Forums: Community: Blue Skies - In Memory Of:
Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend

 

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soulshine

Oct 28, 2007, 8:14 AM
Post #26 of 268 (5312 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

BSBD Frown


Mike111

Oct 28, 2007, 8:14 AM
Post #27 of 268 (5312 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

Deepest condolences to family and friendsUnsureUnsure


kevino  (D 772)

Oct 28, 2007, 8:24 AM
Post #28 of 268 (5285 views)
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Re: [Mike111] Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

This is a tough one. tonto was one of my mentors and if I ever had a safety query he was the first person with whom I would consult. He was Mr Safety personified. Outside of skydiving he had a briliant sense of humour and often kept us in stitches with his stories.

Rest in peace my brother you had many, many admirers.

KevinO
CI Johannesburg Skydiving Club


wildcard451  (D License)

Oct 28, 2007, 8:25 AM
Post #29 of 268 (5288 views)
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Re: [soulshine] Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

Had the pleasure of sharing a WS jump or two at eloy a few years back over the holiday boogie. Great guy. My heart goes out to everyone who knew and loved him.

BSBD.


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

Oct 28, 2007, 8:31 AM
Post #30 of 268 (5260 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

Damn. He was one of the ones I couldn't wait to meet. Guess I'll have to wait. Frown Shared some great PMs and I always enjoyed his responses on the forums - they usually challenged you to look at a situation differently, whether you agreed with him or not.


antonsteyn

Oct 28, 2007, 8:36 AM
Post #31 of 268 (5248 views)
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Re:Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

Eric was a personal friend and mentor. We worked together at JSC where his efforts at making skydiving safer for everyone were tireless. His dry humor, willingness to share his vast pool of knowledge, and his larger than life persona will be missed terribly by everyone who knew him.
Eric, my friend, it was good knowing you.
Blue skies forever.


Premier skymama  (D 26699)
Moderator
Oct 28, 2007, 8:37 AM
Post #32 of 268 (5245 views)
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Re: [PhreeZone] Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
You also recently showed me another side when you told us about the child you and Taya have been helping in South Africa. You have touched that childs life more then you have touched anyone out side of your familys probally.

I think it would be nice for people other than the Mods to know that story. I've copied it from the Team Room.

From Tonto's post:

Quote:
Taya and I support a little deaf girl from Kliptown, Soweto.
She was 3 when Taya noticed she was not like the other kids. The teachers at the creche thought she was retarded. She organised a friend at WITS university to test her, and she's profoundly deaf.

Taya organised that she and her mother both recieve schooling at St Vincent's school for the deaf in Melrose, North of Johannesburg. They have both learned to sign, and Silindile can now express herself. She's a bright little thing, and she's now 6 years old.

I stop in through Kliptown on the way back from the DZ in Carletonville about once a month, drop off some potatos, some spinach, some new clothes before winter. I pay her taxi fees to school and back, and her school fees. She gets 2 meals a day at school.

Taya sold her car for $1000 when she left for Princeton last year and opened a trust with that modest amount, and since then I've added another $1000 to the cause, and it keeps her in school.

Tonto has 2 girls of his own, yet he still found the means to help another little girl. That's cool. Smile


airtwardo  (D License)

Oct 28, 2007, 8:41 AM
Post #33 of 268 (5222 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

Blue Skies Tonto.


And thank you for leaving the sport we all love, a better place than when you found it.


Go easy brother.


(This post was edited by airtwardo on Oct 28, 2007, 3:07 PM)


schafdog  (D 26595)

Oct 28, 2007, 8:53 AM
Post #34 of 268 (5188 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh Fuck! Tonto Tonto..... dude.....! Just cant belive this.....
Go well my friend,
love, light and peace!
Kev Schafer


Hagen  (B 507)

Oct 28, 2007, 9:00 AM
Post #35 of 268 (5167 views)
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Re: [airtwardo] Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

NoFrown... I still have unanswered PM from himFrown

Condolences with his family and friends...


elias123  (D 108)

Oct 28, 2007, 9:07 AM
Post #36 of 268 (5138 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't believe this :( My heart stopped when I saw the title of this thread in disbelief. I also did not know Tonto personally, but I gained much knowledge and had great pleasure reading his posts, advice and kind words. Fly free my friend, you will be remembered for eternity. Be at peace FrownFrown

BSBD


(This post was edited by elias123 on Oct 28, 2007, 9:44 AM)


ntrprnr  (B 28397)

Oct 28, 2007, 9:12 AM
Post #37 of 268 (5119 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

tonto, thank you for your advice... You will be missed.

Blue skies, my friend. I never met you, but I, like many, many others on here, I would assume, benefitted greatly from your wisdom.

May peace be with you.

-Peter


Peej  (B 2456)

Oct 28, 2007, 9:14 AM
Post #38 of 268 (5118 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

You were my AFF Instructor and my mentor, but most of all you were my friend. I have no words right now and in a way i'm hoping that the next time my phone rings it will be someone telling me it's not true and this has all been some kind of elaborate joke.

