Donna Stone, a longtime Delaware legislator and former president of the National Conference of State Legislatures, has died. She was 78.
Stone was born in Dover, Del., and attended Northwestern University. A successful restauranteur and real estate agent, Stone was elected to Delaware’s 32nd House District for seven terms. She specialized in banking and insurance issues and chaired the House Economic Development, Banking and Insurance Committee. A law Stone championed allows local governments to claim a larger share of the revenue produced by the real estate transfer tax.
In 2003, Stone chaired the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Financial Services Committee, representing the organization on the national stage as an expert on financial services modernization and its impact on state-federal relations. Stone served as an NCSL officer for four years and became the organization’s president in 2007. When that term ended in 2008, she chaired the Foundation for State Legislatures.
“Donna was extremely supportive of legislative staff and encouraged our involvement in NCSL,” says Sharon Crouch Steidel, deputy clerk of the Virginia House of Delegates, who served as NCSL staff chair while Stone was president. “I learned a great deal from Donna. … As so often happens as you forge relationships with colleagues through NCSL, we became devoted friends to one another. My heart breaks at the loss of the fabulous Donna D. Stone.”
Among friends and family, Stone was known for her wit and smile, and as a lover of travel, music and the arts. She is survived by her two children, Matthew Stone and Kelley Stone, both of Wilmington, Del.