Gale Sizemore Williams Stowe, 86, of Martinsville, Va., passed away Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. She was born Sept. 2, 1934 in Mercer County, West Virginia to Howard Robert Sizemore Sr. and Margaret Staples Sizemore.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Melvin Stowe; sister, Mrs. Elmer (Nancy) Luttman; and brothers, Howard Sizemore Jr.; Charles “Chuck” Sizemore; O.H. “Daddy Bob” Sizemore; and James Sizemore.
Mrs. Stowe is survived by her, son Judge David V. Williams; step-son Ronald (Debbie) Stowe; step-daughters Mrs. Gilbert (Carol) Arrington and Mrs. Ransome (Kathy) Autry; brothers Ryland Sizemore and Bill (Debbie) Sizemore; grandchildren Ben Williams, Andrea (Tim) Strickland, Holly (Matt) Barber, and Jordan (Kelly) Stowe; eleven great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
One of Mrs. Stowe’s proudest achievements was her long career in nursing. A graduate of Martinsville High School and The Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Danville, Va., she spent 42 years in the field before retirement.
She began her nursing career as a staff nurse and later head nurse at Martinsville General Hospital; became a public health nurse for the Martinsville/Henry County Health Department; and served as Director of Nursing at Martinsville Convalescent Home.
However, area residents may well know Mrs. Stowe best as the occupational health nurse of Stanley Furniture Company. Mrs. Stowe retired from Stanley Furniture after 30 years spent tending to employees, and it’s a matter of debate as to whether the greater balm was her extensive medical knowledge or friendly, light-hearted disposition.
During the course of her extensive nursing career, Mrs. Stowe held a variety of honors. She was a member of the Virginia Nurses Association — District VI; a charter member of the Virginia Piedmont Association of Occupational Health Nurses, during which she served as President, Vice-President, and/or Director of numerous committees; a member of the Virginia State Association of Occupational Health Nurses, during which she served as Vice-President and Director on various committees; a member of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses; and a charter member of the American Heart Association — Martinsville/Henry County Unit where she also served on the board of directors.
In addition, Mrs. Stowe was a former CPR Instructor with the Red Cross and American Heart Association. She was also the recipient of The Schering Nurse of the Year Award for the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1986.
While Mrs. Stowe took her work seriously, those who encountered her will certainly know that she was not a stern or overly-serious person. She was always quick with a funny story (and was the subject of quite a few of them) and always loved a good joke (and especially a bad one). She had a love for her family, a love for children, and a love for animals (particularly frogs).
Mrs. Stowe was a devout Christian and a member of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Bassett, Va.
A graveside service will be held at Henry Memorial Park on Wednesday at 2 p.m. Guests are asked to wear masks and practice social distancing.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Joy Ranch Home for Children, P.O. Box 727, Hillsville, Va. 24343 or the Bassett Fire Department, 3735 Fairystone Park Hwy., Bassett, Va. 24055.
Arrangements are by McKee-Stone Funeral Home, Martinsville, Va. To express condolences online, please visit www.collinsmckeestonemartinsville.com.