Douglas Stephens, age 92, of Mount Gilead, went to join his wife and Lord, Saturday afternoon, March 2, 2013, at the Kobacher Hospice House in Columbus following an extended illness.
On October 15, 1920, Doug was born in Fielden, Kentucky, one of nine children of the late Isaac and Ida Mae (Barker) Stephens. He attended school in Blaine, Kentucky, until leaving early to join the Civilian Conservation Corp.
During grade school, Doug met a young lady, Luda Mae Edwards, and their friendship would blossom from there. Knowing they were meant for each other, they were married on June 15, 1942, and they cherished every year of their 68 years of marriage together. Further, they embraced each other's friendship for over 80 years! She preceded him in death on June 27, 2010.
Shortly after their wedding, in August of 1942, Doug was then drafted to serve in the U.S. Army with his fellow countrymen in the fight of World War II. He served as a heavy artillery operator, and was stationed in Italy. In 1945, he was severely injured during combat, for which he earned a purple heart. Continuing to serve after being injured, he then guarded German prisoners. He served over 6 years until he was discharged on December 3, 1948.
Upon his honorable discharge, Doug was reunited with Luda and they moved to Columbus, Ohio. For over 30 years, he worked in the machine shop of North American Aviation, which later became Rockwell Aviation, as their parts lay out man. He retired in 1982.
A man of deep faith, Doug was a member of the Mount Gilead Church of Christ, and formerly was a member of the Sunbury Church of Christ and Marengo Church. He also served as an elder of the church everywhere he went.
With a love for nature, Doug enjoyed fishing with his family and friends at the Alum Creek, the Hoover Dam, and Lake Erie. He also enjoyed hunting in his younger days.
A man of honor and integrity, Doug held himself and everyone around to the highest of standards. He believed in being punctual, and if you were only on time, that meant you were late. He was also a dedicated and hard worker.
Always keeping busy, Doug used his down time to work in his yard, and tend to his vegetable garden. He was proud of his yearly crops, and ""liked to eat what he grew.""
Most important of all to Doug was his family. He was there for his wife, Luda, taking care of her for several years, and was very proud of his three sons. He especially enjoyed their family gatherings, when he was surrounded by his beloved family.
He will be dearly missed by his two sons: Bill (Amy) Stephens, and Michael (Carol) Stephens, both of Delaware; a daughter-in-law, Rachel Stephens of Rock Island, Illinois; 9 grandchildren: Chris, Paul, Lisa, Lori, Jason, Amy, Erin, Amanda and Julie; 22 great-grandchildren; 2 great-great-grandchildren; two brothers and four sisters: James (Pauline) Stephens of Westerville, John Stephens of Columbus, Lola (James) Phillips of Martha, KY, Liddie Stephens, Alma (James Earl) Hale, and Evelyn (Buck) West, all three of Blaine, KY; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Including his wife and parents, Doug was preceded in death by his son, Steve Stephens on August 3, 2011; and two sisters: Mildred Gamble and Laurie Stephens.
The Stephens family will greet friends from 4 – 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6, 2013, at the Snyder Funeral Home, Craven Chapel, 67 N. Main St., Mount Gilead. Services honoring his life will be held on Thursday at 11:00 a.m., at the Mount Gilead Church of Christ, 322 Iberia St. , Mount Gilead, with his sons, Mike and Pastor Bill Stephens officiating. Burial with military honors provided by the VFW Post 8054 and AmVets Post 87 will follow in Rivercliff Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Mount Gilead Church of Christ (address above).
Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead is honored to have been chosen to serve Doug's family and your private condolences may be expressed to them by visiting www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.
Published in The Morrow County Sentinel on Mar. 6, 2013