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Grand marshals, the Stones, lead Maxwelton Parade
Terry and Merrillyn Stone have a lot to celebrate this year, from new family members (one arrived just last week) to their 60th anniversary together. To top it off, the couple will usher in the 98th annual Maxwelton Beach 4th of July Parade as the grand marshals.
Parade-watchers may recognize the couple from their many years of participating in the parade and living at Maxwelton. The Stones were chosen for their strong support of the Maxwelton beach and the South Whidbey community.
“We haven’t missed a parade in at least 30 years,” said Merrillyn Stone, 80.
For many years she owned and operated a specialty glass and collectible store in Langley called The Glass Knight. Terry Stone, 78, enjoyed his time golfing at Useless Bay Golf and Country Club.
Since moving to the area they have witnessed many adjustments to the beach.
“The beach has undergone a lot of changes and there is a tremendous amount of traffic now,” Merrillyn said. “It’s still the most beautiful beach on the island.”
The Stones moved to Maxwelton beach in the early 1950s. Their love for the beach began with visiting Terry’s father every summer. They grew to enjoy the area and ended up moving from Seattle. They could have lived anywhere and they chose Maxwelton, said Terry.
One of Merrillyn’s favorite memories of the parade is dressing her family in various “Stone” outfits, referring to their last name. They have attended the parade broken and bandaged as the “SplintStones,” and rockin’ and rollin’ as the “Rolling Stones.” In other years she sold parade buttons on a bicycle and Terry helped with parking.
The Stones have a family of four children, 16 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren to share their love of the beach. Terry said he still enjoys walking on the beach, collecting agates, clamming and of course attending the parade with his family. Each family member has their own agate collection from the beach.
Their family bubbled with excitement for them, Merrillyn said.
“It’s quite the reunion for us, we are far flung and all over the world now,” she said.
Both said they are appreciative that they were asked to be the grand marshals by the Maxwelton Community Club. Terry said he would like to thank all the people who put their hard work into the parade.
Parade-goers can catch the Stones at the front of the parade. Merrillyn will be wearing the red hat that she wears every year.
“We love the beach and live here because we want to,” Terry said. “It’s the most beautiful place in the world, even when it’s not nice outside.”
That shouldn’t be a problem this July 4, when sunny skies and warm temperatures are expected.