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Lois Jean (Purinton) Stephens

1932 - 2019
Lois Jean (Purinton) Stephens Obituary
Lois Jean (nee Purinton) Stephens

Viera - Lois Jean (nee Purinton) Stephens, 86, passed away peacefully June 4, 2019. She was born in Kingwood, WV to John B. Purinton, Sr. and Emily (nee Fortney) Purinton. Lois graduated Allegany HS, Cumberland, MD before moving to Albuquerque, NM with her parents. She held a Bachelors' degree from the University of New Mexico and a Masters' in Special Education from Virginia Tech.

While at UNM Lois met her future husband Nolan Thomas "Tom" Stephens, PhD. Lois, a lovely, poised, elegant girl from the east coast, was set up by a Kappa Alpha Theta sorority sister to go on a blind date with Tom, a Kappa Sigma brother. Born and raised in New Mexico, Tom showed up for the blind date in typical western wear including cowboy boots -- notably with a flask of rum hidden inside one boot. They were married 67 years.

Lois, in addition to teaching special ed and counseling youth and couples throughout her life, was a community activist. In Blacksburg where Tom was a professor, Lois was President of the Va Tech Faculty Wives Club. She also worked with the Mental Health Association, and was a Brownie, Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader, as well as a Bible School teacher and Leader of Methodist Youth Fellowship. When she and Tom moved to the Melbourne area (and Florida Tech), Lois became a Steven Ministries Leader, a cold-night shelter volunteer, A Woman's Center volunteer and "Family Promise" participant at Suntree United Methodist Church.

Her interests were many -- family gatherings, sailing, golfing (she hit a hole in one at the Melbourne Beach course), music (a season ticket holder to the Brevard Symphony), a fan of college sports (again a season ticket holder at both Virginia Tech and FIT), and a world traveler/adventurer including stays in China, Panama, Columbia and Germany.

Lois, loved and admired by all who knew her, is survived by her husband Dr. Tom Stephens, daughters Linda (Tim) Benedict, Cindy (Ben) Mescher, six grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and numerous nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her son Scott Stephens. "Lolo" will be greatly missed.

Private interment will take place in New Mexico. The family requests no flowers and that condolences to the family be sent thru Cindy at: [email protected] Charitable Donations may be made in Lois' name to The Women's Center in Melbourne, FL.
Published in FLORIDA TODAY on June 11, 2019
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