Stella Marie Williams Coles was born in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, on May 10, 1922, to the late Vasco Deleon Williams and Anna Brown Williams. She transitioned from this earthly life and entered the heavenly realm on Friday, September 20, 2019, at Vidant Edgecombe Hospital in Tarboro, North Carolina.
Stella, who was fondly called “Rie”, accepted Jesus Christ during her youth and joined the Carter’s Chapel Baptist Church in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina.
She received her formal education in the Halifax County Public School System, and graduated from the former John Armstrong Chaloner High School in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, with the class of 1941.
After high school, Stella married Hersey Mullen. God blessed this union with a son, Marvin Lee Mullen. In 1946, Stella, who was the pioneer of the family, courageously relocated to Baltimore, Maryland, where she connected with her cousin, Ozella Brown Mayo, and began paving the way for other family members to migrate north for greater opportunities and economic growth. Her home was always open to family and friends who needed encouragement and support. Together with her husband, Leroy Anthony Coles, Sr., she worked in her community, supported her North Carolina family members, and poured her wisdom and knowledge into her son and other neighborhood youth.
Stella started her career in 1946, with the United States Post Office. When World War II ended, she accepted a position with the City of Baltimore, Department of Public Works, and retired after twenty years of dedicated service. Throughout her life, she was active in her community (Hoe’s Heights), and her church, St. Mary of Govans. Stella was the epitome of the Proverbs 31 Woman who always looked to the welfare of others. She volunteered as Assistant Den Mother for the neighborhood Cub Scout Pack and at the Baltimore Aquarium. She was a member of the Zodiac Club, an avid bowler, and loved to travel with her club members and her sisters. Like her sister, Maxine, she loved gardening and spent many hours working in the family project called Riverside Garden. Stella believed in environmental conservation well before climate change emerged as a global issue.
Experiencing health issues in her senior years, Stella returned to North Carolina, to be with her son and her sisters. She lived and loved well and was a blessing to her friends and family for over ninety-seven years.
In addition to her parents and loving husband, other family members and special friends who preceded her into eternity include her siblings, George and Calvin Williams, Lila Ceaser, and Ruth Maxine Nicholas; her stepson, Leroy Coles, Jr. anddaughter-in-law, Rita Coles; Wallace Brock, Jane “DeDe” Frazier, and Gwendolyn “Bitsy” Samuels.
Those now left to forever celebrate her life and share the legacy of her love are her devoted son, Marvin (Audrey); two granddaughters, Sheree and Ashley Mullen; three sisters, Velois Young, Florence Hampton, and Virginia Young; two special niece-daughters, Stephanie “Sugar Lump” Credle and Angie Coles; four nephews, Calvin Ceaser, Calvin Williams, Jr. (Judy), Allen Williams (Mary), and Julious Williams; four other beloved nieces, Cynthia Lassiter (Curtis), Audrey Williams (Jerry), Renay Young (Anthony), and Regina London (Mike), and a host of other family members and loyal friends.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM., on Friday, September 27, 2019, at the Carter’s Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, 490 Everetts School Road, Roanoke Rapids, NC. Rev. Dr. Stephanie H. Credle will eulogize and burial will follow in the Crestview Memorial Cemetery in Roanoke Rapids, NC. The body will repose at Robinson Funeral Home in Littleton, NC., on Thursday, September 26, 2019 from 12 Noon until 8:30 PM., with the family receiving friends from 6:30 – 7:30 PM. The body may also be viewed at the church for one hour prior to the funeral time.