As she looked around the room that day, taking in the assemblage of those in attendance, her voice took on a stronger, louder quality when she declared: “Family is love!” Besides her daughter Joshlyn, she was also surrounded by her children Alfreda Williams, Jacinto Dortch, Alonzo Stovall, Barbara Stovall Carter and Rodney Stovall, and by assorted grandchildren, cousins, nieces and nephews and in-laws.
Thelma Ramsey, a friend of Mrs. Stovall from Friendship Baptist Church, told me, “She is amazing, she is soft-spoken, but people listen to her when she speaks, and they respect her. And she is still inspiring us.” Her neighbors spoke in awe about her ability on her own to organize dinners for people who were lonely because she loved to feed people. Her neighbor Maria Perez, said she had been worried when she didn’t see Mrs. Stovall out on her regular walks. “She could walk by herself, even at this age. And when I didn’t see her I was worried. We played Bingo together, and her memory is very good. I call her Mom. It is a joy to be here today.”
During the interview with Brad Edwards, when she received the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, award, she was asked what advice she would give to people today: “The world is in an uproar, and we need more prayer to overcome the violence.” That is why Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the heroes she tried to emulate with her work in the community. Those words still resonate today.
Thank you for your lifetime of inspiration, Queen Stovall.