‘His smile was infectious’

Published 8:18 am Wednesday, February 4, 2009

WAKEFIELD—Family and friends of Cody Lewis Stallard, 16, are mourning the loss of the Southampton High School junior. The Wakefield teen was killed when he lost control of the pickup truck he was driving Saturday night near Ivor.

“Cody was loved and admired by his parents and family,” his obituary said. “His sudden loss has shocked and saddened his family and his community. Cody’s love of life and free spirit will be sorely missed.”

Cody was remembered as a helpful and handsome young boy.

“His smile was infectious,” said Becky Felts, whose son Daniel was friends with Cody. The two boys attended school together since kindergarten and were in the same youth group at Millfield Baptist Church in Wakefield. Daniel was to be a pallbearer at Cody’s funeral Thursday.

“He was such a handsome young man, so mannered,” Felts said about Cody. “He would do anything to help anyone. There won’t be a day that something we do or hear or say won’t be affected by him not being around.”

Sharon Patterson, the church secretary at Millfield Baptist and youth leader there, also remembered the teen as being helpful and easy to talk to.

“He had just as good a relationship with adults as he did with kids,” she said.

Mike Harrell, former pastor at the church, agreed.

“Cody was eager and he loved life,” Harrell said. “He loved people and people loved him. He didn’t know a stranger. He was pretty exceptional and that comes from being raised in the environment he was raised in. He was well cared for and well nurtured, and it showed.”

According to Virginia State Police spokeswoman Sgt. Michelle Cotten, Cody was involved in a single-car accident that occurred in Southampton County on Millfield Road, Virginia Route 605, about 1.1 miles east of the intersection with Kellos Mill Road, Virginia Route 601.

Cotten said Cody was driving a 2007 Chevrolet 2500 pickup truck travelling westbound on Millfield Road at about 9:18 p.m., when the vehicle ran off the road to the right, and he lost control. The truck rolled over and Stallard was ejected, Cotten said. He died at the scene. There were no other passengers in the vehicle.

Alcohol was not a factor in the crash, but Cody was not wearing his seatbelt, Cotten said.

Dr. Wayne Smith, director of administration for Southampton County Public Schools, said grief counselors were at Southampton High School on Monday, and would stay longer if requested by the school’s principal, Allene Atkinson.

The Purviance Chapel of J. T. Morriss & Son Funeral Home, located in Wakefield, is handling the funeral arrangements.

“I remember growing up with Cody when I was in elementary school,” Chelsea Gephart wrote on the funeral home’s Web site. “I remember hanging out with him and some of the other boys at church when I was young too. Looking back, I cherish those memories and knowing Cody. I am so sorry that his life was cut short, but I can say that he is greatly missed at Southampton (High School).”

Dawn Crowder Wise wrote, “I was so sorry to hear of Cody’s passing. I taught him in the third grade and just thought that he was the sweetest little boy. It had been awhile since I last saw of him. God had truly blessed him with such a wonderful life and with such loving parents.”

According to Cody’s obituary, he is survived by his parents, Kenneth and Tracey Stallard, and by his sister, Kelly; his grandparents, Charles and Judy Stallard of Ivor, Melvin and Kathy Harrell of Jarratt, and Lorene Cook of Wakefield; his great grandmother, Evelyn Harrell of Jarratt; his aunt, Barbara Stallard of Springfield; his uncle, M. Todd Harrell and his wife Amy of Prince George; cousins Brandon and Carson Harrell; his girlfriend, Morgan Hulker of Courtland, and several cousins and step-cousins. Cody was pre-deceased by his grandmother Clara Raiford Baines and grandfather Clyde “Pete” Cook.

The obituary said Cody was employed as a groundskeeper at the Southeastern Regional 4-H Center in Wakefield.

The funeral will be held at Millfield Baptist Church at 2 p.m. Thursday with the Rev. Jay Butcher officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends at the church tonight from 6 to 8 p.m.