AP NEWS

Victim in Illinois killing was Havasu winter visitor

May 11, 2019

Sharon Stoner was remembered warmly by friends and acquaintances in Lake Havasu City as a tireless volunteer who, along with her husband, Jack, were enjoying life to the fullest.

According to law enforcement officials in Illinois, Sharon, 70, was killed by her son, 46-year-old Kent Stoner, Monday, May 6.

According to an article in the Rockford Register Star, Kent battled mental health problems and attempted suicide 25 years ago before he was diagnosed with bipolar personality disorder.

Hal and Shirley Ries knew Sharon and her husband, Jack, through their shared work in the Daybreaker Lions Club.

“Between Jack and Sharon, their faith is very strong,” an emotional Shirley said. “It’s what is helping the family right now.

“Jack told us that if the tables were turned, Sharon would have said ‘You need to forgive,’” Ries said. “Sharon made sure all his (Kent) groceries were ordered and delivered. But we still pray for Kent, he will spend the rest of his life in an institution. It’s just a really tragic situation.”

Ries said Sharon was involved with the Lions Club and that she and Jack were very involved in activities that benefited the community, including White Cane Days, the Balloonfest.

Betty Christenberry, a parishioner at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Havasu, spoke well of Stoner, too.

“They were faithful members of the church, Jack sings in the choir, and they were both very generous in the cultural community, supporting Grace Arts, the Community Concert Association and Community Choir,” Christenberry said. “To me, they were like the perfect couple, young, traveling, enjoying life and realizing their blessings.

“Then, we find out there’s this shadow in their life.”

Kent Stoner pleaded guilty and served time in a federal prison for committing a bank robbery in 2002 in Montana.

According to a media report, the family believes the attack occurred in a back bedroom shortly after Sharon Stoner arrived at the condo to take her son shopping and for a haircut. The couple visited their son every week.

Jack Stoner said he attends softball games, and the couple stopped at the Machesney Park condo to check in on their son Monday morning before continuing to the park. Sharon dropped Jack off at the park about 9:15 a.m. before heading back to pick up her son.

He estimated his wife would have arrived at the condo in about 30 minutes and he believes his wife was dead by the time his softball game began at 10:30 a.m.

Christenberry said Sharon and Jack Stoner moved to Havasu in 2004 from Poplar Grove, Illinois. They spent about six months here each year. She taught kindergarten through second grade in Glendale Heights, Illinois. She also taught vacation Bible school in Poplar Grove and was a substitute in church preschool and afterschool programs for several years.

Ries said Sharon will really be missed.

“Lake Havasu City was their city. It’s as much home to them as anywhere,” Ries said.

The family is asking that donations be made to the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill.