Remembering Joe Stone
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30 West 60th Street. Apt. 14M, New York NY 10023-5412
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delivered at his funeral
on 30 December 2003
by Murray Gross
For the last 5 or 6 years I have been studying the great novel by Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past. Well, I think that today we are here to Remember not one Joe but the many Joes of the Past, for Joe was not really one person but a whole battalion ready to do battle with the villains of the world -- those who would rob the ordinary citizen, not only of his money but his illusions. Whether it was phoney cashmere; ineffective air purifiers; forged Picassos or whether the public was just being made fools of.
Those of you who are not old enough to remember -- or, maybe too old to remember -- have probably read the book, or seen the movie, of the great Quiz Show Scandals. That was one of Joe’s finest investigations and most famous cases. In later years, it spawned Joe the Author as he shared -- for the first time -- what really went on behind the cameras.
Those of us who served with him -- and, in the beginning, under him -- at the District Attorney’s Office knew him first as a teacher. From Joe, Head of the Complaints Bureau, every incoming, green, young lawyer got his first training of how to be an Assistant District Attorney. Joe molded the character of the Hogan Office. And he was a tough task-master. But more then just tough he was angry with the cheaters -- and this was perhaps the greatest lesson he taught -- he cared, and he taught us to care, and to do battle.
A man of many sides, Joe shared his wisdom and his success with those who needed it. He never really retired from the law, but represented, pro bono, needy people in worthy cases other lawyers would not touch. He cared that older people have a summer holiday and supported a camp for them in Connecticut -- and rallied his friends to the cause. I am not sure how he managed it but one day I found myself acting as the computer consultant when he decided that the camp had to be automated. Although full of big ideas and focusing on the Big Picture, Joe was not above taking on himself the tedious tasks that are necessary to bring those Big Ideas into reality. In fact, I remember one evening when Joe and Ilene, and Ernie Mitler, Lenny Newman and my wife and I sat around our kitchen table stuffing envelopes and licking stamps to get out the dues notice for Hogan Associates.
He was also an inveterate researcher. He was well-known at the Municipal Archives. One day he showed up at my house to tell me about the WPA project that had employed photographers to shoot every building in New York -- and out of his briefcase pulled a splendid 70-year-old picture of my house.
In addition to his writing, his research and his charitable work, to keep alive the ideals and comradery of the Hogan office, Joe formed and headed the Frank S. Hogan Associates -- which is celebrating its 24th year. An association of ADAs, detectives and support staff whose bond is Frank Hogan and the Office in which we all served. Our organization - and most notably, Joe’s importance - has been generally recognized -- and most recently by Mayor Bloomberg.
We know that those close to him and who worked with him held Joe in high regard. But there are untold people out there whose lives were touched by him. Just yesterday, when I placed the notice in the New York Times, and they called back to verify the text, as the woman reading reached the words Assistant District Attorney, she suddenly stopped and said, “Oh no! Not him! I knew him. He was wonderful -- so kind to me.” and then sighed, “ It was a long time ago, but I’ll never forget him. Oh, I’m very upset. . . Wait. My mother’s on the other line. I think she knew him.” I found myself comforting this unknown woman whose life had been touched by Joe.
| John G. Guyet I did not know that Joe
Stone had passed away. I regret that I did not have the opportunity to pay
my respects to one of the finest men I have ever known. He was a kind and
gentle man and he will be missed. He was almost like a second father to
me during the first few years I served in the Office. At times I needed
some help and guidance and Joe was always there for me. He will be remembered
in my prayers and probably in the prayers of many others.
|Daniel Markewich There is one story about
Joe that I have told many times, and it is still worth repeating. In the
Fall of 1965, Joe was heading both the Complaint Bureau and the Criminal
Courts Bureau and was using the office upstairs, so I was occupying his
office on the 7th floor. A few moments after the 1965 blackout started,
he called me and told me that if I looked in the back of the closet in the
7th floor office, I would find a box of blackout candles from World War
II. Sure enough, they were there; and they came in very handy that evening.
|Donald H. Heller Very sad. Joe was a consummate gentleman and fine lawyer and was someone who was very kind to me when I started in the office.|
|Malcolm Segal Please send my fond remembrances to the family and Hogan friends. Although it has been thirty years, I remember Joe in my mind's eye as if it were yesterday. How interesting it is that after all of this time some of the Hogan Associates never leave your memory.|
Denise Stanley-Majied First, my condolences to Honorable Joe Stone's Family. My fortunate meeting of Mr. Stone was when I began working in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office back in the 70's, and I must say this:
|Betty Tuffy It is indeed sad news to learn
of Joe Stone's passing. A great loss for
the Hogan Associates. Please extend my sincere condolences to his family.
|Richard Friedman Joe was a good friend and a good guy to all of us. He was a symbol of the Hogan office. We will miss him.|
|Kevin McKay I am very sorry to learn of this news, and remember Joe with love and respect always.|
|Rod Lankler We mourn the end of an era. We all learned so much from Joe.|