When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
It is well with my soul,
it is well, it is well with my soul.
Today, we remember a Beautiful Life and all that made her the caring and compassionate person she was.
Millie Pearl Stewart Fennell’s story began on Monday, October 1, 1928, in Sunflower, Alabama. She was the youngest of 3 children born to Elzina May and Luther Stewart. Millie was raised by a relative, Ella Miler, due to the passing of her mother when she was only 3 years old.
During her formative years, Millie attended primary school in Sunflower, Alabama. She moved to Port Saint Joe, Florida, in 1945 to reside with her sister, Willie Cille Owens. She continued her schooling at the one-room wooden schoolhouse that was located on Avenue F. Later, she and others were transported by train to and from Apalachicola to attend the Catholic high school. Then, George Washington High School became her alma mater.
Meanwhile, Millie made acquaintance with her soul mate, Alton Fennell. Realizing the splendor of love, they were united in Holy Matrimony in 1948. Their union was blessed with four children: Alton Charles, Frankie Harrell, Gloria Jean and James Vincent. They were beloved parents and instilled in their children strong values that have served them well.
Millie confessed her belief in Christ as her personal Savior. She was baptized and maintained a mind to serve the Lord for all her days. Millie was an active member and leader in Zion Fair Missionary Baptist Church for thirty years before joining her husband at New Bethel African Methodist Episcopal church. There, she was a faithful member and committed in service to the Stewardess Board, Women's Missionary Society, Choir Number 1, church School, Pulpit Aid, Trustee Board, and Young People's Division as well as serving in other capacities and auxiliaries of the church. Further, Millie was an alto singer in the Port Saint Joe renowned, "southern Charms" Quartet Group.
Millie was active in fraternal organizations. She reigned as First Lady to Sir Alton Fennell, Past Grand Chancellor, Jurisdiction of Florida; member of the Order of Calanthe, Altamease Court #155 and Order of Eastern Star, (Sheba chapter #13A)
Millie was an incredibly strong woman. Though she witnessed difficult challenges and changes in her life, her faith in God sustained her and proved her to be more than a conqueror.
Millie’s, hands were rarely still, her interests were many. Most of all, she loved her family; her grandchildren were (her heart and joy. Millie loved to love on people, especially young people. She was full of conversation and laughter and wanted everybody around her to be happy. She had a passion for cooking, gardening and flowers. Her favorite hobby, however, was shopping for anything: furniture, linens, jewels, crystal, silverware and suits to name a few. She was a keeper of it all.
Millie Pearl Stewart Fennell made her transition from earth to Heaven on Saturday, May 4, 2019. She
left us while alert and talking, her eyes focused on Frankie and Vanessa with both of her hands clinging to theirs. But that's not how her story ends, for we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him.
Loved ones that cleared the way for Millie are her parents and siblings; her husband, her children and grandchildren along with other family and friends. Loved ones that will miss her dearly until they meet again are her son, Frankie, daughter, Vanessa and son, Buddy/Vincent; a brother, Luther Stewart; a sister, Vicie Thomas; 13 grandchildren: Aretha, Charlene, Bridgette, Anthony, Monique, Jarvis, Michael, Jasmine, James Jr., Stephanie Ann; 15 great-grandchildren; son-in-law, Michael Griffin, Sr.; daughter-in-law, Betty Fennell; sisters-in-law: Lillian Umstead, Jessie Davis, Mercedes Fennell; brothers-in-law: Alonzo Fennell, Zebedee Fennell; godchildren: George Williams, Sharon Speights, Simona Williams, Lenora Jones, Melody Larry; and a myriad of nephews, nieces, cousins, church family, friends and all of those she loved and touched deeply.
Although we are saddened by her passing, we rejoice in knowing that she's in a land "where she'll never grow old." Farewell, Mrs. Fennell, you were tired and needed your rest. You were called forth by God, and your soul was truly blessed. We will not weep and mourn because we don't see you on this side anymore. We know that you'll be waiting to meet us on the other shore.
Please keep the Fennell family in prayer, as we reflect the gracious memories.