Kenneth Alva Stead, Jr.

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, December 10, 2015

OXFORD — Kenneth Alva Stead, Jr., 85, died Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, at Baptist Memorial Hospital–North Mississippi in Oxford. A memorial service will be held on Monday, Dec. 28 at 2 p.m. at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Oxford with the Rev. 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 p.m. until service time.

Born 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, 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. Stead 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. He 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 may be made to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 113 South 9th St., Oxford, MS  38655.

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