Virginia Lee STEPHENS

Virginia Lee Stephens passed away peacefully on Monday, January 14, 2013, in Santa Rosa. She was born 1921 in Santa Paula, California, and was raised surrounded by an extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins, with whom she kept in close touch throughout her life. She was a graduate of Santa Paula High School and Ventura College. After moving to San Francisco during World War II, she worked in the Naval Intelligence offices at Fort Mason. Blessed with musical ability and a beautiful singing voice, she enjoyed singing in choirs and at special events, and as a young woman used her talent to compete and be named Fall Festival Queen in Santa Paula. Also, while working at the Naval Intelligence offices, she enjoyed singing at the USO in the evenings. She met her husband Jim on a blind date, and said later that as he walked into the room she said to herself, "That is the man that I am going to marry." They were married in San Francisco on January 14, 1946 while Jim was on leave from the Navy. Virginia and Jim raised their family in South San Francisco, where she earned a BA and teaching credential from San Francisco State University while serving as PTA President, and being actively engaged in the Methodist Church. After obtaining her teaching credential she taught children of special needs for many years at Sunshine School in San Francisco. Virginia and Jim later retired and moved to Santa Rosa to be near family and friends. She and Jim had many good times with family and friends at their "Mountain House" in Yosemite, and enjoyed a happy and good life together. Virginia was a resident of Oakmont and was actively involved with various social groups prior to moving to Emeritus Senior Living of Santa Rosa. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Santa Rosa. Virginia is survived by her two devoted sons whom she adored, William and James and daughters-in-law Pamala and Ann Stephens, all of Santa Rosa; her grandsons Taylor (Miranda), James (Cecilia), John, David (Andrea), Jeremy, and Nicholas; and, great-granddaughters Mary Jane, Iris, Isla, and Kailee. All were her pride and joy. Friends are invited to attend a Celebration of Life Service on Saturday, February 2 at 3:00 p.m., with reception to follow, at the First United Methodist Church of Santa Rosa, 1551 Montgomery Drive. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the First United Methodist Church - Choir Fund, or, Saint Anthony Foundation of San Francisco. The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the staff at Emeritus Senior Living of Santa Rosa for the loving care they provided Virginia.

Published Online in the Press Democrat from Jan. 23 to Jan. 31, 2013