|Birth: ||Jul. 20, 1902|
|Death: ||Mar. 29, 1952|
"There is no lonelier man in death, except the suicide, than that man who has lived many years with a good wife and then outlived her. If two people love each other there can be no happy end to it." ~ Ernest Hemingway, American Novelist
Miss Alice was my beloved father's first wife, of whom he spoke very little. Within Daddy's family she was remembered with great respect and admiration. I know he was devoted to her and loved her dearly, for the only time I ever brought her up to him, as a young twenty-something adult, his sole response was the Hemingway quotation above - man of few words that he was. Because it spoke volumes, that quote has stayed with me all these years. I always think of it when I think of Miss Alice.
When I was five years old, our home burned to the ground. Only two pictures of Miss Alice survived. After his loss in 1992, those two pictures disappeared. None of my siblings admitted to taking them, but I found out many years later that my mother burned them shortly after his death. Her reasoning was because she'd always resented that Daddy carried Miss Alice's photo in his wallet all their married life, regardless of the fact that he carried one of my mother as well.
From Daddy's family, I know that Miss Alice was deeply loved by all who knew her. She was a redhead who spoke her mind, but was kind, loving, and generous.
She loved my father enough to wait for him, as he felt that he was responsible for assisting my grandfather in the rearing of Daddy's younger sisters and brother after the loss of their mother in 1920. Though the Cutler and Stallings families were close, he didn't want her to feel that she had to be a substitute mother to future sisters-in-law who were close to her own age and a much younger brother-in-law.
In 1926 they married. They shared life together for twenty-six years and had no children. After fifteen years of marriage, she was diagnosed with cancer, bravely fighting it and winning. It went into remission for better than five years, but for the last five years of her life she suffered greatly, for it came back with a vengeance, and in the end, took her from my father.
As a child, we made our annual visits to the Grayson cemetery to clean the family stones, plant flowers around and on the graves. Daddy always took a few minutes of quiet reflection at hers. Those few minutes were sacred minutes to a young adoring daughter - somehow I knew that he needed his space during that time, but didn't know why I felt so heart-broken for him. It wasn't until I was forty-one years old and had lost him that I truly understood my haunting childhood memories of him at her graveside - a tragic figure of a man with bowed head turning over and over in his work-worn hands his fedora.
Until Alzheimer's took his memory of her, we continued to make our annual visits to the Stallings' family plots at Grayson; then Mama and I went alone. Shortly after his loss, her own health began to fail and the trips became too much for her. I continued to go each year with Aunt Willie until the end of 1995, when I left the state and married my Craig. Before we returned permanently to Louisiana in the fall of 1999, Aunt Willie had passed away in May. I haven't been back to visit the Stallings' family plots since her funeral.
An aside: Daddy is buried in one of the four spaces of the Shreveport plot I had purchased as a forward-thinking eighteen-year-old in 1969. My mother will be buried beside him; once I'm gone, Craig's and my ashes will be placed in Daddy's veteran's bench that sits astride the other two spaces.
In loving remembrance of my Daddy and Miss Alice: "When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure." ~ Author Unknown
Many thanks to Ron Manley for locating Miss Alice's obituary. Thank you!
Published in The Caldwell Watchman-Progress (Columbia, LA), Thursday, April 3, 1952
Funeral services for Mrs. Mary Alice Stalling[s] of Alexandria, who died in an Alexandria hospital on Saturday, were held at 2 p.m. Sunday in Alexandria. Graveside services were held at 4:30 p.m. at the Welcome Home cemetery, east of Grayson.
Interment was made in Welcome Home cemetery with many friends and relatives attending.
Before her marriage she was the former Miss Mary Alice Cut[ler] who resided in the Grayson community for many years. She is a graduate of the Grayson High School of the Class of 1919, along with eleven other seniors of which five of these people were present at the graveside to pay their last respects to their classmate.
She also leaves many other friends who remember her and mour[n] her departure to the Great Beyond. Immediate survivors are:
Her husband, Dubal [sic Duval] Stalling[s], a resident of Alexandria; her father, E. L. Cutler; a brother, Clarence Cutler; three sisters, Mrs. Pat Layne, Mrs. Charles Hixon, all of Delhi, and Mrs. T. E. James of Monroe.
Many thanks to Ron Manley for the transferal of Miss Alice's memorial to me. ❤
"Cancer is so limited … It cannot cripple love, It cannot shatter hope, It cannot corrode faith, It cannot destroy peace, It cannot kill friendship, It cannot suppress memories, It cannot silence courage, It cannot invade the soul, It cannot steal eternal life, It cannot conquer the spirit." ~ 'Chicken Soup for the Cancer Survivor's Soul'
Elmer L. Cutler (1867 - 1957)
Ivadell Pike Cutler (1874 - 1944)
Duval Stallings (1900 - 1992)*
Ralph Bernard Cutler (1897 - 1935)*
Clarence C. Cutler (1900 - 1968)*
Mary Alice Cutler Stallings (1902 - 1952)
Helen Cutler Lane (1915 - 2002)*
MARY ALICE CUTLER
WIFE OF DUVAL STALLINGS
JULY 20, 1902
MARCH 29, 1952
Welcome Home Cemetery
Maintained by: sniksnak
Originally Created by: Ron Manley
Record added: Dec 06, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 62613854