Jerel Deon Stone was born June 26, 1967 in Englewood, New Jersey. He was the oldest child born to James Ray and Annie “Jean” Cooper Stone.
Jerel’s early years were spent in Hackensack, New Jersey until his family relocated to Glen Rock, New Jersey. He was a product of the Glen Rock Public Schools, eventually graduating from Glen Rock High School. Jerel was a sports enthusiast who loved football and basketball.
Upon his graduation from Glen Rock High School, Jerel attended Hampton University. It was at Hampton that Jerel discovered his love for barbering, as he began cutting the hair of his friends and classmates. He decided to pursue his Master Barber License and make barbering his full-time profession. Jerel took great pride in his work and was blessed to meet people from varied walks of life throughout his career. For over twenty years, he worked at Sam Gore’s Barbershop in Harlem, New York.
Jerel served for a brief period in the United States Army.
In the early 2000’s, Jerel relocated to the south, first to Atlanta, Georgia and ultimately settling in Florala, Alabama.
In 2010, he returned to New Jersey. He resumed his career as a barber, first working for Mitchell’s Unisex Hairstyling in Paterson, New Jersey and later at Jersey Kutz in Hackensack, New Jersey. At his death, he was working privately.
Even though Jerel made a career out of barbering, he had other passions. He enjoyed baking and became known for his “Sweet Potato Cheesecakes” which have been sold throughout the Metropolitan area. Because his dessert was making a name for itself, Jerel enrolled and graduated from the Community Business Academy, Rising Tide Capital, where his dessert was named, “The Original Sweet Potato Cheesecake” and his new business was born.
In 2012, Jerel married Darshell DuBose whom he affectionately called “Dee.” Though their marriage was brief, their love was visible to all who knew them. They were blessed to travel, enjoy music concerts, and enjoy the company of family and friends near and far.
In addition to Barbering and baking, Jerel was a socially conscious individual who promoted love and positivity everywhere he went. He used his words, music and social media to make people aware of the injustices of the world. He was a firm believer in educating the youth. Therefore, he made himself an instrument of change by creating avenues for urban and at-risk youth to explore new experiences. One of the many times he made a difference was demonstrated in 2015 when he organized and carried out an educational trip to New Orleans for a group of middle school Jazz musicians from Newark, New Jersey who had been studying Jazz in his wife’s Music class. The trip was almost cancelled due to lack of funds but Jerel turned the situation around by establishing a “go fund me” account and advertising the trip on Facebook and raised over $2000.00 for the trip. He took time off from work to drive his own truck to transport the luggage and instruments of the students when it was made known to him that the school couldn’t afford a bus and had to rent a 15 passenger van, instead. Jerel didn’t accept the impossible; he believed in possibilities and made things happen.
Jerel’s Christian foundation was formed at the Mount Bethel Baptist Church in Ridgewood, New Jersey and later at the Mount Olive Baptist Church in Hackensack, New Jersey. He confessed Christ as his personal savior at First African Baptist Church in Florala, Alabama. Upon his return to New Jersey, Jerel united with the St. Luke Baptist Church of Paterson, New Jersey. He was active in the SBLC Men’s Ministry, Men’s Choir, and regularly attended the Men’s Bible Study Class. Also, he was active in the Marriage Enrichment Ministry.
On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, after a brief illness, Jerel’s earthly life came to an end. His unexpected departure has left a great void in the lives of all who knew and loved him. His smile, positive energy, and his enthusiasm for people will be missed, greatly.
Jerel’s love and memory will forever be engraved in the hearts of his beloved wife, Darshell “Dee”; sons, Justin Jerel and Jarred Reginald; daughter, Jordyn Helene; step-daughter, Diarra Grace; parents, James Ray and Annie Jean; brother, Jeffrey; his granddaughter, Chloe Jean (and her mother Jennyfer Penaranda); sisters-in-law, Debra DuBose and Clashaun Riddick (Linwood); nieces, Jazmyn, Diamond, Ayonna; nephew, Dylan; close cousins, Robyn (Donald), Pam, and Gwen McIntosh (Trevor); and a host of uncles, aunts, cousins and friends.