NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A Nacogdoches Whataburger employee who was loved by SFA students died Monday. She was 53.
Stella Boykins, who moved to Nacogdoches from New Orleans, after evacuating the area during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, died in Dallas from a bacterial infection of the heart, according to a press release.
Betty Boykins, Stella's oldest daughter, said that her mother always tried to be positive after coming to Nacogdoches.
"I wanted to go back home and she was like, 'just try it out. You know, it's a new place and a new start,'" Betty Boykins said. "You know, [she was] just not really dwelling on the sad times and just making everybody laugh in this hard time."
According to the press release, Boykins' outgoing personality captured the hearts of Whataburger employees and customers.
"She could talk to anyone like they were a friend within seconds of meeting them. Her spirit will be deeply missed by the Whataburger team and all her 'babies' as she called our guests." says Sjon Barron, Director of Operations for Whataburger. "Her family is in our thoughts and prayers."
Boykins was a favorite amoung SFA students who would see her everyday.
"She tried to talk to everyone," Alisha Liboma said. "She would always say, 'Hey Baby! How are you?"
"The student loved her," Whataburger Team Leader, Dekeia Mason said. "They always came in here and said, 'Is Ms. Stella here?"
Customers said the Boykins would always bring a happy attitude to work and that she will be missed.
"I told her I would bring her some deer sausage and one day, I was heading out again and I packaged her up some and brought it to her," Joe VanShoubrouek said. "She was just besides herself."
Boykin's daughters said they were surprised by the amount of sympathy the family has received.
Once you meet her, you can't help but to love her, so like I really, really appreciate them coming together and showing her that they appreciate her," Kiara Boykins said.
Funeral services for Boykins will be held on Feb. 8, at 1 p.m. at Power of Word Ministries located at 1501 Industrial Blvd. at the corner of Hwy 59 and Industrial Blvd. in Nacogdoches. A wake will be held on February 7, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Sid Roberts Funeral Home.
Whataburger will make a donation from the Whataburger Family Foundation to the Boykins family to help offset costs of the funeral. Donations from the community can be sent to Sid Roberts Funeral Home 3535 SE Stallings Dr, Nacogdoches, TX 75961.