Belva Stephens

Belva Jean Stephens

Thursday March 24, 1938 - Saturday February 20, 2021
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Marlow: Belva Jean Stephens, 82, passed away Saturday, February 20, 2021 in .

Belva Jean Parker Stephens was born on the 24th of March 1938 to Edna Sarah Cagle and Luther Briton Parker, at the Parker Homestead at Queen’s Peak, outside of Bowie Texas. She was the youngest of five
They moved to California for a short time and then Oregon. They moved back to Texas when she was
twelve. When she was fourteen, she helped in the summer at the Lena Pope Home for Children. Her sister Una
was the manager. Belva enjoyed helping in the kitchen during the summer and helping with the
children’s activities. They all went swimming in a cow pond and many of them including Belva came
down with polio shortly after. She was very sick and was sent to the M. D. Anderson hospital in
Houston, where she spent several months. Her oldest sister Alma would come to visit often. The polio
affected mostly her left side. She enjoyed swimming, ceramics, making enamel jewelry and art. She felt
very blessed to not have to be in an iron lung. She saw many suffering more than her and was always
trying to cheer them up, often providing entertainment with wheel chair races and pranks on the
By sixteen she had been through three surgeries to help her walk and returned to Ft. Worth to live with
her father and sister Laverne. She attended school at Diamond Hill Jarvis High. She dropped out of high
school in 1957 and went to stay in the Edna Gladney Home in Ft. Worth. She gave birth to a son, Ellis
Stephenson Bell and gave him up for adoption. She did not ever speak of this again until 2019, when
she not only was blessed to meet her son, but found out that she had more grandchildren.
She returned to school at the Brantley School of Business in Ft. Worth and worked for a drapery store.
Here she met her first husband Billy Homer Stephens, a Korean War Veteran and they were married in
Weatherford, Texas on the 11 th of April, 1959. He had one son prior to the marriage, Jerry Lynn
Stephens. They had four children together, James, Russell, Cheryl and Amy. They moved to Bray,
Oklahoma on the North 40, in September of 1964.

She was a hard worker and a devoted wife. Helping to raise a garden and improve the house in anyway
she could. They attended Bray Missionary Baptist Church where she accepted Christ as her Lord and
Savior at the age of 30. She taught Sunday School for a few years, Bible school and went to youth camp
as a sponsor.
She attended GED class at Bray School and received her GED in the early 70s.
She had beautiful hands and a beautiful quick smile. She often made clothes for her children and
knitted afghans. She was very good at raising plants. She was 38 in 1976, when Billy passed away from
lymphoma. During his illness she drove him back and forth to Oklahoma City for treatments. After his
death, she took a job at a Laundromat with Bob and Dee Schwinn in Marlow.

Her son Jimmy passed in 1977, one year and 13 days after her husband. She lost her mother the
following September. She was a resilient woman and continued raising her other three children on her
Later on, she worked at the Marlow landfill in the office and at several other places to pay the bills and
feed her children.
Around 1987 she met her second husband Earl James. They enjoyed traveling, camping and fishing with
friends until the time of his death.
In her later years she enjoyed keeping her grandchildren, fishing with her friends, watching her soaps,
Survivor, 700 Club, Pastor Charles Stanley, photography, painting, growing a garden and collecting
swans. She also liked tricking the scammers on the phone by playing dumb and asking questions, often
keeping them on the phone for an hour or more, only to laugh at the end and tell them “I wasted an
hour of your time keeping you from scamming someone else.”
She always told everyone, “You better smile and have a good day.” In her time at Gregston’s Nursing
Home she made friends with residents and staff alike, often reminding people how to get back to their
rooms or leading them there. She enjoyed participating in activities, fund raisers and parades. She
loved everyone that she possibly could and always tried to make and keep peace with and between
other people.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Luther Briton and Edna Sarah Parker, her sisters: Alma Leet,
Glynna Winn, Laverne Parker and Una West, her two husbands Billy Homer Stephens and Earl James and
one son: James Luther Stephens.

She is survived by three sons: Ellis Stephenson Bell and wife Crystal of TX, Russell Stephens of Bray, and
Jerry Lynn Stephens and wife Juanita of Duncan, OK.
Two Daughters: Cheryl Katrina (Katy) Benson of Duncan and Amy Trinette Sprague and husband Harvey
of Bray, OK
Grandchildren, Debra Williams and husband Bryan, Charlotte Linder and husband Mark, Andrea Stanley
and huband Alan, Chris Boatright and Orin Bell all of TX, Jimmy Don Stephens and wife Jessica of
Duncan, OK, Casey Stephens, Carol Stephens of Meridian, Merica Corr and husband Bryce, Kathy Shawn,
Will Shawn and wife Lauren all of Duncan, Megan Noland and husband Charles, and Jackson Martin of
Bray, OK.
Great grandchildren: Catra, Bryan, Joseph, Jeremiah, Naomi, Isaiah, Gabriel, Aaron, Alex, Azron, Erma,
Jacob, Jazon, Tyler, Corie, Brayden, Karma, Iris, Brooke, Brianna, Ashton, Kia, Emalyne, Saya, Reiya, Kadin, Rylan,
And four great great grandchildren, and numerous beloved nieces and nephews

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