Kenneth Alva Stead Jr.

Published 12:00 pm Monday, December 7, 2015

Kenneth Alva Stead Jr., 85, died Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, at Baptist Memorial Hospital–North Mississippi on Oxford.

The memorial service will be held on Monday, Dec. 28  at 2 p.m. at St Peter’s Episcopal Church in Oxford with The Reverend Ann Whitaker officiating. Internment will follow in the columbarium in St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. The family will receive friends in the Parrish Hall from 1:00 pm until service time.

Born to the late Eva Estelle Gillespie and Kenneth Alva Stead, Sr. in Martins Ferry, Ohio,  Stead served as lieutenant J.G. in the United States Navy during the Korean War. He completed his undergraduate degree at the Speed College of Engineering at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Missouri and Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina. While a graduate student he was privileged to work on the Saturn V Project at the Marshall Spaceflight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. He was a professor of civil engineering for 25 years at the University of Mississippi. He was a congregant of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church where he sang in the choir. Dr. Stead was an expert calligrapher and several of his works are displayed at the church. Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 35 years, Alma G. Henley Stead.

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He is survived by his cherished companion of 25 years, Judy Martinez of Oxford; four daughters, Meredith M. Stead of New York, New York, Gillian S. Butler of Ethel, Robin A. Stead of New Orleans, Louisiana, and Catherine E. Horn of Ridgeland; a son, Christopher C. Stead of Richmond, Virginia; a sister, Janet S. Orchard of Garland, Texas; two brothers, Arthur S. Stead of Louisville, Kentucky,  and John D. Stead of Milton, Florida; 10 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

The family offers a special thank you to the staff and caregivers at the State Veterans Home in Oxford and Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi, for their loving care and daily kindnesses during the last few months of his life.

Memorial contributions in Stead’s memory may be made to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 113 South 9th Street, Oxford, MS  38655.

In honor of his service to our country, the flag of the United States Navy will be flown at Waller Funeral Home.

For additional information or to sign an online guestbook, visit or call 662-234-7971.