Bob Stone, long-time owner of Freeway Autocenter in The Dalles, has died.

Stone retired and sold the Subaru dealership in 2014. The dealership received more awards and honors from Subaru of America than any other dealership in the region. In 2007, the dealership was honored by Subaru for being the “Best Place in America” to buy a new Subaru based on customer surveys done by the company. In 2010, Stone’s dealership was honored by Subaru for being first in market penetration in the continental U.S.

“This staff has gone above and beyond expected industry standards to deliver personal attention and service to each customer,” Stone told a The Dalles Chronicle reporter at the time of his retirement. 

Stone was also the first dealership in Oregon to achieve Subaru Stellar Care Award status in 2012 and went on to repeat that distinction again 2013 and 2014.

With his success, Stone made significant contributions in support of the community, including financial support to local military families, emergency first responders, local schools and sponsorships of numerous community events including The Cherry Festival Parade, the Hood 2 River Relay, Kiteboarding 4 Cancer, the Hood River Hops and Harvest Festivals.

He purchased the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Subaru dealership in The Dalles from the Thomas family in 2000. His career in the automotive dealership business began in 1955.

Stone first worked at and owned dealerships in the Midwest and California before buying the store in The Dalles.

“The business has changed immensely in the past 60 years but the need for good customer service has been, and will continue to be, the key to success,” he told the Chronicle in 2014. “As I move on to my retirement, I will always remember the many good customers, employees and friends whom we have come to know and appreciate over the years."

Read his full obituary here:

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