MIDDLEBURY — Gardner Stone and Peter James will be welcomed into the Alumni Hall of Fame at this week’s Middlebury Union High School football game.
Each year the Middlebury High School/Middlebury Union High School Alumni Association honors graduates by inducting them into its Hall of Fame.
To be considered for the Hall of Fame candidates must have graduated from Middlebury High School or Middlebury Union High School at least 20 years prior to consideration, must excel in athletic, scholastic or artistic fields as well as exhibit citizenship during school years and following graduation. Besides the aforementioned criteria, the committee reviews a letter of recommendation from their peers before selections are made.
The two new inductees will be introduced at halftime this Friday when the Middlebury Tigers play the Rutland Raiders. Members from the 1962–63 MUHS football team will also be welcomed on the field to commemorate their season 50 years ago.
GARDNER STONE, CLASS OF 1960
Gardner, raised by a single mother, worked his way through high school and college participating in school clubs and social planning whenever time allowed. He graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston with a degree in Aircraft Maintenance Technology.
He served with the Vermont Air National Guard from 1964 until 1970.
In 1966 he joined Beckwith Motors as a salesman, eventually working his way up to becoming truck manager. He opened his own dealership in 1974 with used cars and has been growing it since then. The dealership today includes a commercial division, rental and sales of heavy equipment as well as trailers and motor coaches.
As Gardner was building a successful business he began his philanthropic efforts with many generous donations made without fanfare or public knowledge. Gardner has given years of service to Addison Court Diversion Board; Addison County Fair and Field Days, where he started the tractor pulling event; and sponsors the Make a Wish Foundation. He donated a police car to the town of Middlebury for its canine unit. He started a scholarship at the Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center to offer a student scholarship money to further their education and a job when they finished, trying to cultivate the local job market. He contributes generously to the growth and development of the area, especially with projects that benefit the youth, safety and the arts, from the Memorial Sports Center, Town Hall Theater and the local hospitals, ambulance squad, and sports and educational programs.
Both of Gardner’s children, Darcy and Todd, MUHS alumni, work in the business. Darcy manages the G. Stone Commercial Division and Todd runs G. Stone Motors. Gardner has five grandchildren, with whom he enjoys spending time.
Among his hobbies are his love of racing everything from drag cars and snowmobiles to go-carts and tractor pulling. He is a five time national champion in tractor pulling. Gardner also enjoys a leisurely ride on horseback with his daughter and spending time with his dog and three cats.
PETER JAMES, CLASS OF 1974
While at MUHS Peter played football, ran track and took part in intramural basketball as well as other social activities. Peter was a member of the ice hockey team before MUHS recognized it as a school sport. After high school Peter graduated from Vermont Technical School with an Animal Science degree. He and his family own and operate Monument Farms Dairy in Weybridge.
Peter has served the town and community youth through out his adult life. For 28 years he has been a member of the Weybridge selectboard, he is a member of the fire department, a forest fire warden for the town and a member of Weybridge Congregational Church. Peter coached and ran the flag football program for more than 20 years. Since 2002 he has assisted in coaching the high school football program. He is a board member for both the Friends of Middlebury Football and Middlebury flag football program. His coaching has extended to Weybridge Elementary School basketball and Middlebury youth hockey program.
For 12 years Peter served on the Farm Service Agency board and he currently serves on the Addison County Court Diversion panel and Champlain Valley Farmers Coalition Board. Years ago Peter was a founding member of the Rotary’s Merry Mulch program, where Christmas trees are recycled.
Peter is very proud of his two children: Tyler, a graduate from University of Maine, and Mallory, a senior at University of Vermont.
The MHS/MUHS Alumni Association is pleased to add two very worthy graduates into the Hall of Fame ranks.
On Friday after the football game an informal gathering will take place downstairs at Two Brothers Tavern in Middlebury. The activities continue with the annual Homecoming Banquet that will be held on Saturday at the Middlebury Inn beginning at 5 p.m.
Editor’s note: This piece was contributed by the MHS/MUHS Alumni Association.