Elsie Stephens
1926 - 2020
Mrs. Elsie Stephens

June 17, 1926 - November 5, 2020

94 years ago, a tiny firecracker arrived in Wytheville, Va., when Elsie was born to Sheldon and Helen Havens. Later, she was joined by a little brother, Luther. Although she was small, Elsie had tremendous inner strength, an adventurous spirit and big dreams. Elsie loved music, especially Country music. Her cherished memories included winning a music scholarship and enjoying weekly dances held in her parents' barn.

She married John Brinkley and had her precious son, "Billy" (John Jr.). The three of them traveled the country, following John's military assignments, but they always called Wytheville "home". Fashion was Elsie's lifelong passion! A talented seamstress, she managed Maxine's clothing store. After she was widowed, she became a self-taught artist whose comissioned works graced the walls of the Wytheville Town Office. She ejoyed the community of artists who displayed their works at the annual Chautauqua Festival. She later married a kind man, Frank Stephens, who shared a love of travel and fishing- and his loving children and grandchildren!

After Frank died, Elsie moved across the country to live with Billy and his wife, Bonny, in the Seattle area. An excellent listener, Elsie made new friends, cheered for the Hokeys and the Seahawks while charming everyone with her gracious manner. They called her their "Southern Belle". In her later years she found strength in studing the Bible and encouraged others to read the Bible. She longed for the time when the "meek shall inherit the earth" under God's Kingdom. To hear Elsie's favorite song/music video, go to jw.org,and type "Just Around the Corner" in the search box.

Hearing updates from family and friends meant the world to her. Thank you for the many cards and letters Dianne Stephens and Donna Leonard. Elsie treasured the long phone conversations with grand-daughter Sharon Smith and her dear cousin Linda. Special thanks to Betony Payne and Ashley Brown who provided years of loving companionship, spiritual comfort and the chance to have an "adopted great-grandbaby", Josiah Brown, to snuggle.

Elsie is survived by her son, John W. Brinkley Jr. "Billy" and wife, Bonny; her cousins, Linda Hagy and Ruth Clark; her niece, Kathy Norris; nephew, Pete Havens; and children and grandchildren of Frank Stephens.

Following Elsie's wishes, a private service was held.

Cascade Memorial

Bellevue, Wash.
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by SWVA Today on Nov. 21, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
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Funeral services provided by:
Cascade Memorial
Add a Message
3 Entries
I have loved getting to know Elise over the last few years she´s been here in Washington. From spending time in her when her family was away to sitting in on here study of the Bible Elsie was always positive and a joy to be around. I can´t wait for the day I can welcome her back to earth in the coming paradise. Until then she will truly be missed.
Amber Wilson
November 28, 2020
Please accept my heartfelt sympathy in the loss of your sweet mom, John.
Mary Jane Umberger
November 22, 2020
John and Bonny, so sorry for your loss.
Wilma W. Hester
November 21, 2020