BURLINGTON – Doris Inez Ward Stadler, 86, passed away on Thursday, September 30, 2021, at Moses Cone Hospital.
A native of Alamance County, she was the daughter of the late Samuel Newton Ward, Sr. and Addie Rachel Anderson Ward and was married for 68 years to Thomas Richard “Bud” Stadler, who survives. Doris was a humble, lifelong servant to her faith, family, and community. When her father died, Doris became a resident of Elon Homes for Children, where she thrived during her years at Elon College High School. She met Bud at a school event and they dated until she graduated. Bud was a private in the army when they married in 1953 in NYC on the national tv show “Bride & Groom.” After his service, Doris worked to support him and their growing family while Bud finished his degree at NCSU. She was also a proud member of “State’s Mates,” and avidly watched nearly every televised Wolfpack sporting event for the past 65 years. After college, they moved to Florida, where Bud worked on NASA’s Gemini and Apollo programs, while Doris enjoyed being a homemaker, studied at the local community college, and was actively involved in her children’s activities. She volunteered at every school, was a den mother for Cub and Boy Scouts, worked the concession stand for little league games, and never missed a piano recital, voice competition, or dance performance. Upon returning to North Carolina in 1970, Bud launched what would become Stadler’s Biscuit Factory. Doris quickly became an indispensable partner in the business, and over the next 30 years they worked side-by-side, expanding distribution across much of the mid-eastern US. They sold the business and retired in 2001, and Doris was thrilled to reprise her role as full-time mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Doris then turned her business sense, financial skills, and remarkable energy to numerous volunteer activities. A longstanding member at Front Street United Methodist Church, Doris regularly participated in Sunday school, worship, and her Women’s Fellowship Circle. Bud became an avid backyard birdwatcher, and he and Doris shared their enjoyment as members of the Burlington Bird Club. Perhaps her most significant volunteer contributions, however, were with the Burlington Woman’s Club and the BWC Thrift Shop. Doris joined the BWC in 2004, where she participated in nearly every service project, was routinely one of the top members for hours worked per month, and served as treasurer of the Thrift Shop for more than 13 years. In 2014, her fellow members honored her service with a lifetime membership in the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of NC. Doris secured several grants and negotiated the purchase and financing of the thrift shop building, and solicited donations which helped the thrift shop to remain open during the pandemic. One member stated, “What I most admired about Doris was her acute mind and intelligence when dealing with the business aspects of the BWC… Her insights and opinions [about] the direction of the Club helped make BWC a success during her tenure... Doris will be missed and remembered!”
In addition to her husband, Doris is survived by her children, Richard E. “Rick” Stadler and his wife, Dale of Lake City, Florida, Charles W. “Bill” Stadler of Whitsett and Mona C. Stadler of Burlington, as well as five grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents and thirteen siblings.
The family will welcome friends at Lowe Funeral Home from 12-1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, October 6, 2021. Rev. Ross Carter of FSUMC will conduct the funeral service, beginning at 2:00 p.m., in the LFH Chapel. A graveside service will follow at Alamance Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Burlington Woman's Club, Inc., P.O. Box 937, Burlington, NC 27216.
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Burlington Woman's Club
317 S Main St., Burlington NC 27215