West Newton mother, grandmother, instilled discipline in youth
Norma Jean Stover knew how to keep kids in line. That included her own children and others who marched in the McKeesport Majorette Drill Team, Drum and Bugle Corps from 1963 to 1987 — when she served as a marching aide and assistant for the group.
Mrs. Stover instilled discipline in the young marchers and in her family, a guiding hand that all came to appreciate.
“They called her ‘Mean Jean' — it was a term of endearment — because if you were out of line, she would tell you,” said daughter Terri Stumme, who twirled a baton, played the xylophone and eventually served as drum major with the corps.
“Her bark was bigger than her bite,” she added.
Norma Jean (Ault-Stumme) Stover, 82, of West Newton, died Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017 at her home after a recent cancer diagnosis.
Born June 19, 1935 in McKeesport, she was the daughter of the late William E. Ault and Anna Naomi (Grant-Ault) Bales.
A 1953 graduate of McKeesport Area High School, Mrs. Stover continued to follow the marching band and other musical activities at the school as successive generations of her family became involved.
She also was a den mother for the Boy Scouts.
She worked in the purchasing department at McKeesport Hospital and was an office manager for several dental practices before retiring in 2003.
Mrs. Stover played piano and enjoyed gardening and spending summer days in her swimming pool, but her family was her top priority.
Granddaughter Kelly Hatfield of McKeesport received a daily phone call from her, noting, “She always had to know what was going on with her kids, her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren.”
Her family can attest that Mrs. Stover had an abundance of energy and a strong will.
“She was still sewing pants for me until six months ago,” Mrs. Hatfield said. “She baked all the time,” treating her family to a favorite chocolate cake that “didn't last longer than 30 seconds once the lid came off.”
“She had a lot of illnesses in the past couple of years that she fought through all the way up until 30 minutes before she finally passed away,” daughter Patty Fike added.
Mrs. Stover was preceded in death by her first husband, Thomas D. Stumme, and a granddaughter, Jennifer Luehm.
She is survived by her husband, Richard “Smokey” Clay Stover; children, Cindy Maldonado of McKeesport; Richard Stumme and his wife, Donna, of North Huntingdon; Terri Stumme of Elizabeth; Patty Fike and her husband, Tom, of Delmont; and Sam Stover of Virginia Beach, Va.; 13 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.
Family and friends will be received 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday at the Jaycox-Jaworski Funeral Home and Crematory, 2703 O'Neil Blvd., McKeesport. A funeral service will be held 10 a.m. Monday in the funeral home chapel. Interment will follow in Penn Lincoln Memorial Park.