July 3, 1946 - January 22, 2018
Lou Hurst Halstead, 71, died Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 at her Jesup, GA home under the care of Affinis Hospice.
A former resident of Chapel Hill and Elizabeth City, NC, Lou was born July 3, 1946 in Cairo, GA to the late Dorothy Johns and Ezra Henry Hurst. In her teen years, Lou won beauty pageants and was on Georgia's first all-girls debate team. She also won the state public speaking competition twice and was a cheerleader at Cairo High School. In fact, Lou was a cheerleader her entire life. She was her children's and grandchildren's most avid supporter and was always rallying support for causes important to her, especially animal rescue.
She was a caregiver at heart and an R.N. by trade who graduated from Florida State University, where she pledged Alpha Chi Omega and was named Florida's Student Nurse of the Year. Lou was founder and CEO of Healthcare Consultants of N.C. and was an educator for the N.C. Healthcare Association where she wrote the state's first Personal Care Assistant curriculum.
She volunteered with Interfaith Council of Orange County in Chapel Hill and was a staunch supporter of the Last Chance Program presented by ARF. Lou attended Jesup Presbyterian Church and maintained her membership at the Church of the Holy Family in Chapel Hill, where her children were raised.
Lou was beloved "Bama" to her 10 grandchildren, whom she adored. Lou was a party waiting to happen. She never met a stranger, took in strays, loved fiercely, laughed often, doled out compliments freely, didn't save fancy jewelry for special occasions (to Lou, every day was a special occasion) and made everyone around her feel loved. She had a gypsy soul, warrior spirit and made no apologies for her wild heart.
Lou was preceded in death by her parents, and her husband, John W. Halstead, an Elizabeth City attorney.Survivors include her children, Shana Stephens Plott and husband, Kelly of Charlotte; Andrea Stephens of Jamestown, NC; Marc Stephens and Matthew Stephens, both of Raleigh; sister, Juana Grover of Jesup; first husband, Ronny Stephens; and grandchildren, Patrick, Emma, Harrison, Mackenzie, Sarah Grace, Dylan, Hayden, Sam, Sawyer and Grace; two nephews, Brett and Tyler Grover; her beloved caregiver, Rose Manning; and extended family.
A service to celebrate Lou's colorful life will be held at noon on Tuesday, January 30 at Christ Episcopal Church. Remembrances may be made to ARF, P.O. Box 432, Jesup, Ga. 31598 or your charity of choice.