RIDIN' STEEL

Stoney's Song~ A poem

Started for Stoney 8/21/09~finished after I found out he John died after Eric told him to go for his ride, 9:30am 8/22/09... Lisa White

                           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 Hi Sweetheart, it’s Lis-

 NO-No, don’t try to open your eyes Hon-

just rest-

and try; hear my heart-come for a ride.

I dream you come awake out of that body when it’s very bad

I dream you sit with us in your hospital room & in our homes as we pray for you

I dream you

Understand us all-near and far-

begging God for your life-

for one more good day-one more smile-

one more day where you can ride.

I dream you sit with Margaret and push her tears away

give Pony an arm over his shoulders

pat-Karin’s shaken hands

You’re vibration life still beats-In the winds so strong right now

Did you know -?

The Ancient Ones believed the spirits came & departed on strong winds-.

& Tomorrow there’s a Hurricane coming.

Dear man, in my dreams, we’re getting ready for the run

& I have come to bid you Thanks-

Not for big things like Grizz’s surprise party-

But rather thanks for you; it’s so important and you just keep talking on the phone!

But then you see me & you let me start to tell you

Thanks for You Stoney!

&

for the song you sang-

Yeah you sang ‘Born to Be Wild-

but Your Life’s Song was sweeter, kinder, and you were born to be wild

but you were

‘Born to Be Mild’ too.

I can still see you: the “One-Man Band”-

You pouring out your song!

& there you play in my mind-

Songs –FULL-with the will to live

you provided to us all

Songs full of your laughter lent to us all

You jammin’ so hard-

There was no reason to tell you were off a note or two-

Nobody cared, Least of all you- cause you were LIFE packed!  And shining a groove!

And so vibrantly beautiful-we all just wanted to play

to get on board-Go for Your Ride!

The Stoney Soul Train had arrived man-everybody-Look-out!

Climb on, Climb in, Get in line- and we came-by the thousands @ a time

COME RIDE!  you said-and always at the end of the run you asked-

How was the ride?

and everybody would chime in-GREAT RIDE!

So many will come to ride and play w/ you next year too…

Uh!

this existence shudders at your illness…

and the dread of your passing etches darkness and there’s a vacuum affect in the background of this whole summer-you can hear it

just outside all the rooms of our hearts.

and there’s a louder sound-you know that howl?

You hear it just a ways off---sshhh

That’s all of our souls aching for you

Wishing it was us and not you.

 Everyday B 4 now- without much thought, we’d pray each other; as we passed ‘Be safe’

‘Stay well’- we request at each other’s fleeting-

‘Love you Brother’- we say at each other’s Parting-

Today--we mean those words more

-Life ITSELF no longer SO taken for granted-

we couldn’t disrespect your fight for yours…by being so crass.

Good Night Stoney-Love you brother-friend-

This day more beautiful for your life in it

Sigh-The Stoney Soul Train left this morning

The vacuum is on-

The howl is loud!!

& we’ll hug each other tighter

by ourselves WE’LL cry words of deep sadness into pillows

and then into the safety of others when we can stand to speak-

Hey-we’ll hear- did you know about Stoney?

Yeah man that sucks-

He was a good man-they’ll say

but when we’re there we’ll tell them, No,

You were a King among men.

Relax- sweetheart,

Go and dream the dreams of a life well lived and loved

But know that when Good Men are spoken of –

It will always be you we mention too-

Hey, I love ya brother, friend-

Thanks

Thanks it was a great ride…

Written by: Lisa White ~ 8/2009

 

                           As published in the Time's Record online....

Stoney’s Last Ride

The remains of Stoney Dionne arrive at St. John’s Church on Pleasant Street in Brunswick via a motorcycle drawn hearse Wednesday. At right, nearly 200 motorcycles rumble out of the parking lot after the funeral service.

 

Pallbearers clad in biker gear carry Stoney Dionne’s coffin from St. John’s Church on Pleasant Street in Brunswick Wednesday.
 
Troy R. Bennett / The Times Record

More than 500 attend funeral for charitable biker

By Seth Koenig, Times Record Staff
Published:
Thursday, August 27, 2009 2:10 PM EDT
BRUNSWICK — The thunder of revving motorcycle engines echoed in time with solemn church bells Wednesday, as pallbearers carried the casket of John “Stoney” Dionne to a hearse specially made to be towed behind a motorbike.

The midday symphony consumed the air around St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Brunswick, where more than 500 bikers, friends, colleagues and relatives of Dionne converged to celebrate his life. When the service inside the church ended, a parade of nearly 200 motorcycles followed the unique hearse away.

Dionne, 56, died Saturday at Mid Coast Hospital after a battle with cancer. He was remembered as a union leader, artist, musician and biker, whose annual charity motorcycle rides raised thousands of dollars for those less fortunate, in particular children fighting cancer.

