|Birth: ||Mar. 10, 1892|
|Death: ||Mar. 6, 1999|
Mobile Register (AL) - March 9, 1999
GM&O railroad pioneer Flora Tunstall dies at 106 Known for her wit and positive outlook, 'she was a delightful and lovely person to know,' recalls her pastor By KIM LANIER Staff Reporter
Flora Taylor Tunstall was a strong, witty lady with a love of sweets - especially Andes Candies. She could take charge and wasn't afraid to speak out, friends said.
A resident of Mobile since 1913, Mrs. Tunstall died Saturday at a local nursing facility at the age of 106.
The Decatur, Miss., native graduated from Blue Mountain College in Mississippi and taught elementary school for one year. She also attended business school.
An employee of GM&O railroad, she came to Mobile in 1913. In 1916, she married Thomas Tate Tunstall Jr., also an employee of the railroad.
After the death of her husband, Mrs. Tunstall continued to reside in her Dauphin Street home until moving into the nursing home around the age of 101 or 102.
Members of First Baptist Church of Mobile were saddened to hear of their church member's passing. The congregation was preparing a party to celebrate Mrs. Tunstall's 107th birthday on Wednesday.
Dr. James F. Walters, pastor of the church, said she had been active up until about age 100.
''She was a delightful and lovely person to know,'' said Walters. ''I'll remember her for her humor and her wit and her positive outlook on life.''
While she herself didn't make a big issue of her longevity, ''she seemed to perk up when it came around to celebrating the birthdays,'' Walters said.
Mrs. Tunstall was the youngest of 10 children. She outlived her siblings, her husband and her three children. While that saddened her, she didn't dwell on it, the minister said.
''She never centered on her problems,'' he said. ''She was very positive about life.''
Walters recalled asking her once about the secret to her long life. ''She just said her faith and good, clean living were what kept her going.''
Church member and longtime friend Virginia Taylor of Montrose, remembered Mrs. Tunstall as a strong-willed individual, a champion bridge player and award-winning gardener.
The two met when Mrs. Taylor headed the church's senior group nearly 22 years ago. Mrs. Taylor said she frequently would pick up Mrs. Tunstall and take her to church functions. She remembered how Mrs. Tunstall, not long before she moved into the nursing home, gave her gave her some maiden-hair fern from her garden, grabbing a shovel and jamming it powerfully into the ground.
After she went into the nursing home, Mrs. Taylor continued to visit her there. Mrs. Tunstall participated in some of the programs when she first went to the nursing home, until her condition began to deteriorate.
Mrs. Taylor said that when she would visit, the two used to say the Lord's Prayer together, but more recently she had been saying it to Mrs. Tunstall, who would smile or nod in response.
Mrs. Tunstall was former president of the Woman's Missionary Society and Sunday school teacher at church. Her memberships also included her neighborhood garden club, the Mobile Woman's Club, charter member of the Mobile College Auxiliary, the Forum Club, and former regent of the Virginia Cavaliers Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Survivors include three grandsons, Elliot H. Tunstall of Mobile, Shannon S. Tunstall of Folkston, Ga., and Thomas T. Tunstall IV of Flippin, Ark.; six great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
Services are set for 1 p.m. today at Radney Funeral Home on Dauphin Street with visitation from noon. Burial will be in Magnolia Cemetery.
Thomas Tate Tunstall (1892 - 1955)*
Thomas Tate Tunstall (1917 - 1968)*
Helen Sehoya Tunstall Dorn (1919 - 1981)*
Martha Louise Tunstall (1921 - 1983)*
Plot: Square 31
Created by: Michelle Woodham
Record added: Feb 15, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 65663080
Added: May. 14, 2013