• on April 12, 2019

The Experience of Two Lifetimes

Kaye Stone came to live on the Winston-Salem campus of Crossnore School & Children’s Home (then called The Children’s Home) when she was just six years old. She came with two sisters and stayed until she was 18 and left for college. Kaye has fond memories of her days at the Home, but none more so than the summer of 1960. That’s the summer Kaye met John Wade. John was 13 when he came to the Home and he also stayed until he was 18. Although they met that summer and became friends, it wasn’t until Alumni Homecoming in 2014 that their paths would cross again. 

Through the years.

After high school graduation, Kaye went to Pfeiffer College. She became a Peace Corps volunteer and worked in India for two years. From there, Kaye spent many years serving others as a social worker, career counselor, Peace Corps staff in the Washington, DC schools, a census worker in California, and as Director of Student Outreach at UC-Irvine. She lived in Montana for a while where she wrote a book and she held various management jobs in Washington, DC. Although she never married, Kaye lived a rich and full life and retired back to North Carolina in 2013. 

John also went out into the world after high school graduation. He went to art school and then into the US Army for four years, including a one-year tour in Vietnam. John’s initial careers were in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools as an A/V tech and at a community college in Burlington. But his heart belonged to art and he became a full-time painter. John now specializes in portraits, landscapes, etchings, and large-scale murals. 

Finding the way home.

Homecoming on the Winston-Salem campus in 2014 was special for several reasons. John had not attended homecoming in years but decided to come that year because his brother, Lee, was being honored as the Alumni of the Year. It was there that John and Kaye met again. “There was an instant chemistry,” said John. Kaye added, “We had a common background that gave us much to talk about.” Kimberly King, Director of Community Outreach, remembers seeing John and Kay at the homecoming. She said, “You could tell there was a spark there…it was just so sweet!” 

John and Kaye took the next few years to become reacquainted and then married on September 16, 2017. They now live in Floyd, VA.  Kaye says that John was a pastry chef at Chateau Morrisette and has been teaching her how to cook. “We both had different lives that were interesting, and now we are starting a new life together. That’s kinda cool,” said John. Kaye said that her new home with John is just an hour from where she was born, “I feel like I’ve just come full-circle back to my roots.” 

Building a new life together.

It’s an adjustment to get married late in life. John had been married before, but Kaye had not. But just spending a few minutes with John and Kaye reveals the deep admiration they have for one another. “What I find most interesting about Kaye is that she developed so many friendships around the world. Many of those people came to our wedding just to support her,” said John. “Now I’m getting to know those people too.”  

When asked about the future of the campus they both call home, Kaye is glad the Home is serving more children these days. John and Kaye agree that the Home gave them support, direction, and stability at a time when they needed it. John said, “Change happens around us all the time. That’s a challenge for the kids who come here. But the positive things that are happening here will serve the Home well for years to come. And that will change the lives of the children who live here.” 

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