Elizabeth Gale Sizemore Williams Stowe

September 2, 1934February 3, 2021
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Gale Sizemore Williams Stowe, 86, of Martinsville, Va., passed away Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. She was born Sept. 2, 1934 in Mercer County, West Virginia to Howard Robert Sizemore Sr. and Margaret Staples Sizemore.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Melvin Stowe; sister, Mrs. Elmer (Nancy) Luttman; and brothers, Howard Sizemore Jr.; Charles “Chuck” Sizemore; O.H. “Daddy Bob” Sizemore; and James Sizemore.

Mrs. Stowe is survived by her, son Judge David V. Williams; step-son Ronald (Debbie) Stowe; step-daughters Mrs. Gilbert (Carol) Arrington and Mrs. Ransome (Kathy) Autry; brothers Ryland Sizemore and Bill (Debbie) Sizemore; grandchildren Ben Williams, Andrea (Tim) Strickland, Holly (Matt) Barber, and Jordan (Kelly) Stowe; eleven great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

One of Mrs. Stowe’s proudest achievements was her long career in nursing. A graduate of Martinsville High School and The Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Danville, Va., she spent 42 years in the field before retirement.

She began her nursing career as a staff nurse and later head nurse at Martinsville General Hospital; became a public health nurse for the Martinsville/Henry County Health Department; and served as Director of Nursing at Martinsville Convalescent Home.

However, area residents may well know Mrs. Stowe best as the occupational health nurse of Stanley Furniture Company. Mrs. Stowe retired from Stanley Furniture after 30 years spent tending to employees, and it’s a matter of debate as to whether the greater balm was her extensive medical knowledge or friendly, light-hearted disposition.

During the course of her extensive nursing career, Mrs. Stowe held a variety of honors. She was a member of the Virginia Nurses Association — District VI; a charter member of the Virginia Piedmont Association of Occupational Health Nurses, during which she served as President, Vice-President, and/or Director of numerous committees; a member of the Virginia State Association of Occupational Health Nurses, during which she served as Vice-President and Director on various committees; a member of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses; and a charter member of the American Heart Association — Martinsville/Henry County Unit where she also served on the board of directors.

In addition, Mrs. Stowe was a former CPR Instructor with the Red Cross and American Heart Association. She was also the recipient of The Schering Nurse of the Year Award for the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1986.

While Mrs. Stowe took her work seriously, those who encountered her will certainly know that she was not a stern or overly-serious person. She was always quick with a funny story (and was the subject of quite a few of them) and always loved a good joke (and especially a bad one). She had a love for her family, a love for children, and a love for animals (particularly frogs).

Mrs. Stowe was a devout Christian and a member of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Bassett, Va.

A graveside service will be held at Henry Memorial Park on Wednesday at 2 p.m. Guests are asked to wear masks and practice social distancing.


  • Howard Robert Sizemore, Sr., Father (deceased)
  • Margaret Staples Sizemore, Mother (deceased)
  • Melvin Stowe, Husband (deceased)
  • Mrs. Elmer (Nancy) Luttman, Sister (deceased)
  • Howard Sizemore, Jr., Brother (deceased)
  • Charles "Chuck" Sizemore, Brother (deceased)
  • O.H. "Daddy Bob" Sizemore, Brother (deceased)
  • James Sizemore, Brother (deceased)
  • Judge David V. Williams, Son
  • Ronald Stowe, Step-son
  • Debbie Stowe, Ronnie's wife
  • Carol Arrington, Step-daughter
  • Gilbert Arrington, Carol's husband
  • Kathy Autry, Step-daugher
  • Ransom Autry, Kathy's husband
  • Ryland Sizemore, Brother
  • Bill Sizemore, Brother
  • Debbie Sizemore, Sister-in-law
  • Ben Williams, Grandson
  • Andrea Strickland, Grandchild
  • Tim Strickland, Andrea's husband
  • Holly Barber, Granddaughter
  • Matt Barber, Holly's husband
  • Jordan Stowe, Grandson
  • Kelly Stowe, Jordan's wife
  • Mrs. Stowe was also survived by eleven great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

  • Joy Ranch, Home for Children
  • Bassett Volunteer Fire Department


  • Floating Visitation

    Tuesday, February 9, 2021

  • Graveside Service

    Wednesday, February 10, 2021


Elizabeth Gale Sizemore Williams Stowe

have a memory or condolence to add?

Barbara Clark

February 21, 2021

Me and my boyfriend David were neighbors of Miss Gale and her sister Miss Nancy at Spruce Village. Both of them were so welcoming to us. The first time the power went out and then would finally come back on, we heard a knock on the door. Miss Nancy lived directly across from us and it was she that was at the door. Her cable wasn't on. First time I went across and fixed it for her and so then I went and fixed Miss Gale's. From then on we became the ones they came to when they had cable problems. Sometimes it had been accidentally put on the wrong channel. Miss Gale always had a smile on her face and a warm hello for us! Our lives were the better for having known both of them. It wasn't the same on the 4th floor without them so we also moved. Our condolences go out to Miss Gale's family!

Carolyn Carter

February 7, 2021

David and family,I'm so sorry about Gale...She will be forever in my heart,and in my mind!!! David Im thinking of you and your family at this sad time !!! I will always care and Love you and your family!!!!


February 6, 2021

My memory of Gale goes back to when she married Melvin Stowe and joined Tabernacle Baptist Church in July of 1979. I really got to know her after she became unable to drive and was living at Spruce Village. We often would stop for lunch on Sundays as we came back from church, or on Sunday and Wednesday nights for ice cream. She loved her Sizemore siblings, and the Stowe step- children and grandchildren who were so faithful to her, but her delight was David and Ben. When any of you were sick she would request prayer for you. I knew she loved frogs and had gotten her a valentine card with a frog on the front. She doesn't need a valentine now, for she is enjoying the presence of her Savior, Jesus Christ. Betty Roach

Joanne Gardner

February 5, 2021

So sad to hear about Gale’s passing. We shared many happy memories working together years ago. She was such a delight to everyone she encountered. Gale never met a stranger and shared many jokes to lift everyone’s spirits. With her outgoing personality, she made everyone’s day brighter .

Joy Beggarly

February 5, 2021

Gale was truly “ the salt of the earth” - a good, kind, caring person and a quite capable and productive member of the nursing profession. She had such a winning personality - so smart and witty. She was non-judgmental and saw the humor in every situation. I am glad to have known her and I am sad that she is now missing from my circle of friends.
My sympathy to her family and all those who loved her.

Mary Hanchey Hubbard

February 5, 2021

Gale was so special. The impact she made on my life cannot be verbalized. She always had a smile and a chuckle. She will be forever be in my heart.

Cecile Young

February 4, 2021

I do
not have words to express how much I loved Gale, she was a friend to all she meet. She treated all her employees at Stanley Furniture with care with compassion and respect. Heaven gained a true angel.