Through his efforts, Dionne became known and respected by motorcyclists, politicians and children’s care advocates — among many others — up and down the East Coast.


“What began a good many years ago as a few friends going on a run for lobster and to raise a little money for charity has grown into hundreds of bikers,” the Rev. Normand Carpentier, who celebrated the Mass of Christian burial Wednesday, said of the now 29-year-old Stoney’s Lobster Run. “In believing in the goodness and generosity of his fellow human beings, and in the willingness of his fellow bikers to help children with cancer, Stoney has planted a seed that has grown from year to year.”

Even considering the long history of funeral etiquette, the legions of mourners dressed in black seemed particularly appropriate for a service honoring Dionne. The often black leather-clad Dionne was described time after time as soft-spoken and big-hearted, despite his tough-looking exterior.

Many in attendance wore black T-shirts from past Stoney’s Lobster Runs or from “Ridin’ Steel,” the cable television show Dionne co-hosted. Others wore gray T-shirts featuring a photograph of Dionne and the title “The one who does so much for so many.”

Among Dionne’s proudest moments, according to those who spoke Wednesday, was meeting President Bill Clinton in 1995 to discuss cooperative labor relations at Bath Iron Works when he was president of Local S6 of the Machinists union at the shipyard.

He also was remembered as a musician who performed as a one-man band, and as a painter who plied his craft as the artist behind “Stone Man Signs” of West Bath.

“It was from his family that he learned his faith and to do unto others as you would have done unto you,” preached Carpentier. “And Stoney believed in doing good unto others.


“Stoney had many gifts,” Carpentier continued. “The gift of his leadership in the union, as president of the Machinists union. The gift of his generosity toward children battling cancer. The gift of his art and the gift of his music. And perhaps most of all, the gift of his personality.”

In the days following the service, Naked Leather of Wiscasset is playing host to a banner featuring Dionne, which will be available for people to sign in his memory.

The Web site of Dionne’s TV show, http://www.ridinsteel.com/, has been inundated with memorial comment posts since news of his death began circulating Saturday. Dionne has been called “a great man” and “a true American and legend” by those posting on the site.

Steve Marois, producer of the show, said as recently as this past winter and spring, before Dionne was diagnosed with cancer, the philanthropic biker was focused on spending the summer riding in various charity runs and raising money for myriad causes.

“This summer was lined up with a lot of runs to ride in and contribute to,” said Marois in the days leading into Wednesday’s service. “We were talking about how much fun we were going to have. Then he came down with pneumonia, which quickly turned into (a diagnosis of) cancer, and all of our attention was put toward Stoney and trying to relieve him of any stress or pain.”

                              IN MEMORIAM

This was published in the Boothbay Register last week 9/10/09 and was written by Stoney's cousin Kim. I would like to thank her father, Sonny for providing me with a copy of this.
*******************************
Stoney Dionne
IN MEMORIAM
In loving memory of
STONEY DIONNE
Sept 15, 1952 ~ August 22, 2009

What do I think of when someone says his name?
I think of a man who would do anything for anyone.
I think of a man who would be there for anyone who's needed him.
I think of a man who always put others first.
I think of a man who loved his family and friends.
I think of a man who so full of life that he would make you smile, even if you didn't know him (not that many don't)
I think of a man who loved to ride his bike, loved to race cars, and loved to sing.
Stoney Dionne was the kind of person that I was proud to know and be related to.
He was strong and courageous even during his last few days of life.

Stoney's Lobster Run ????
Who would have thought that 29 years ago when he and a few buddies jumped on their bikes and went for a ride to the Harbor that he would have turned himself into such an Icon, some may even say hero.
Just your everyday guy turned one day, one ride into the biggest bike ride the East coast has ever had.
And all the while raising money for sick children in Maine.
No matter where you go in this state you can say the name Stoney, and everyone knows who you are talking about.
Yup all this mostly from one Sunday ride into Boothbay Harbor for lunch.

I just want to say that being a part of his life was not only great; it was an honor. I was proud to say that he was my cousin. Most of the time he felt more like an uncle, he and my dad Sonny being so close. they were like brothers. But I am sure there are a lot of people who he made feel that way, because that is how he treated everyone.
I know that I am not alone when I say that I will miss him very much. There won't be a day that goes by that I won't think of him.

Happy Birthday Stoney
I love and miss you
your little cuz
Kimma
 

                              WE REMEMBER

John 'Stoney' Dionne

1952-2009

 
'We’ve lost an icon’

 

 

Stoney with two of his grandchildren, 

                                          J.D. & Brandon 2007

 

Friends, family reflect on

life of  John 'Stoney' Dionne   

By Seth Koenig and Darcie Moore, Times Record Staff
Published:
Monday, August 24, 2009 2:05 PM EDT
TOPSHAM — John H. “Stoney” Dionne, whose annual charity motorcycle rides raised thousands for children fighting cancer, was called an “icon” and a “king among men” this morning by those who knew him.
Dionne, 56, died Saturday at Mid Coast Hospital after a battle with cancer.

