Obituary: Thatcher Stone

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//December 19, 2022

Obituary: Thatcher Stone

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//December 19, 2022

Retired Charlottesville attorney Thatcher Stone died Nov. 29. He was 67.

Born in Massachusetts, Mr. Stone was raised in Washington, D.C. before attending Northfield Mount Hermon School in Northern Massachusetts. Following a year in England at the Brentwood School, he enrolled at the University of Virginia, where he earned his undergraduate and law degrees. During his undergraduate years, he became a private pilot.

After graduating from U.Va. Law in 1982, Mr. Stone spent 32 years as a Wall Street lawyer specializing in aviation-related law. During his time in New York, he was a part of several large law firms.

Mr. Stone represented the Export-Import Bank of the United States for nearly 25 years as outside lead counsel in the financing of newly delivered Boeing aircraft. These aircraft were financed by airlines on every continent except Antarctica. In this role, he secured the first and largest secured financing for aircraft in Chile and advised the bank and the White House on global war risk insurance issues following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Another career highlight came in 2004, when Mr. Stone successfully sued Continental Airlines after getting bumped from a flight without proper compensation. The case created new legal precedent and made national headlines.

Mr. Stone relocated his practice to Charlottesville in 2013, later founding Stone & Woodward LLP with partner Will Woodrow. Stone retired from the firm in May 2022 but remained of counsel until his death.

Throughout his life, Mr. Stone gave back to U.Va., where he taught aviation law since 2005. In 1996, he established The Madison Lane and Rugby Road Charitable Trust along with close friend Frank Kittredge Jr. The trust has provided the university with over $2.4 million in gifts since its inception.

Specific gifts that were important to Mr. Stone included the Lillian K. Stone Distinguished Lecture and the Philip M. Stone Dining Room, which were named after his mother and father, respectively. In 2010, the Thatcher A. Stone Garden was dedicated following a donation from Mr. Stone to the law school.

Additionally, Mr. Stone served U.Va. with time on the law school’s alumni counsel and a term as chair of the selection committee for Jefferson Law Fellows. He also was a board member of the university’s Fralin Museum of Art.

Away from work, Mr. Stone enjoyed skiing, sailing and piloting airplanes – including the two single-engine aircraft he owned later in life.

Mr. Stone is survived by his daughter, Rebecca; his brother, Douglas; his nephew, Nathaniel; and his nieces, Hilary and Elizabeth.

A memorial service for a celebration of Mr. Stone’s life will be held at U.Va. in June 2023 during his 45th college reunion.


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