Richard Brines Stephen, 92, passed away peacefully in his Terra Bella home on December 29, 2012, surrounded by his family.
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Dick was born on January 7, 1920 in Inglewood, California. At the age of two he moved to Portertville with his family. He attended Roche Ave and St. Anne's elementary schools. In 1938, he graduated from Porterville Union High School where he excelled in basketball and track.
While in high school, Dick met Lorraine Crow of Terra Bella who was to become his wife on August 21, 1942. They were married in Terra Bella Presbyterian Church and were to be together for the next 70 years.
Following a year at Porterville College, Dick transferred to San Francisco State. During this time, Lorraine attended nursing school at St. Luke's Hospital in the same city.
After college graduation and his marriage to Lorraine, Dick enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served in the European theater with 977th Field Artillery Battalion during the second World War. Following discharge in 1945, Dick returned to Lorraine in San Francisco where he earned a teaching credential at San Francisco State. He taught elementary school in San Francisco for the next 3 years.
In 1949, Dick and Lorraine returned to Terra Bella where Dick taught for another 3 years. In 1953, he joined his father-in-law, C.L. Crow, in his wheat farming operation. Dick continued farming until his retirement in 2003.
Dick and Lorraine enjoyed several memorable trips during their 70-year marriage. Most memorable was their European vacation in 1974 when they retraced Dick's wartime travels, beginning at Anzio Beach, Italy and concluding in Frankfurt, Germany.
Dick was an avid golfer and especially enjoyed playing with his brothers-in-law Roger Lane, Ralph Baker, and Bud Faggart at the River Island course. A highlight of his later years was golfing at Lake Tahoe with his son Mark and grandsons Mark and Conner.
Dick was a member of the United Presbyterian Church of Terra Bella since 1943. He was a charter member of the Terra Bella Lions Club as well. For 53 years, Dick was a member of the Orange Belt Masonic Lodge.
Dick was preceded in death by his parents William and Louise Stephen; his sisters Alice Thompson and Edith Hill; and brothers William Stephen, Jr and Louis Stephen.
He is survived by his wife Lorraine and sons Richard Jr and wife Joanne of Terra Bella; Michael of Studio City; and Mark and wife Susan of Clovis.
Dick also leaves granddaughter Amy Lynne Stephen of San Diego and three grandsons: Mark Bradley Stephen of Santa Barbara, Conner Mathew Stephen of Irvine, and David James Stephen of Terra Bella and great grandson David Andres Stephen of Terra Bella. His sister Charlotte Stephen of Belmont survives him as well, as do many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will take place on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 11 AM at the Presbyterian Church of Terra Bella, Located at 9482 Road 238 at Ave 95.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a contribution in memory of Richard B. Stephen to the United Presbyterian Church (P.O. Box 10117, Terra Bella 93270).
Memorial contributions may also be made to Optimal Hospice Foundation (5429 Ave de los Robles, Suite D, Visalia 93291) or a
Published in The Porterville Recorder on Jan. 8, 2013