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Doris Stephens

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Stephens, Doris Richburg
83, a daughter of the American Southwest, died January 31, 2013 in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Doris was born in McCamey, Texas on September 30, 1929, the fourth in a family of six daughters born to Henry and Mabel Crawford Richburg, West Texas pioneers. Musically gifted, she excelled at piano, studying in Phoenix in the 1940s before attending San Angelo Community College and graduating from Texas Western College (now the University of Texas at El Paso) in 1951. She married her college sweetheart, Kenneth Stephens, in 1951 in Alpine, Texas. They lived in Carlsbad, New Mexico, El Paso, Texas, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and finally Scottsdale, Tempe, and Mesa, Arizona during their forty-four year marriage. Kenneth Sr. died in 1995. Doris is survived by her three children, son Kenneth Jr., a forester in Troy, Montana, together with Terrel Jones, daughter Kathleen, an American diplomat and former ambassador to Korea now based in Washington, DC, and son Jeffrey, an industrial district sales manager in Fountain Hills, and his wife Margaret. Doris adored her six grandchildren: Nathan, Amber, Jacob, James, Sylvie, and Elise, and she was deeply comforted to spend time with all of them and with her great-granddaughter Madelynn Harry in her final weeks. Doris' three sisters Nona Alden, Nancy Reilly, and Hali Matlock predeceased her. Doris is survived by two sisters, Mary Johnson of Pecos, Texas and Glenn Watkins of Alpine, Texas. Doris was a schoolteacher, homemaker, great cook, and avid golfer. Through fifty years of golfing in the Valley, she enjoyed membership at Thunderbird Country Club and Mesa Country Club, the Women's League at Desert Canyon in Fountain Hills, and played at countless other Valley courses. She continued doing battle with the daily Arizona Republic and New York Times crossword puzzles until the very end. Doris moved to Fountain Hills from Mesa in 1999. The family is deeply grateful to the caring staff of Legacy Court at Fountain View Village for their extraordinary support during her final months. A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, February 6, at 5 pm at Messinger Fountain Hills Mortuary, 12065 N. Saguaro Blvd. in Fountain Hills. Doris Stephens will be interred together with her beloved husband Kenneth at the VA Cemetery in Phoenix.
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Published in The Arizona Republic on Feb. 3, 2013
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