Friends and family of Samuel Stone Zemurray mourned one of Costa Rica’s leading academics this week at two services at La Capilla de Nuestra Señora DelRosario in Curridabat, east of San José.
Stone died Dec. 8 in his Curridabat home at age 74, according to his wife, Haydeé Terán Alvarado de Stone.
“He was a marvelous person… charitable, humble, intelligent. Everyone wanted to be loyal to him,” said his librarian, Vicki Salgado.
Stone, who was known to quote British author Rudyard Kipling in conversation, was remembered for his passion for research. He used to spend long nights in his library at the Center for Political-Administrative Research and Training (CIAPA), which he founded 31 years ago.
The political think-tank founder published a wide range of books. Perhaps most known are the “Management of the Conquerers” and “The Dynasty of the Conquerors.”
The latter won him the national Aquileo J. Echeverría award for literature. Born in 1932 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Stone came to Costa Rica with his family when he was about seven, according to Terán, 65, who had been married to him for the past 45 years.
His mother, Doris Zemurray, was a U.S. archeologist renowned for her study of the mysterious pre-Colombian stone spheres found by workers of the United Fruit Company in the jungle near Costa Rica’s pacific coast in 1939.
After serving in the U.S. Naval Reserve while he was a student at Princeton University, Stone obtained a bachelor’s degree and enlisted in the U.S.Army,where he served two years of active duty and two more inactive.
He received a master’s degree and two doctorates at ParisSorbonneUniversity in France, where he studied political science and sociology. He served as cultural attaché for the Costa Rican Embassy in Paris, and was a Permanent Delegate for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
“He was an excellent husband and father. He liked to be with the family and the grandchildren all the time. We’re all very proud for all that he was able to do and for what he did for the country,” Terán told The Tico Times.
Stone is survived by his wife, three children, Haydée María de Mendiola Terán, Alison Stone Terán, and Stephanie Stone de Feoli, and six grandchildren. His son-inlaw Ludovico Stone de Feoli is now CIAPA’s director.