Barbara Jean (Coley) Stovall, 87, died on Thursday, April 11.
She was born in Escalon on June 23, 1925, the eldest child of Clarence Montague and Stella Mildred (Berglind) Coley.
When her grandparents, James William and Cora Belle (Ramey) Coley, settled in Escalon from Scott County, Virginia, in 1907, Escalon was no more than a railroad station. The Coley family was among the outstanding pioneers who helped build the town of Escalon. Her grandfather and his brother, John Ambrose Coley, substantially invested in property and were the first men to build a business block in the town. There is even a street in downtown Escalon that honors Barbara’s family name. She was the last of this Coley family to live in Escalon, the town she so proudly loved throughout her life.
Growing up in Escalon meant family with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins living close by and many dear friends.
She married Ernest N. (Ernie) Stovall of Riverbank on June 22, 1942, the day before her 17th birthday, but only after having seven flat tires on their double wedding day at Verdi, Nevada, where her best friend, Wilma Hehner, married Robert Grady Coley and became her aunt.
Barbara and Ernie raised a family of two sons, Larry Wayne and Ronald Dean, and fulfilled the dream of building a home and owning an almond orchard on Seidner Avenue.
Mrs. Stovall was dearly loved by her family and her life of Escalon, family and friends meant everything to her.
Survivors include her son and his wife, Ronald and Marianne (Chaplin) Stovall, of Penryn, California; four granddaughters, Ronna LoForte (Steven) of Syracuse, Utah, Julianne Blanch (Jeffrey) of Snohomish, Washington, Kristina Buck (Renn) of Washington, Utah, and Jessica Stovall of Penryn, California; 11 great-grandchildren; and cousins, nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband Ernie; son Larry Stovall; sister, Catherine May (Coley) Chapman; brother, Garald Montague Coley; and her parents.
A visitation will be on Friday, April 19 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Deegan Funeral Chapel, 1441 San Joaquin St. in Escalon, followed by a graveside memorial service at 11:30 a.m. at Burwood Cemetery, 28320 E. River Road in Escalon.
The Escalon (Calif.) Times
April 17, 2013