Joseph Stone

Joseph Stone

Born Francis Joseph Tierney Junior
August 8, 1953
Detroit, Michigan
Died February 9, 2012 (59)
University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Current City Ann Arbor, Michigan
Occupation Small Business Owner - The Blarney Stone
Partner(s) Elizabeth Marie O'Brien Stone (July 12, 1975 - February 9, 2012)
Child(ren) Lucas Ethan Stone
Andrew Jacob Stone
Madeline Paige Stone
Kyle Anthony Stone
Parents Francis Joseph Tierney Sr. and Lauren Jane Stone Tierney
Sibling(s) None

The only child born to Francis Joseph Tierney and Lauren Jane Stone, Joseph grew up in a poverty stricken area in Detroit, Michigan. His father, Francis Joseph Tierney Sr., was the only child born to a pair of Irish immigrants who had relocated to the United States when he was just an infant and faced harsh discrimination when he was growing up. This discrimination harbored resentment in the man that he brought to his own family years later. As an employee at Hunsaker Steel, Joseph's father faced widespread intolerance in the workplace and was eventually blamed for an event that occurred beyond his control on the factory floor.

Joseph has remarkable natural intelligence, despite his lack of education, but often has difficulty expressing and explaining himself, resulting in strained relationships. He has a very explosive temper, one that he inherited from his father and passed down to his oldest son, and has been known to lose his temper when his sons push his buttons after a long day at the restaurant.

Early Life and Education

As a boy, Joseph was used to his family just barely managing to scrape by, despite long hours that his Dad worked at the factory. He took on odd jobs wherever he could at his father's request, beginning a paper route in town at the age of ten and offering to tend lawns, rake leaves, and shovel snow for neighbors in nearby developments whenever he could. His mother worked as a cleaning lady in apartment buildings near them and Joseph can still remember the distinct smell of bleach and lemon scented cleaners that his mother would use every day at work. It is one of the most distinct smells from his childhood and his mind tends to travel there on the days they deep clean the restaurant, though he would never open up and discuss it with any of his children or his employees.

By the time he reached age twelve, he already had a reputation for being a troublemaker in school. His explosive temper often put him at odds with other students in the class but he always seemed to catch the blame for any confrontations that began between him and other students, whether it was really his fault or not. With a small, facetious smirk, he will still recall the punishments that were handed down to him by teachers and administrators, though he has no interest in explaining why he always caught the blame. He has often speculated with his wife that part of the reason he was such a troublemaker in school had to do with his own boredom. Though smart, Joseph's grades when he attended school did not accurately portray his own intelligence. He has, from time to time, wondered if he would have benefited from being pushed forward by a grade or two like he will eventually argue for with his own son.

It was that same year that his Dad ended up in a misunderstanding that would end with him incarcerated and the family struggling to survive. An accident on the factory floor potentially threatened the continuation of Hunsaker Steel as an operational factory and the foreman on duty hurried to find some sort of scapegoat to pin the mess on. As Francis Tierney had worked back-to-back shifts without authorization for the extended time on duty, he made an easy target for the blame. The accusation of negligence resulted in Francis Tierney being let go from his job at the factory and eventually arrested for the death that had resulted. Though he maintained his innocence, the family was limited financially and could not afford a lawyer with enough knowledge of both Hunsaker Steel's operational practices and know-how when it came to the law to put up a good enough fight to help Francis successfully prove his innocence.

After his father was sent to jail, things became even more strained for the Tierney family financially and socially. Outcast as pariahs in the town - and now ridiculed for completely new reasons - Joseph and his mother began working harder than ever before to try to find some semblance of normal in their lives without Francis Sr. there to help them pay bills. First came relocating to a smaller apartment and selling whatever they could to try to make ends meet. Then came Joseph's decision to take on a second paper route and start working shifts bussing tables at a restaurant in town whenever the manager allowed him to. Just three short years after his father's arrest, his mother passed away from what Joseph had always believed was some sort of cancer - without any medical insurance or money to be able to see doctors and specialists, nothing was confirmed and treatments were not an option. Following his mother's death, Joseph made the difficult decision to drop out of school and begin working three jobs in addition to his ongoing paper route. Haggard, underfed, and poverty-stricken, Joseph turned his back on a world that had turned its back on him and resolved to work himself to death to try to make something out of himself in a way that people had always assumed he would never be able to do. His resolve to be more than "that criminal Tierney's son" would eventually spur him on to open his own business but the paranoia he often felt based in public perception would color the way he interacted with people and the way he led his family for the rest of his life.

Marriage and Family

Despite constant assurance to other and himself that he would never marry and would never have children, it was only a year or so after his mother's death that Joseph fell in love. Elizabeth O'Brien, a young Irish woman from a large Catholic family in town, crossed his path one evening as he was delivering papers for one of his routes. It was her smile that first caught his attention, a brilliant flash of white teeth and perfectly plump lips coupled with a glimpse of a dimple in her left cheek. For the rest of his life, he would remember the way her dark, wild hair framed her face and the way her gentle voice and soft, pale skin seemed to illuminate the waning twilight. At just barely sixteen, Elizabeth - Lizzie, as he would call her - was everything he had never dreamed he would deserve. Her family, though strict, was unbroken and stood in sharp contrast to his own. With two loving - though harsh, in the case of her father - parents and four overly-protective siblings, Elizabeth had grown up in a world that had kept her sheltered, protected, and loved. Everything that Joseph had never known and had long ago resigned to never knowing.

To the end of his days, he would never fully know what it was that attracted Elizabeth to him. She had seen something there, beneath the harsh facade of a boy the world had rejected, and had worked to cultivate that glimpse of humanity despite every attempt he made to keep her from doing so. Shortly after meeting her, Joseph had tried to discourage Beth's own interest in him by becoming the monster everyone had claimed he was. He had shouted harsh words at her when she had shown up unexpected at his work to walk with him from one job to the other and had even gone so far as to grab her wrist tightly in one hand and attempt to literally shake sense into her. But nothing had deterred her - either she was too innocent and trusting or she had genuinely seen something worth redeeming in his soul - and she had continued to meet him despite his attempts to scare her away.

It was after months - nearly 18 of them - spent 'dating' - though that term loosely applied to what they were actually doing. He was too poor and too busy to take her out on proper dates and she, despite her claims, had felt a modicum of self-conscious embarrassment at the thought of being seen in public with a Tierney - that Beth demanded he finally meet her family. The evening went disastrously. It took only seconds after Joseph arrived for her father to throw him out and demand that he stay away from his daughter. Though he had not expected anything different, the words and judgement based on the reputation of his father ignited, for the first time that Beth had ever seen, the famous Tierney temper and Joseph had hurled accusations back at her father for every harsh comment he made about Joseph - a high school dropout with a father currently serving twenty years for murder.

Despite losing his temper and the ostracizing he knew she would earn from her family, Beth ignored their threats and their attempts to fix her up with someone else in order to be with Joseph. It would take almost five years for her sisters to speak to her again, nearly 25 for her brothers, and she would never speak to her parents again, but she walked away from them and the safety of her family in order to be with Joseph, never looking back again.

Joseph is the father of Luke, Drew, and Kyle Stone. Though he was not originally open to the idea of having kids, he

Later Life and Career

Section Content

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License