Betty Povall Staub

Published 10:46 am Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Betty Povall Staub, 100, died Nov. 13, 2016, in Oxford.  She was the quintessential southern lady and was affectionately known as Sitty Bell by family and friends.  The epitome of style, elegance and grace, she believed that manners mattered.  A voracious reader, she enjoyed business and fashion publications and took a special interest in the stock market.

Born Mary Elizabeth Bell on March 18, 1916, in Opelika, Alabama, she was predeceased by her parents Helen Nolen Bell and Joseph Steen Bell, infant son Cass Oltenburg Povall, brother Joseph Steen Bell, Jr., sister Louise Bell Daniel, husbands Allie Stuart Povall and Joseph Edwin Staub, grandson Alexander William Hastings Tailyour and son-in-law William Patrick Hercules Tailyour.

Betty lived her early years in Opelika and Alexander City, Alabama.  Later she spent two happy years with her aunt and uncle, Lillian and Jessie Waller of Meridian, where she graduated from high school.  Through the generosity of an aunt in New York, she entered MSCW in the autumn of 1934 during the depression.  She loved her years at the W where she was a member of BlackList and Hottentots.  She served as Business Manager of the yearbook, Meh Lady.  Following graduation, she taught in Waynesboro where she met and married Allie Povall who was serving as Foreman of the CCC camp.

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With the outbreak of World War II, Allie was called up and later served as Lieutenant Colonel in the coastal artillery based in Pensacola and Galveston.  After the war, they returned to his home in Lexington, Mississippi, with their two children Patty and Al, soon to be joined by Amanda and Kirkham.

Following Allie’s death, Betty traveled the world before moving to Oxford to serve as Head Resident in Hefley Hall and Kincannon Dormitory where she mentored many Ole Miss students.  In 1976 she married Joe Staub of Fulton and Tupelo, and together they enjoyed five happy years traveling with bridge and golf friends.  After Joe’s death, she returned to Oxford to be near family.

In March of this year, still beautiful with her vivid blue eyes and in full possession of her wonderful mind, Sitty Bell celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by her large family.  She leaves behind her four children Patricia Povall Lewis (William), Allie Stuart Povall, Jr. (Janet), Amanda Povall Tailyour, and John Kirkham Povall (Hilda).  She leaves 12 grandchildren Goodloe Tankersley Lewis (Angie), Amanda Lewis Hyneman (Brian), Lydia Lewis Myers (Carter), Sidney Povall Uderani (Pradeep), Allie Stuart Povall, III (Leslie), Geoffrey Sessions Povall, Ian Robert Hercules Tailyour, Lillian Elizabeth Tailyour, John Stuart Povall (Jennifer), Mary Elizabeth Povall Jeffreys (Todd), Margaret Povall Shivers (Michael), and Kirkham Wright Povall, and twenty great grandchildren.

Sitty Bell’s family is grateful for the care provided by Dr. Ernest Williams and the staff of Baptist Memorial Hospital North Mississippi Inpatient Hospice Unit, Dr. Milton Hobbs, Camellia Hospice, Providence Companion Care, Brookdale and The Blake.

There will be a service of committal of Sitty Bell’s cremains at the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Lexington, Mississippi, on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016, at 3 p.m.  The family will host a reception in West Hall at Waller Funeral Home in Oxford, Mississippi, on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in celebration of her life. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials may be sent to Palmer Home for Children, P. O. Box 746, Columbus, Mississippi 39703 or French Camp Academy, 1 Fine Place, French Camp, MS 39745.

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