Vincent J. Stephens Jr.

Family and friends mourn the passing of Vincent J. Stephens Jr., M.D. Vince is survived by his wife, Anne Shapiro; his two daughters, Rachael and Rebeka Stephens; and his niece and her son, Christine and Jake Brockway.

Vince was born in Queens, N.Y., on Sept. 14, 1943, to his loving parents, Vincent and Dorothy Stephens, and older sister, Barbara Stephens, who are deceased.

Vince attended Xavier High School in Manhattan, N.Y., The Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, N.Y., and received his medical degree from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. After receiving his M.D., he served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Navy. Vince completed his psychiatric residency at the Institute of Living in Hartford where he then worked as an attending physician for 10 years. While at the Institute of Living, Vince met Anne, whom he wed on Bolton Lake in 1986. He was hired by Windham Hospital in Willimantic, where he worked for 21 years, including serving as the chief of psychiatry, until retirement in February 2012. Vince continued to work in private practice and with the Diocese of Norwich.

Vince loved his family and friends, especially the lights of his life, his daughters "Spike" and "Rosebud." He was loyal and generous, spontaneous, and maintained a truly boundless enthusiasm for life. Vince's commitment and intentionality to his faith and its practice were central. As he created and maintained the endless project that became the Stephens' house, his dream was to build a place for friends to gather and celebrate the "miraculous gift of life." He was adamant - and vocal - that life was meant to be enjoyed to its fullest, with unfathomably large bowls of pasta and ice cream, thrillingly grandiose firework displays, exciting golf cart and backhoe rides, all balanced by meditative time spent kayaking on the lake, stargazing and lounging in the "utter paradise" that was his backyard jacuzzi. Vince often said that "life is made up of moments." While this is such a sad moment for those he left, Vince inspired so many joyous moments, and will continue to do so always. He will be missed and celebrated.

A Mass celebrating Vince's life will be held Monday, Feb. 24, at 11:30 a.m. in St. Matthew Church, 111 Tolland Green, Tolland. Burial will be private. Visiting hours are Sunday, Feb. 24, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Holmes Funeral Home, 400 Main St., Manchester.

In Vince's memory the family asks that you do a random act of kindness, generosity, and spontaneity in his name today. As Vince always said, "There's no time like the present."

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Funeral Home

Holmes Funeral Home
400 Main Street Manchester, CT 06040
(860) 643-2441

Published in Journal Inquirer from Feb. 22 to Feb. 26, 2013