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James Wesley Stephens, “Bro”, 78

James Wesley Stephens, the son of the late Jules C. Stephens and the late Thelma E. McMillon Stephens Curry, was born on August 31, 1938.  Throughout his young life he excelled in many athletics including: football, basketball and track allowing him to be the first recipient of the J.B. Stevens award for best all-around athlete.   

After graduating from B. T. Washington High School in 1958, he attended Savannah State College.  James served in the United States Army from October 1961 thru October 1963.  Where he continued his niche for sports by playing for the Army’s basketball team.  Following his tour in the army, he began his trade as a brick mason.  He did this work for 40 years.  He married the love of his life, Edna White Stephens, on June 13, 1964.  To this union 3 children were born.  The first child, Brian, died October 12, 1967.

James Stephens became a member of Beulah Missionary Baptist Church at an early age.  While maintaining his membership, he added to the church’s exterior through his trade by helping to build the prominent bulletin outside.  During his membership he also served on the Trustee Board, where to date he is listed on the cornerstone of the church annex. In addition to his church membership he maintained ties within the community as a member of the Fellows Club where he served as mentor to young men as well as his status as a devout businessman.  During his midlife he spent summers reveling in athletics in Quitman’s recreational Men’s Baseball League.

He departed this life on January 19, 2017, at Archbold Memorial Hospital in Thomasville, Georgia.  James is survived by his wife of 52 years, Edna Stephens; daughter, Aleta Delayne Stephens, Atlanta, Georgia; son, Kendall Lerone Stephens, Stone Mountain, Georgia; granddaughter Kennedi Alise Stephens, Conyers, Georgia; sister JoAnn Pride (Willie) of Cleveland, Ohio; 2 nephews Phillip Stephens (Deb), Cleveland, Ohio; Donnell Pride (Nicole), Cleveland, Ohio; 2 special cousins, Mary A. Adams, Quitman, Georgia; Cherry Beal, Glendale, Arizona and many other relatives and friends.

James was truly an inspiration to all who knew him.  He was a giving caring person who loved people.  Friends usually regarded him as a snappy dresser with a jovial spirit and was definitely revered as being the life of the party. But, it was his boundless love that will keep his family and friends missing him for years to come. 

Funeral services were held Monday, January 23, 2017 at 11AM at Beulah Missionary Baptist Church with Rev. Walter Mays, eulogist.  Please continue to keep the Stephens family in your daily thoughts and prayers.

James "Bro" Stephens
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  • Friday, January 27, 2017
    Our staff will continue to keep your family in our prayers. We thank you for allowing us to serve your family.
    ~ Stevens-McGhee Funeral Home
  • Saturday, January 28, 2017
    May his soul rest in everlasting peace and may the Almighty grant solace and consolation to his dearly beloved, children and the members of his grief stricken Family. Bernie and Sandra Jo Bonner Hadley
    ~ Bernard Hadley   Mitchellville, MD
  • Friday, July 07, 2017
    I miss you so MUCH ! Miss seeing your red truck come by rest on Mr BRO REST ON !!!
    ~ Shayla Geen   Quitman, GA