Obituary: Bills (Stewart), Marla Jean

Gladioli flowers from above. Obituary or death notice concept.
Marla Jean Bills (Stewart) Obit(Eskymaks. | Eskymaks -
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 12:41 PM EDT
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RIPLEY, W.Va. (WTAP) - Marla Jean Bills (Stewart), 68, died at her home on June 22, 2022 after a brief battle with cancer.

Born August 29, 1953 in Ripley, WV to Ruth and Claude Stewart. A graduate of Ripley High School, she attended Marshall University, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology in August 1975. She married her husband, Dr. Poncet Bills, that same month at Mount Zion Church near Peniel, WV. After graduation, she worked at St. Mary’s and VA Hospitals in Huntington, Greenbriar Hospital in Lewisburg, and an oncology office in Akron, OH. She moved to Marietta in 1987, where she worked at Marietta Memorial Hospital and did lab work for General Electric until 1992.

In 1993, she welcomed a daughter, Courtney. Marla was passionately involved with Courtney’s activities; founding and leading Girl Scout troops, building sets for theater productions, and joining the Marietta HS Choir Boosters. Marla loved playing euchre as part of a monthly card group and also participated in investment and book clubs. A lifelong learner, she took Learning in Retirement courses through Marietta College. She was a passionate advocate for women’s rights and humanitarian causes. She was a member of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Marietta.

Marla is survived by her husband of 46 years, Dr. Poncet C. Bills, and her daughter Courtney E. Bills (Jared Soergel); sisters Frances Dietrich and Ellen Bowman, and numerous nieces and nephews. She is also survived by brother-in-law Coburn (Lois) Bills. She was preceded in death by her parents Claude and Ruth Stewart (Rollins), brothers-in-law Bill Dietrich and Jerold Bowman, and other beloved aunts, uncles and cousins.

Marla was a wonderful life partner, a great mother, and a friend to many. She will be greatly missed.

A memorial service will be announced at a later date. McClure-Schafer-Lankford Funeral Home is assisting the family and online condolences may be sent at

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