This Book of Memories memorial website is designed to be a permanent tribute paying tribute to the life and memory of Stella Collett. It allows family and friends a place to re-visit, interact with each other, share and enhance this tribute for future generations. We are both pleased and proud to provide the Book of Memories to the families of our community.

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Obituary for Stella Collett

Stella  Collett
STELLA COLLETT, daughter of the late Ova and Dessie Lee Morris Spencer was born in Lee County, Kentucky on December 22, 1939 and departed this life in Lexington, Kentucky on February 1, 2024 at the age of 84 years, 1 month and 10 days.

She leaves behind four daughters, Naomi Maloney of Louisville, Kentucky, Kathryn Madison and husband Jeff Wortz of Portland, Oregon, Norma Jeanne Maloney of Covington, Kentucky, and Joyce Ann Maloney and partner Bobbi Jo Lindsey of Nashville, Tennessee; three grandchildren, Erin and Spencer Madison, and Joseph Cater; one brother, Orville Spencer; and a number of loving nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a beloved sister, Naomi Saylor.

Mom’s name is Stella, which in Latin, means Star. She was a star to everyone she met, but she completely disliked being in the spotlight. (Ask anyone how her “surprise” birthday party panned out.) Mom never needed to be the center of attention because she was too busy beaming her light on us all.

There are too many examples to fit here, but these are a few of them from her children.

From the time we went outside to play though adulthood, her door was always open: she welcomed our friends; made them feel at home. Long stay, coming through, or no place else to go, everyone felt her warmth.

Sometimes that meant a kiss and caress from her while dishwater soap dripped from her hands. Sometimes it meant an unidentifiable loaded fork thrust in your face with a demand to just “taste it.”

Then it also meant a light that showered on any trouble, worry, or question. Even Mom’s hands were magical. They were strong working hands, but they could also be gentle enough to cup your face or pick up a bumble bee enjoying her garden. Mom’s hands seemed to grow anything, including tomato plants that reached over your head. They created beautiful paintings, the lightest biscuits, and her hands could quickly cut up potatoes right over her frying pan.

She shared her garden with family, friends, and neighbors. Anyone in her company.

Mom put a roof over our heads, comforted us as we entered our sixties; worried about us as if we were children. Which we were, always, to her.

This lonely, dusty little girl from Eastern Kentucky learned judo, lived in Japan, paid for her own home, and to the end was brave, determined, and loving.

Everyone here loved her and she loved you with unwavering, unconditional intensity. We all have stories of her light on us. Those stories and the force of our affection will make her light last forever.

Stella Collett’s Funeral Service: Tuesday, February 6, 2024

12:00-12:15 Arrival for Procession (Optional)
Newnam Funeral Home
108 Center Street, Beattyville, KY
41311, USA

1:00 Funeral Service
Spencer Ridge Church of Christ Cemetery, Spencer Fork Road

The family kindly requests, in lieu of flowers, donations made to one of Stella’s favorite charities: KET (Kentucky Educational Television), St. Jude Hospital, or the American Humane Society.

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