Scholarship remembers uncle killed in boating accident

By: ,
Zina Stansberry

HANCEVILLE – The day Zina Stansberry lost her Uncle Joe Brock in a tragic boating accident almost three years ago was the worst day of her life, she said. “I was in total shock and even years later I still have a hard time about it,” she said.

Brock came to live with Stansberry and her family when he was 16 and she was 8. He became more of a brother to her than an uncle, she said. “I being an only child, we did so much together,” she said. Even as they grew older that camaraderie and love remained strong.

“The last day I saw him, a few days before the accident, we were at my aunt’s for Christmas,” Stansberry said. They were playing the clothespin game, and when she broke the rules, he laughingly demanded she hand over her clothespin. “He just laughed that laugh of his,” she added. “I will never look at a clothespin without thinking of him.”

To keep his memory alive and to honor her uncle, Stansberry established a grant in his name at Wallace State Community College. While attending a WSCC Future Foundation Luncheon one day, Stansberry heard from a student who told the audience how she could not have made it if not for the scholarship she received.

Stansberry said she began thinking about how unexpected events change lives, and how even a little assistance can mean so much in a time of need.  “I’ve been there,” she said of needing a little help now and then.

“I wanted to help, and I wanted Uncle Joe to never be forgotten,” she said.

The Joe Brock grant was established to provide help for students in need.  “I know that he would be proud to have his name associated with this grant,” Stansberry said of Brock, who attended Wallace State in its early years as a trade school.

For information about establishing grants and scholarships for students at Wallace State, contact Suzanne Harbin, Director of Advancement, at 256-352-8144 or