the Senior Olympics, and winning some trophies along the way. But tennis is not her only sport, she began skiing at age 40 and continued for almost 40 years. Muriel had to stop jogging after 51 years because of knee problems. But not to be slowed she took up swimming.
At first, she was terrified of going into the pool and used a noodle for support. But last year Muriel fulfilled a personal goal and at 89 she swam the length of the pool at the Catskill Recreation Center with the breast stroke. Always looking for another challenge, Muriel is now taking on the Australian crawl.
 

Reprinted with permission from the Catskill Mountain News