Obituary: James Merritt Stephenson
An honorable, faith-filled, caring husband, father, gramps, grandpa, papa, teacher and friend - James "Jim" Stephenson, 95, joined his Lord and Savior on Jan. 19, 2011.
He died peacefully at Hospice Family Care in Prescott, Ariz. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers and his wife of 55 years, Mary F. Stephenson. He is survived by his wife of nine years, Marcella B. Stephenson. He was a loving father to Bonnylin Dalke (Vince) and James F. Stephenson (Margaret Toci). He was a proud grandfather to Vincent Dalke (Lourdes), Becky Dalke, David Stephenson (Sharon) and Barry Stephenson (Nikki), and the adoring great-grandfather to Vincent and Matthew Dalke and Mireya and Naomi Stephenson.
Jim was born on a farm near Mt. Ayr, Iowa, on Dec. 22, 1915, to Perry L. and Vera (Merritt) Stephenson. He attended Mt. Ayr public schools until the family moved to Maryville, Mo., in 1928, graduating from Maryville High School in 1933. After receiving his AB and BS in education degrees from Northwest Missouri State Teachers College, he started his teaching career in 1938. He taught math and science (biology) for 41 years, beginning his career in Hamilton, Mo., Mediapolis, Iowa, Clifton, Ariz., and his last 32 years in Prescott, Ariz. Retiring in 1979, he had spent the last 12 years of his career teaching human anatomy and physiology to advanced students.
He was blessed with many friends and acquaintances from all over the world. His legacy can be found in the countless people he inspired to be engaged in science, teaching, the health professions, public service and clergy. He found love "the second time around" with Marcy and knew also the first love of Mary. His children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren always knew his love was also there for them.
Memorial services for Jim will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011, at the Prescott Community Church, 3151 Willow Creek Road, Prescott.
The family says that flowers are lovely, but a donation in Jim's name to Prescott Community Church would also be appreciated.
Please visit www.ruffnerwakelin.com to view and sign Jim's guestbook.
Arizona Ruffner Wakelin Funeral Home assisted the family with final arrangements.
Information provided by survivors.