Thank you for everything t, for teaching me to skydive, for having the guts it took to tell me to slow down when i needed it, but most of all for the love you showed, for our late night chats outside the bar, for the welcome smile, the praise after you watched me swoop, for encouraging me through nationals, and for the hug we shared yesterday morning when i walked on to the DZ. Had i known it would be our last i might have held on just that little bit longer.

You will be missed my friend, you leave behind a void in my life and i can only hope that i will live out the rest of my days in a way that will make you proud. Thank you for letting me inside your circle and letting me know that i had a a place in your heart, you will always have a place in mine.


nerdgirl  (D License)

Oct 28, 2007, 9:15 AM
Post #39 of 268 (5109 views)
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Re: Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

My sincerest condolences to Eric's partner, family, and friends.

He impressed me when he stood up when others would stand back and say nothing.

His contributions and presence here will be missed immensely.

BSBD
/Marg


kenz  (Student)

Oct 28, 2007, 9:22 AM
Post #40 of 268 (5084 views)
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Re: [nerdgirl] Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

total shock - BSBD - sending big condolences to all that are hurting... very, very sad

fly freeUnsure


(This post was edited by kenz on Oct 28, 2007, 9:23 AM)


tjalievw  (D 806)

Oct 28, 2007, 9:26 AM
Post #41 of 268 (5039 views)
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Re: [Peej] Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

Ditto PJ, Words cannot describe the sadness we feel!

Blue Skies Forever Tonto!


d_squared431  (Student)

Oct 28, 2007, 9:28 AM
Post #42 of 268 (5024 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

I am truly sorry to hear this. My heart goes out to his friends, family and all of you who only knew him from dz.com.


kevinv  (D 678)

Oct 28, 2007, 9:37 AM
Post #43 of 268 (4993 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

Absolutely gutted to hear of Tonto's passing. We met many years ago at Skydive Citrusdal and did a few jumps together over the years since then. What amazed me with Tonto was how enthusiastic he remained after so many years in the sport, always keen to try a new discipline and immerse himself in it completely.
He was a true mentor, always willing to guide and teach, and always ready to learn from others when exploring a new discipline.
I feel honoured to have known him, jumped with him, learned from him and competed against him.
We are all gonna miss you Tonto!


jari

Oct 28, 2007, 10:06 AM
Post #44 of 268 (4940 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

my friend,

My deepest condolences to Taya, family, friends and all the flock. We have all lost dearly today and we will miss you.

"Up here, above the fog, in the lonely dark emptiness, there is no Life and Death. There is infinity and a moment in between, when we fly so full of life and so close to death that they become one." -Richard Bach

Jari


VanillaSkyGirl

Oct 28, 2007, 10:09 AM
Post #45 of 268 (4931 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow, I'm crying. This is very, very sad news. I never have met him in person, but we had friendly ongoing PMs over the years, discussing various life topics. He seemed to be such a genuine, caring person, who lived by authentic principles based on altruism. He was one of the good ones.

Sending my heartfelt condolences to Tonto's loved ones, especially Taya, whom he cherished and loved so much. Eternal blue skies, Tonto. Frown


Frenchy68  (A License)

Oct 28, 2007, 10:31 AM
Post #46 of 268 (4871 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

I usually do not post in obituary forums. I find it morbid. I find it pointless. I also feel sometimes it turns into a competition as to who can claim the most pain from someone's death...
This is fucked. I may have traded 3 PM with Tonto since I signed on to this forum. But all 3 were somewhat more powerful than 99% of the thousands I have received and sent.
You were one of the true ONEs.
You ARE one of the true ones.

Stay Gold...

And you got to watch the Boks win it all in fashion...


aerodynamite  (D 2837)

Oct 28, 2007, 10:54 AM
Post #47 of 268 (4809 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

Fly free Tonto.

Deepest sympathy to Taya.


Tero & Leila


BIGUN  (D 23385)

Oct 28, 2007, 10:55 AM
Post #48 of 268 (4803 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm sorry you and a lot of others lost a close friend, Sangiro.


bigway

Oct 28, 2007, 11:04 AM
Post #49 of 268 (4782 views)
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Re: [Frenchy68] Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

ditto frenchy. exactly how i feel. If i ever saw a PM from Tonto it was always friendly PM while at the same time an educational one. i had a question years ago and he was so enthusiastic about it that he also invited me to question his partner, and then check in to see how my query was coming along. Tonto was one of the great moderators that nobody had to be shy around, he taught many things through these forums and every post i ever saw of his was of value even if it was just joining in the banter.

i will always remember his friendly non judgejmental presence on these boards and if i feel the way i do just from a few pms over the internet with him then i can only imagine how people who know him must be feeling.
I get the feeling the sport has just lost one of the most important guys the sport has had as there are thousands of people from this site alone that have benefited from tontos post.
thank you Sangrio for giving Tonto the chance to introduce himself to us all and educate us all without even meeting the guy.... his life has benefited so many of us here on your website.

on another note.... Skymama, maybe when things are a bit more calm we could all try and find


AMax

Oct 28, 2007, 11:11 AM
Post #50 of 268 (4762 views)
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Re: [BIGUN] Eric (Tonto) Stephenson - Goodbye my friend [In reply to] Can't Post

R.I.P. brotherFrown

My deepest condolences to Taya, family and friends.


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