Jack Bunyan Stevens, age 81 of Murrayville, Ga., passed away on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, at Northeast Georgia Medical Center following an extended illness.
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Funeral services for Jack B. Stevens will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, at Memorial Park North Riverside Chapel with interment to follow at Memorial Park Cemetery. The Rev. Pierce Ashmore will officiate. The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.
Mr. Stevens was born Nov. 16, 1932, in Gainesville, the son of the late Hubert B. Stevens and Nell Hudson Stevens of Murrayville. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Dorothy Stover Stevens; brother, Charlie Stevens; and sisters, Alma, Ash, Thelma Kemp, Irene Holman and Myrtle Lee.
Survivors include daughters and sons-in-law, Debbie and Donald Palmour, Murrayville; and Becky and Wesley Funk, Flowery Branch; son and daughter-in-law, David and Melissa Stevens, Gainesville; seven grandchildren, Beth Barnes, Lindsay Justice, Suzanne Aultman, Matthew Funk, Daniel Stevens, Sarah Harvey and Laura Funk; seven great-grandchildren, Jaylon Justice, Griffin Barnes, Anna Leigh Aultman, Jordan Justice, Bryson Aultman, Samuel Funk and Andrew Funk, as well as a number of nieces and nephews and a host of friends including his special Lakeshore Mall retiree gang, with whom he loved to "shoot the bull," as he told his family.
Mr. Stevens, known as Papa to his family, grew up in Murrayville and attended Murrayville High School, where he was an outstanding athlete and basketball player. He was of the Pentecostal faith and loved God whole-heartedly. He served as a choir director and soloist in various churches and meetings throughout the North Georgia area.
His interests included his love of Gospel music and sports including being an avid golfer. His many trophies and awards are evidence of his golfing skill. Mr. Stevens was a successful leader in the poultry industry in the Gainesville area, and at the time of his retirement he was Live Operations Manager for ConAgra. He traveled extensively in his job and also acted as a consultant for numerous poultry companies throughout the nation. He was proud to consider Mr. Jesse Jewell as one of his mentors and friends. That friendship had begun years earlier when his father, Hubert (Granddaddy), had allowed Mr. Jewell to place chickens on his farm to be raised in one of the very first chicken houses on their farm as an experiment in raising broilers, an idea developed by Mr. Jewell.
Despite his travels and success in business, Papa Jack's main priority was serving God and loving family. He faithfully lead by example and showed his children and grandchildren what it meant to be a disciplined and loving man of honor and integrity. His children were taught commitment, discipline and devotion in every area of life including serving Christ. Most Sundays he would be the first person to church, unlocking the doors, turning on the lights, heaters, etc., as well as being the last to leave and then reversing the process. He continually pursued the excellence in every undertaking, leading by example. He nurtured the gifts and talents in his children and grandchildren and took great joy in every success. Though he often commented, "I don't know what I would do without my children," the real question is "What would his children have done without him?" He was our hero and a great patriarch, indeed. Though Papa has entered into his eternal rest in Heaven and will be missed greatly, this amazing, inspiring Godly man leaves a legacy of love and will continue to live on in the hearts of those he loved so dearly, those who call him Daddy, Papa, Uncle and Friend.
Memorial Park North Riverside Chapel, 989 Riverside Drive, Gainesville, GA, 770-297-6200.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.memorialparkfuneralhomes.com.
Memorial Park North Riverside Chapel
989 Riverside Drive Gainesville, GA 30501
Published in gainesvilletimes.com from Feb. 7 to Feb. 8, 2014