Stovall Thomas - remembered for a life of service as a teacher, musician,
author, and religious worker - was loved by her family and friends as a woman
of unusual depth and great charm.
She was a gifted teacher of piano, organ, violin, cello, and vocal and
choral music who saw many of her pupils win statewide awards for excellence and
advance to professional careers in music. She was particularly proud of those
she trained who became church organists.
She worked tirelessly with the underprivileged, supporting and developing
talent where she found it. She worked in Black schools as a volunteer,
beginning during the Depression years, to help teachers and pupils enrich
programs in music and basic studies.
In addition to her professional and service activities, Chamintney Thomas
was the devoted wife of Ralph C. Thomas, Superintendent of Education in
Russellville. The couple reared and inspired four children, who became a
surgeon, a university department head, a teacher of special education, and a
Chamintney Thomas was also an author of short stories and Bible stories
for children. Her historical novel, Hear the Lambs a-Cryin, is
essentially an oral history containing extensive dialogue that was transcribed
verbatim during the Depression, when she devoted so much of her time in service
to the Black community.
As a member of the First Baptist Church of Russellville, she established
mission churches in disadvantaged neighborhoods and saw three of these become
active churches. Further, she developed libraries in ten churches in her
Chamintney Thomas, among her many recognitions, received an orchid from
the Birmingham News in 1954. She was named "Woman of the Year"
by Delta Kappa Gamma and the Pilot Club of Russellville in 1957, "Woman of
Achievement" by the Russellville Business and Professional Women's Club in
1967, and "Citizen of the Year" by the Russellville Junior Chamber of
Commerce in 1975.
Her love and warmth brightened the lives of many individuals; her
selfless devotion to others served as an inspiration to those who knew her, and
her vivid recording of rural life during the Depression is a major contribution
to the people of Alabama.