Allene Joyce Stovall, 88, of Panhandle Texas passed from this life Sunday, July 17, 2022, in Amarillo TX.
The family will receive friends 5 to 7pm, Thursday, July 21, 2022, at Holley Funeral Home, 205 North 11th Street, in Canyon, TX. Graveside Service will be at Panhandle Cemetery, Friday July 22, at 10am; followed by a memorial service at 2pm at the First Baptist Church White Deer, Texas, with Pastor Alan Wilson officiating. Arrangements are by Holley Funeral Home of Canyon, Texas.
Allene was born January 15, 1934, in Amarillo, Texas, to A. L. and Lela Mae Burrell Stovall. Allene graduated from Panhandle High School. She studied two years at Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi, before graduating with a Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science from Baylor University.
Following graduation from Baylor University, Allene was hired by Snyder, Texas, ISD, to coach volleyball and tennis. She taught 3 years in Snyder, and then was recruited to accept a position at West Texas State University. As an instructor in WTSU’s sports and exercise department, Allene organized the first women’s basketball and volleyball teams in 1963 and 1964. She coached WTSU women’s basketball, volleyball, rifle, and bowling teams. Allene was the driving force behind the creation of women’s competitive collegiate athletic teams at WTSU. These teams were not supported by college funds and could often be seen gathering aluminum cans in the bar ditches to raise funds for uniforms, gas for travel, etc. Allene received no compensation or salary for coaching. Allene’s parents bought the team uniforms. The team drove Allene’s station wagon and other vehicles donated by faculty to travel to games. Lodging was never an affordable option; thus, all-night travel was routine. These were the hardships endured by the pioneers of women’s athletics, all for the love of the game. From 1967 through 1983 Allene joined coaches from across the United States to establish a centralized governing body for intercollegiate athletics for women. She was not afraid to challenge powerful men, nor did she shrink back when those men dealt her blow after blow trying to defeat her. Despite decades of objections, Allene Stovall’s good humor, strong convictions, and unwavering beliefs paved the way for what exists now - a university with a thriving women’s intercollegiate athletics program. The programs Allene started grew to national prominence as West Texas State became West Texas A&M University. Without question, West Texas A&M University, and hundreds of young women, owe Allene Stovall a debt of gratitude. Allene’s contributions to Women’s Athletics are countless and too numerous to enumerate. While teaching 41 years at WT, she served as Women’s Athletic Director, received the Faculty Excellence Award, was inducted into WTAMU’s Hall of Champions, and received the inaugural University Excellence Award from WTAMU. Allene was also recognized outside the walls of WTAMU with an induction to the Texas Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame and the Amarillo Globe News Top 100 Sports Legends of the Panhandle.
Allene was also dedicated to community service. She served in the following organizations: Panhandle Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis society, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the March of Dimes, and the Carson County Square House Museum.
Through all her involvement, Allene continued to farm the five sections of the family farm in Carson County. Although her teaching and coaching career took her many places, her heart never left the farm. She taught full-time and farmed full-time. She championed the small family farmer and fought to retain the integrity of individualized farm ownership and management. She was a good and faithful steward of the land. In 1982, Carson County Farm Bureau named her Carson County Farmer of the Year, the only woman to receive this award.
To her students, Allene sowed seeds of wit and wisdom into all she came in contact with. Her decades spent as a teacher, coach, farmer, and mentor yielded countless success stories in those who were fortunate enough to know her. She was a blend of optimism and practical wisdom, with an openness to accepting and facing whatever came her way, whether good or bad. She had a personal magnetism that drew people in with a dazzling smile. Smiling was her default setting. If she didn’t smile, you knew something was seriously wrong.
Above all, Allene was committed to loving God and loving her neighbor as herself. She was a faithful member of the White Deer First Baptist Church. Many watched as she would introduce herself to strangers at a restaurant, visit a moment, and then pick up their check. It was her practice, even in her 80’s, to stop and help stranded motorists get on their way. Allene lived the Golden Rule, and as St Francis of Assisi said, “preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words”.
Allene was preceded in death by her parents, a brother A.L. Stovall, Jr, two sisters: Kathleen Stovall and Eula Stovall.
Although you could not address her as “Aunt”, Allene loved her nieces and nephews, and her many great, and great-great nieces and nephews: her nephew Alan Larry Stovall (deceased) and his children Jeff Stovall, Amy Stovall Gwyn, Erin Stovall Waters, Josh Stovall, John Reagan Stovall, and grandchildren Lauren Stovall, Claire Stovall, Luke Green, Andrew Waters, Emily Waters, Evelyn Waters, and Eleanor Stovall; her niece Debbie Stovall Dominguez and her son Michael Dan Wilson (deceased), her nephew Johnny Mark Stovall and his children Jennifer Stovall, Montana Stovall, and Mikeela Stovall Hudson, and his grandchildren Dawson Stovall, Indigo Stovall, Amelie Stovall, Malakai Stovall, Lyla Stovall, and Mabel Hudson, and her nephew Benjamin Talmadge Ross (deceased).
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials go to the Allene Stovall Scholarship Fund, WTAMU Foundation, WTAMU Box 60909, Canyon, TX 79016
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