Cecil Oneta Stem, of Seale, passed away following a brief illness, at the Limestone County Medical Center in Groesbeck on Sunday, April 29, 2012, at age 93.
Visitation will be Monday, April 30, 2012, from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. at the Groesbeck Funeral Home.
Services will be held at 3:00 P.M. on Tuesday, May 1, 2012, at the Lake Limestone Baptist Church, with Brother Johnny Layton officiating. Burial will follow in the Ferguson Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be her grandchildren: Rick Winn, Brian Winn, Chad Winn, Richard Stem, Jeff Stem, Joey Stem, Susan Swick, and Sean Turgeon. Honorary pallbearers will be members of Ms. Cecil’s Sunday School Class.
Cecil was born August 3, 1918, to James Harvey Murray and Elver Pearl (Lindley) Murray at Oletha. She grew up there and attended Center Point and Oletha Schools. Cecil was united in marriage with Joseph Richard Stem on October 14, 1939 at Bald Prairie. They lived most of their lives in the Oletha and Seale communities, where they farmed cotton and corn and raised livestock. When Cecil was widowed at age 42, she went to work for the Leon School Cafeteria, and later worked at the Mexia State School until retirement.
Ms. Cecil was of the generation that “saved” everything, and one of her interests was saving articles of history. She had made scrapbooks of interesting newspaper articles of her community and everyone she knew since the period of World War II up to the present. Cecil was a good seamstress, and made many quilts, which she gave to family and friends. She stayed active in flower gardening, taking care of her cats, and even picking berries until the last two years. She always made good use of her health and abilities by keeping her hands and mind busy, whether cutting out quilt squares, working crossword puzzles, or canning sweet pickles and preserves. She was an excellent cook and a generous and loving neighbor, who loved to cook for others, and will be remembered for her specialities of pinto beans, chicken and dumplings, and her cornbread.
Ms. Cecil was a past member of the Oletha Baptist Church and one of the charter members of the Lake Limestone Baptist Church. She was involved in numerous church and Bible School activities throughout the years. She loved attending family, school, and community reunions. Her greatest joy in life, however, was spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren, and her great grandchildren, who lovingly called her Granny.
Mrs. Stem was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Richard Stem(in 1960); brothers, Ivan Ray (Red) Murray, James Alton Murray, and James H. (Bo) Murray; and sisters, Lillie Richardson, Rosa Thompson, and Nancy Ida (Sis) Ferguson.
She is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Richard G. (Jerry) and Judy Stem of Houston; daughter, Rita Turgeon of Thornton; daughter and son-in-law, Brenda and Walt Winn of Bald Prairie; sister, Marguerite Dempsey of Groesbeck; grandchildren (and their spouses), Richard Stem of Houston, Jeff Stem and wife Jena of The Woodlands, Joey Stem and wife, Sherri of Tomball, Susan Swick and husband Bradley of Groebeck, Sean Turgeon of Thornton, Rick Winn and wife Melissa of Conroe, Brian Winn of Temple, Chad Winn and wife Jaime of Magnolia; great grandchildren, Erik and Zoie Stem, Jordan and Sydney Stem, Kailey Swick, Tristan Turgeon, Tanner, Taylor, and Tyler Winn, and Conner and Erin Winn; and numerous nieces and nephews. She had many dear friends, many who visited her regularly, and especially attentive neighbors, Mary and John Seale and Ruthie and Ray Sanders who were a great help to her.
Memorials may be made to the Ferguson Cemetery, P.O. Box 283, Groesbeck, TX 76642.