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Raymond Williams, a captain with Shelbyville Fire and Rescue, hurried in to the Amber Oaks Assisted Living Community on Wednesday. But there was no emergency.He was there to celebrate his great uncle George Stone's 98th birthday.
Stone has lived in Shelby County all of his life. He grew up in Finchville, working on a tobacco farm with his dad. Compared to today's economic struggles, Williams said Stone has seen worse.
"He [Stone] grew up in tough times," Williams said. "He went through the Great Depression."
Stone was a few numbers shy of being called into duty during World War II. But he spent a few years working at Fort Knox, while still living in Shelby County.
Williams said Stone's workdays had to have been draining. He had to wake up early to catch a bus over to Fort Knox, work a full day, then catch a bus back to Shelbyville every day.
Williams said Stone eventually worked his way back into the county. He was skilled at working in a body shop, but it was the 40 years he worked at Wakefield Scarce Gallery and his long tenure as deacon of St. John's Methodist church that made him well known around town.
Experiencing so much made Stone understand the importance of hard work and accountability -- knowledge he passed on to Williams.
"He's been a father figure to me," Williams said. "He bought me my first vehicle and taught me responsibility. He said 'I'll buy this and you pay it off.'"
"He's still pretty sharp."