The Tyler County Dogwood Festival has announced the Honorable Earl B. Stover III of Silsbee as "Mr. East Texas" 2018. The Mr. East Texas Award is presented each year to the East Texan that best exemplifies the spirit and quality of leadership which advances, shapes and gives direction to the growth and progress of East Texas. Festival Executive Buck Hudson stated that Judge Stover was selected for his leadership and commitment to the citizens of the East Texas through the cultivation and preservation of a strong district court and local judicial system that protects and serves this region. Stover will be accepting the award Saturday, April 7, during the Dogwood Pageant.
Judge Stover was born in Austin, Texas to Earl "Smokey" and Juanita Stover while his father attended law school. The Stover family moved to Silsbee, Texas thereafter, where his father began the private practice of law. Earl graduated from Silsbee High School in 1971 where he was an All-District linebacker for the Tigers. He attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and graduated in 1975. After college, he attended St. Mary's School of Law in San Antonio, Texas graduating in 1978. He served as law clerk for U.S. District Judge, Joe J. Fisher and then followed in his father's footsteps and entered the private practice of law in Silsbee. When his father was elected to the 9th Court of Appeals, Earl once again followed in his footsteps and was elected as the 88th District Court Judge where he has served the people of Hardin and Tyler Counties with distinction since 1997.
Stover has served on the Board of Directors of the Judicial Section of the State Bar and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Texas Association of District Judges. He is a member of the first graduating class of the Judicial College where he met the standards for certification of special competence. Judge Stover received a Presidential Commendation from the State Bar of Texas in 2006 for leadership in improving justice in Texas. He is a member of the College of the State Bar of Texas, is a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and has also served as past president of the Hardin County Bar Association.
Judge Stover is deeply committed to the youth of Hardin and Tyler Counties and has become widely regarded in the field of juvenile justice. He is the chairman of both the Hardin and Tyler County Juvenile Boards. Underscoring his dedication to the youth of Hardin and Tyler Counties, Stover has organized and spoken at several Juvenile Law Seminars in the past and plans to do so again. The seminars inform all the school officials, law enforcement officers, attorneys and the public in general about recent changes in Juvenile Law.
Stover has received the Distinguished Service Award from the Hardin County Crime Victims Association multiple times for his dedication and commitment to Crime Victim's Rights. He has served as the featured speaker at various Crime Victim's programs as well as local Chambers of Commerce and service clubs about various issues related to the Judiciary. He is a long-standing member of the Silsbee Kiwanis Club and a member of several local Chambers of Commerce.
Judge Stover was very active with his daughters in youth sports having served as Kelly High School Girl's Golf coach as well as coach and referee in soccer and softball. He has served as Vice-President of the Spindletop Youth Soccer Association where over 3,300 boys and girls in the area participate in youth soccer. He has also served on the Advisory Board of the Three Rivers Counsel of the Boy Scouts of America.
Stover has been married to his wife Jan for 33 years and they have 2 daughters, one son and one grandson. The Stovers attend St. John's Episcopal Church in Silsbee where they serve in leadership positions. Their son Christopher lives in College Station with his family and is the father of their grandson Mack. Daughter Elise is a graduate of LSU and resides in the Dallas area where she sells real estate. Elise was a visiting duchess in the 2007 Dogwood Festival which will long be remembered for the snow and sleet that fell on the parade that year. Daughter Janna is a graduate of Rice University and obtained her Master of Engineering degree from the University of Texas, Austin. She is employed as a structural engineer in Houston where she resides with her husband Peter Foble. Jana served as a visiting duchess in the 2008 Dogwood Festival.