Elle Stockton passed away on September 28th while watching one of her favorite movies, Wonder Woman, with her family. She had fought a long and exhausting fight with COPD. She came into this world breaking the rules and continued to do so until the end.
She was born three months premature at Southside Community Hospital to Margaret and Richard Stockton. The doctors didn't believe she would survive, but her first stubborn act was to prove them wrong. The family moved around in Elle's younger years but ended up back in Farmville, where Elle attended Prince Edward Academy.
Elle attempted higher education by attending Longwood College (now university) to continue her passion for all things computers. However, she discovered other distractions there. A wise professor advised she was wasting her parents' money and suggested another path to her goals. She was forever grateful to Dr. Bob Webber for that reality check. A certificate from a technical college in northern VA provided proof of what she already knew about computers to parlay into various jobs.
After a few years, home called Elle, and she knew she needed to be back in Farmville. Upon returning, she took a job in the information technology department at Hampden-Sydney College. She was instrumental in laying the initial campus network and bringing the college's first connection to the internet. That connection to the internet brought the next phase of Elle's life as she met her Scottish wife, Mary Jo, online.
After marrying, they tried to convince a commercial internet provider to come to Farmville, but none thought it was worthwhile. They pulled all their savings, mostly Elle's at that point, and started MoonStar, Farmville's first commercial internet service provider. For several years MoonStar was the only provider in the area.
MoonStar ran for 16 years providing internet to families and businesses across the area. However, the industry changed as corporate entities took over. Meanwhile, Elle's health deteriorated. Mary Jo was hired at Longwood University in 2008, and Elle was able to retire and focus on raising their child, Alyssa, born in 2002.
In 2001, a late-night voicemail brought an unexpected bonus: Elle discovered she had a daughter, Michelle, from a youthful indiscretion. Michelle and Alyssa were everything to Elle, and she lives on in both of them.
In later years, Elle ran a Facebook page called Girl Inside as an outlet as she explored her identity. Her posts resonated with people across the world, and her following exploded. Through Girl Inside, many found a place to help as they explored their identities, and Elle provided a supportive ear to those that reached out.
Elle is survived by her parents, Margaret and Richard Stockton, wife Mary Jo, daughters Michelle and Alyssa, and a family of treasured friends.
A memorial service will be held at Puckett Funeral Home on Saturday, October 8th, at 2:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to PFLAG (https://pflag.org/)