Stacy McCracken was born to Ruthie and Chester McCracken on July 1, 1980, in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Chester family was a proud, middle-class family. Ruthie was a children's librarian in Knoxville, and Chester was an accountant.
Ruthie Chester made most of her children's clothing herself. Donations from church bazaars and town swap meets made up the difference between what they needed and what they could not afford. The family valued their possessions as if each were made of gold.
All the McCracken children were obedient except for Stacy. She was a free spirit, restless in life, and not satisfied with her middle-class position. She was confident of her own self-worth and wouldn't listen to her parents or to anybody else. As the youngest, Stacy received ragged and forlorn hand-me-downs she was never satisfied with. She wanted to climb the social ladder, have money, and "be somebody."
After high school, she won a Knoxville Artist's Community scholarship to attend a painter's summer class. This was her ticket into a world where she could have the finery she desired. From her high school graduation in 1998, Stacy continued painting and sold some of her art, but she also had to work as a waitress to make enough money to pay the bills.
While she was painting outside one morning, Joey Beecher approached Stacy. Although Joey was just a mechanic's helper at an auto body shop, Stacy thought he had great potential, and her free spirit side took over. Three months after they met, Stacy and Joey eloped and spent their honeymoon night on a Mississippi steamboat.
When Joey found work with Philip Fontaine and Stacy saw the Fontaine mansion for the first time, she radiated with pride. Inwardly, her dreams of becoming someone greater were closer to becoming realized after all.
The Beecher marriage bumped along, and the longer Joey worked for Philip Fontaine, the more Stacy grew to resent the time he spent with the Fontaines because he never got overtime pay and had little time left over to spend with her. She was envious of the Fontaines' wealth and wasn't happy with Joey's lower-middle-class status, but she was determined to stick it out with him. Stacy was sure she would find some other way to improve her position in society.