WISE, VA - Donald Dale Stephens, Sr., 92, passed away at Norton Community Hospital after a brief illness on Monday, November 12, 2018. How fitting that his death came in alignment with Veteran’s Day, for he was a true patriot. Don is a decorated veteran of World War II, having been awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star medals for his actions during combat operations in the Ardennes Forest, known as the Battle of the Bulge. He was an infantryman in the 23rd Armored Infantry Battalion, 7th Armored Division, and fought across Belgium in the winter of 1944-45.
He then returned home to begin a life as an everyday citizen, uncomfortable in talking about his time in Europe. As a true business entrepreneur, he built a successful retail business (Don’s TV and Appliance), and his hobbies included farming and working with walking horses and cattle. After his “retirement”, he taught himself the building trades and completed his last house at age 85. But his greatest love was family, and he shared that generous love with all. He was accepting and forgiving and unconditional with his gift of love, and he received much in return.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, Ronald Franklin (Fitz) Stephens, Sr. and Myrtle Mae Dale Stephens; brother, Ronald Franklin Stephens, Jr. and sister-in-law Sara Arnold Stephens; sisters, Joan Stephens, Joyce Stephens, Eliza Jane (Little) Stephens; and nephew, Alan Arnold (Pete) Stephens.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 48 years, Patsy Ruth Cox Stephens; sons, Donald Dale Stephens, Jr. and wife Jonelle and Patrick Ryan Stephens and wife Tracy; daughters, Jane Frances Stephens Jackson, Rhonda Moore, Rene Moore, Retha Moore Robinette and husband Emory, Ruth Alene Stephens Elkins and husband Claude Edward Elkins, Jr.,; grandchildren, Corrie White and husband Casey, Jessee Jackson, Shana Jackson Dolen and husband Michael, Carmen Jackson Hagen and husband Bradley, Luke Jackson, William Sturgill and wife Laura, Joshua Oliver, Jacob Dale Moore (April Hubbard), Daniel Moore, Hanna Moore Robinson and husband Matthew, Ava Dale Elkins, Claude “Edward” Elkins, III, Erin Dale Stephens and Emma Stephens. Nephew Ronald Franklin Stephens, III and wife Vicki; nieces, Sheila Shupe, Sharon (Dink) Pigeon (Brent Thompson), Kathy Earls and Pamela Mazza; he is also survived by several great-grandchildren, great-nieces and nephews.
Funeral services for Donald Stephens will be conducted at 2:00 P.M. Saturday, November 17, 2018 at the Sturgill Funeral Home Chapel in Wise, VA with Pastor James Collie officiating. Burial will follow in the Wise Cemetery. Family will receive friends from 12:00 P.M. till time of services at 2:00 P.M. Saturday, November 17, 2018 at the Sturgill Funeral Home in Wise, VA. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital P.O. Box 1893 Memphis, TN. 38101-9950. Please visit www.sturgillfuneral.com to leave online condolences for the family.
Sturgill Funeral Home 1621 Norton Road SW Wise, VA 24293 is in charge of arrangements.