“If I Can Help Somebody as I Pass Along,
Then My Living Shall Not Be in Vain.”
Sister Stella Louise Toney Whitehead was born in Dale County, Alabama November 10, 1928. She was the 4th child of the late Mr. C. T. Toney and Mrs. Lula Mae Colson Toney. This union was blessed with eight children: Iris Pearl, James Edwards, Exie Mae, Evelyn Hazel and Raymond Cornelius (who preceded her in death) Stella Louise, Mary Ellen and Ruby Joyce (Cleveland).
Stella was educated in the school system of Dale County completing elementary through high school. She graduated from Ozark Colored High School (now D.A. Smith High School) May 1947. She earned her B.S. in Elementary Education in 1951 from Alabama State College and later received a Master of Education from Alabama State University. She completed further studies at Tuskegee Institute and Troy University receiving Adult Education Certification.
In 1953 she was united in marriage to James Bunn Whitehead of Battleboro N.C. To this union two sons were born, Cornelius Monzell and Sanche Jara. She parented a niece/daughter, Tonyce Anita Johnson, who preceded her in death August 2012.
Sister Stella was baptized at an early age and became a life member of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, Newton, Alabama in 1939. She was a faithful member. While at Antioch she served in several ministries: Usher, Vacation Bible School, Bible Training Union, Sunday School Teacher, Deaconess, Treasurer, Choir, Fund Raisers, etc. Her love for her Lord and Savior was evidenced in her services through her church, community, and relationships with others.
As an educator, she served faithfully for over 51 years, 1951-1987/1968-2003, molding the lives of young people and inspired adults in the Dale County School System. From 1951-1953, she taught elementary school in Pinckard, Alabama and was employed by the Ozark City System from 1953-1987. In 1968-2003 Mrs. Whitehead was an adult education teacher for students with learning difficulties under the direction of the Ozark City and Enterprise State Junior College. Classes were weekly, Tuesday and Thursday evenings. She was a devoted teacher and a “life-time learner”.
Mrs. Whitehead’s activities and civic work includes: Coaching girls’ varsity basketball at M.M. Matthews School and D.A. Smith School, working with Girl Scout Troops in 1968, elected vice chairman of the reorganized Newton Library in 1968 and served as secretary from 1969 until 1985, member of Eastern Star serving as Worthy Matron in the Pride Queen Esther #222 (1985-2008), serving as Most Ancient Matron of Heroines of Jericho #64 Starlight Court (1986-1990), member Kappa Pi Educational honorary society, holds membership in Dale County Retired Teachers, Alabama Retired Teachers Association and the National Retirement Association. Her goal in life was to help others; her love for helping others inspired her to become a teacher. As a teacher, she became a “gift” to many. In April 2012, the Miss Bronze Association selected Stella T. Whitehead as their “Annual Woman of the Year”.
She departed this life on Friday morning, December 10, 2021, at Flowers Hospital, Dothan, Alabama. She will be missed by those she leaves behind: Sons, Cornelius Monzell (Vanessa), Sanche Jara (Sabrina); Grandchildren: Jordaan, Jarrell (Jeanine) and Jarvon Whitehead; Great-grand son Jalen Whitehead; raised as grandchildren: Iris Olivia and Kendra Nicole Johnson (great nieces); Nieces: Shirlene, Shelia (Ed), Sherry, Diane, Chandra (Colin); Nephews: Jeffry (Debra, Reginald (Ty), Edward James (Eloise), Gregory, Tony, John (Valencia), Raymond (Charlotte), Roderick; many great and grand nieces and nephews, cousins, special friends, beautician, caretakers, Guardian Angels.
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