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STEPHENSON, James R. 92, died June 14, 2014 of natural causes at his son's home in Marysville, WA. Jim was born April 12, 1922 in Lakewood, OH. He was the son of the late James and Vesta Stephenson. Jim graduated from Dunlap High School in Illinois in 1939 and continued his education at the University of Illinois where he studied Agriculture. After college, he served in WWII as a fighter pilot. When the war ended, he went back to farming, but realized it wasn't his passion, so he applied for a recall into the Air Force. He was accepted as a pilot and into the Meteorology Program. While stationed in England, Jim met his future wife, Mary (Molly) Warner, and they married in 1958. Together, they adopted three children. Through the Air Force, Jim furthered his education and earned a Master's Degree from UCLA. He retired from the Air Force in 1972 after a very interesting and satisfying 30 year career. Once retired in Clearwater, FL, Jim and Molly enjoyed playing bridge, golfing, and traveling together. Jim was also quite active in his church, singing in the choir, serving as the church treasurer, and being involved with various community service projects. Jim is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Sue and Joe Dabbs of California, son and daughter-in-law, Larry and Pam Stephenson of Washington; grandchildren, Vanessa Larue, Ashley Dabbs, and Matthew Stephenson; and great-grandchildren, Bailey and Logan Larue. Jim was preceded in death by his son, Bruce, and his wife Molly. No service is planned at this time.
Published in the Tampa Bay Times on July 13, 2014