William Weyant Stone led an international and creative life, from teaching in France as a Fulbright Scholar, to playing virtuoso piano music to enraptured audiences, to designing the homes he lived in in East Moriches and Merritt Island, Fla.
"The rapport he had with his students was amazing," Valentine said. "It was just unbelievable."
Stone died of congestive heart failure and emphysema at Brookhaven Hospital on Sept. 10. He was 66.
He intended to study mechanical engineering in college but fell in love with the French language, said his younger brother Robert Stone.
"He loved everything French," his brother said.
He then headed to France on a prestigious Fulbright scholarship and taught English at a language school in Royan, near Bordeaux.
After the two-year fellowship, Stone returned to New York and worked as a translator at the United Nations before he went to the Rocky Point school district.
Stone relished the task of helping young minds learn. "I think he enjoyed the challenge of getting people to think and speak in a different language," said Robert Stone, 62, of East Greenwich, R.I.
He would spend his free time cooking gourmet meals and sailing in Moriches Bay, Valentine said. "He was a very talented person."
Stone also loved the language of music. "He was a tremendous musician on the piano," his brother said. "He loved Debussy. He loved Gershwin. He could play Broadway songs, ragtime. He could play classical."
"And one of the things he did, he embraced the technology of the new electronic piano," Robert Stone said. "He left us a tremendous amount of music that he recorded."
In addition to his brother and his partner, Stone is survived by sister Barbara Latendresse, 59, of Dallas, Ga.
A memorial service for Stone will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Sinnickson's Moriches Funeral Home in Center Moriches. His remains will be interred at Mount Pleasant cemetery in Center Moriches at a later date.