Marthelle Williams Stover

by Lynn McMillen
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Marthelle Williams Stover Marthelle Williams Stover, 86, of Decatur, died peacefully at home Tuesday, July 5, 2022. A
celebration of life will be held this fall at Central United Methodist Church. A graveside
service will be held at a later date at Memorial Park Cemetery in Camden Arkansas.
Marthelle was born December 22, 1935, in Paragould, Arkansas, where her father was serving
as a District Superintendent for the Methodist Church
After growing up as a preacher’s
preacher’s daughter in several north Arkansas towns, she graduated from Hendrix College, then obtained a master’s degree in psychology at the University of Arkansas. It was at the University of Arkansas that she met her husband to be, Carl Stover.  Marthelle was 21 when she wed Carl, and they had celebrated 64 years if marriage when she died.

Marthelle raised two daughters into elementary school, then began her career, working first as a psychometrist in Huntsville City Schools, then serving as the Director of Programs for the newly-opened Wallace Developmental Center in Decatur. In 1977 she became Director of Special Education for Morgan County Schools, where she was a fierce champion of children, both special needs and gifted. Marthelle was honored as the inaugural recipient of the Outstanding Director of Special Education in Alabama, an award named for Margaret Vann, her friend and mentor.

Marthelle was an active member of Central United Methodist Church, where she sang in the Chancel Choir, worked with youth programs, and served on multiple committees. She was active in many community activities in support of mental health, and served on the original board of directors for Parents and Children Together, an organization committed to the prevention of child abuse. After retirement, Marthelle took great pleasure volunteering as a math tutor to disadvantaged elementary students.

Marthelle lived a full life as a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, friend and educator. She instantly brightened any room with her personality and smile; her work ethic, humor and generous spirit made her loved by colleagues, friends and family. She will be greatly missed. It should be noted that Marthelle was always proud of her family heritage from the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.

Marthelle Williams Stover was preceded in death by her parents, Rev. E.B. and Ann Jeanette (Angie) Williams, sister Alexa, and brothers Hulen, Hayden, Miller and Travis Williams. She is survived by her husband, Carl; two daughters, Elizabeth Haley (Victor), of Atlanta Georgia, and Rebecca Cochran (Tommy), of Huntsville Alabama; five grandchildren, Calvin, Bowen and Miller Cochran and Pearse (Sofia) and Helyn Louise Haley; as well as many nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank Chatan Robinson, Deborah King and hospice nurses Leanne McCreless and Gary Owens for their excellent care, compassion and guidance. Any contributions in honor of Marthelle Stover can be made to Hospice of the Valley, Central United Methodist Church, and PACT of Decatur.

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