Gabriel ‘Terry’ L. Stoner, Overland Park: 1944-2014

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Gabriel “Terry” L. Stoner passed away peacefully Nov. 5, 2014, in Overland Park, Kan., after an extended illness. He was born in Kansas City, Mo., in 1944, the son of Mary Sharr Birkenholz and Terry S. Stoner. Gabe went to elementary school in Parnell, Mo., middle school at Wilcox Country School, high school in Ravenwood, Mo., and college at Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, Mo.

At an early age, it was apparent Gabe was a very talented artist. He majored in art at Northwest Missouri State University, where he fell in love with modern dance. While in college, Gabe met his two lifelong friends, Billy Nickel and Ed Sherlock. In the late 1960s, Gabe moved to Minneapolis, Minn., to continue his study of dance with Margaret Dietz, who became his mentor. In Minneapolis, he met his soul mate and dance partner Marie Winkler, who became his wife of 11 years. Gabe and his dance colleagues formed “Spira, A Company of Dancers” and moved to Portland, Ore., in 1975.

Gabe was the quintessential artist throughout his life; he expressed his creativity in paint, clay, dance, figure skating, wearable art, music and mobiles. He was always creating, admiring and appreciating artistic beauty whether human made or created by Mother Nature. He won the Kansas Governor’s Artist Award in 1989. He had a green thumb and loved growing exotic plants. The artwork he created over his lifetime is enjoyed in thousands of homes and businesses over the world. Gabe made friends easily and developed numerous lifelong friends through his pursuit of art.

Gabe is predeceased by his loving mother, Mary Birkenholz, stepfather, Julius Birkenholz, brother, Larry Stoner, and lifelong friends, Billy Nickel and Ed Sherlock.

He is survived by his sister, Judy Stoner Bailey (husband Gary) of Moberly, Mo., brother Tom Birkenholz (husband Barry) of Princeton, N.J., two nephews, Jason and Joshua Bailey, great-nephew Harley Bailey, great-niece Katherine Bailey, an extended family of cousins, and his former partner, Michael Hatton.

A memorial service will be held next summer at Eisenhower State Park at Melvern Lake in Osage County, Kan., Gabe’s home for 30 years.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made in name of Gabriel L. Stoner to Positive Connections, 1001 SW Garfield Ave. Ste. 4, Topeka, KS 66604, or Arts Connect, 515 S. Kansas Ave., Suite A, Topeka KS 66603.

Condolences may be shared with the family at Arrangements are by Cremation Center of Kansas City.

5 Responses to Gabriel ‘Terry’ L. Stoner, Overland Park: 1944-2014

  1. Anna says:

    I met Gabe at his farm (outside Lyndon,KS) iabout 1999. He liked to laugh and make sure everyone was having a nice time. He gave me a LOT of his lilies when he decided to thin them out. I have enjoyed them every spring/summer as they bloom. He was a very gentle man and will be missed much, but I have him with me in my heart.

  2. David Shaver says:

    I knew Gabe for several years in the craft circuit. We had many similarities of past and current experience so sat up many nights sharing stories and talking. He will be truly missed..

  3. Julie Kay says:

    I was very fortunate to meet Gabe through his brother Tom. I first attended one of Gables dance company prrformances in Portland. Then through the years I got to know Gabe. I remember when he began weaving wool and making these wonderful sweaters. He and Tom went to many shows selling his exquisite sweaters. My husband meet them in Seattle at one of the shows. Gabe was an incredible artistic. Lets all remember how talented he was s nd cherish in his life and his talent.

  4. Jason I Bailey says:

    I remember sailing on Melvern Lake with uncle Gabe as well as many family get togethers at his house out in the country.

  5. C. Crockett says:

    I met Gabe this past summer. He was a fine gentleman and will be missed by many.

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