“From the time he was a little boy in school, if there was an underdog, John was at their side,” recalled Will Dionne, Stoney’s father, this morning. “He had a soft
spot for all the people, not just the little cancer patients.”

In 1995, as president of Local S6 of the Machinists union, Dionne met President Bill Clinton to tout the union’s uniquely cooperative relationship with Bath Iron Works. But through his life outside the shipyard, he met and influenced thousands of others.
“He’s probably one of the most popular motorcyclists in the state of Maine, if not the East Coast,” said Steve Marois, producer of the television show, “Ridin’ Steel,” which Dionne co-hosted. “For 29 years, he’s been organizing Stoney’s Lobster Runs. ... He was probably the epitome of the American biker. He represented freedom. So many people looked up to him. We’ve lost an icon. That’s what we’ve lost. ”

With a bushy beard and a wardrobe filled with black leather and flame designs, Dionne’s friends and relatives described him as a case where the looks were deceiving.

“He looked one way and he acted another way,” said Lisa White, who met Dionne nine years ago through her boyfriend, Gerard “Grizz” Galipeau. “He looked like a biker and sang, ‘Born to be Wild,’ but he was mild. He had this soft-spoken calmness that touched your heart and a great sense of humor.


“When people talk about good people in their lives, he’l
l always be mentioned,” she continued. “He wasn’t just a good man, he was a king among men.”

During the 29-year history of the annual Stoney’s Lobster Run, Dionne helped raise thousands for various charity programs, in recent years programs focused on children’s cancer.

“Stoney was one of the biggest, most kind-hearted man I knew,” Galipeau said this morning “He wouldn’t put a bad eye to anyone. We’re all going to miss him. He’s just done so much for so many people, especially the children fighting cancer. And now he’s died of cancer. It really blows your mind.”


Stoney’s brother, Dick Dionne, said his brother always loved children. My brother wouldn’t hurt a fly,” he said. “He gave that impression. He was a biker — a ‘tough guy.’ But deep down inside, he was such a soft person.”

Dick Dionne said he could recall numerous stories about his
brother to illustrate the great guy he was, “all the way through.” Like the time he brought a bag of collectible toy Beanie Babies to a children’s hospital.

Dick Dionne said Stoney’s family just learned of the Beanie Babies, and heard from a cancer survivor who was inspired by that act of selflessness. “She said he changed her mind that day and she was going to fight (the cancer),” Dick Dionne recalled.

So it was a special gift that Dick Dionne said he and his brother probably would not have otherwise experienced, when he took his brother to the Maine Children’s Cancer Center in Scarborough to be mapped out for radiation a few weeks ago, and Stoney got to meet some of the kids there. The two got a tour of the whole facility, and it was a special day for both, Dick Dionne said. They were treated like celebrities, but were just there for the children, he said.

Will Dionne shared that, “Until my son got sick three months ago, I really didn’t know any of the things he was doing. I knew Stoney’s Lobster Run would raise some funds for cancer. ... People have been coming out of the woodwork telling us of the things that he’s done, and it was amazing to both his mother and me.”

“We were very proud of the fact that he’d done all of those things, be we hated to find out in those circumstances,” he continued.

Stoney Dionne was also remembered as a musician — who used to play at weddings and lounges — and as an artist. Dionne painted signs and operated
“Stone Man Signs” in West Bath. He painted quite a few pictures that were beautiful,” said Will Dionne. “And he was very meticulous, because if he started a painting and he made a booboo, he scrapped it.”

Nelson Barter, Harpswell Neck fire chief, said that Stoney had also served for a few years with the fire department as a firefighter, in the 1980s or early 1990s. Barter said he was one of the few who didn’t know Stoney as a biker. As a firefighter, “He was always there. He was a guy who, if something was going on, he was one of the guys who was going to show up and he was always willing to do whatever needed to be done.”

Dick Dionne said this morning that the family will continue to hold St
oney’s Lobster Run, and the ride will still be held to help children. Though other memorial runs may begin, Dick said, the Lobster Run will not become a memorial to his brother, because he wouldn’t have wanted that.

“I’ll tell you, it’s not easy,” he said of losing his brother. “But he’s going out in style, we’re making sure of that.


“I know he’d say, ‘Don’t cry for me’ — he’d want us to celebrate, to go out in style,” Dick continued. “He’s happy now. He’s in Heaven now, with all those children who didn’t make it. And he has so many friends from all walks of life, and I don’t care if they were hard-core bikers. He had friends from all walks of life. Even the doctors in the hospital, they were so wonderful to us. They really cared. They knew they were dealing with a special person. They all did all they could, as did everybody. They did all they could to help. ... I don’t want people to b
e sad, but more or less lucky to have known him. Remember him, always remember him, and don’t ever forget him.”
 
 

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