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Veterans' Foundation Founder Dies Before Memorial Day

A woman who was married to a fallen soldier and founded an organization for veterans died in a car accident just days before Memorial Day.

After Natalie Stovall-Frady's first husband, First Lieutenant Matthew Stovall, was killed in Iraq in 2004, Stovall-Frady dedicated herself to keeping his legacy alive. She created The Stovall Foundation, also known as Stovall's Sacrifice for Soldiers, which raises money for members of the military who are returning for civilian life, as well as helping children whose parents died in the military, according to WMC.

Stovall-Frady, 34, was killed instantly when her car was involved in a head-on collision with a pickup truck in DeSoto County, Mississippi, according to the Clarion Ledger. The coroner said that Stovall-Frady was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

"I don't know if we will be able to do it the way she did," said Stovall-Frady's second wife, Howard Frady. "She was truly an amazing ambassador for the foundation."

Stovall-Frady's childhood friend, William Brooks, who also helped with The Stovall Foundation, said that everyone who knew Stovall-Frady and her family should keep them in their prayers.

"It's beyond devastating," Brooks told the DeSoto Times-Tribune. "I was with the family until well past midnight last night. I've known Natalie since kindergarten when we went to Greenbrook Elementary together. We were emailing each other only yesterday about meeting up Monday to talk about plans for [The Stovall Foundation]."

Brooks lost both of his legs during his military service, six months after Matt Stovall, his good friend, was killed in action.

Matthew Stovall's name was added to the official name of Snowden Lane, a street in DeSoto County, to honor the memory of the county's first casualty from Iraq, who had earned the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

Howard Frady has said that he will continue Stovall-Frady's work for The Stovall Foundation, with the help of his 14-year-old stepson -- Stovall-Frady's son -- Walker, who has now lost both his mother and his father. Walker said that he wants to follow in his father's footsteps and enter the military.

"She inspired me to dream big," Walker said of his mother. "The one big dream I want to complete for her would be going to the Naval Academy."

"I'd like her to be remembered as an amazing woman, an amazing wife, and an amazing mom," Walker added.

Sources: WMC, Clarion Ledger, DeSoto Times-Tribune / Photo credit: DeSoto Times-Tribune

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