Shirley Jane Stephenson, age 81, of Jefferson City, passed away Wednesday, August 24, 2022, peacefully at her home.
She was born on March 26, 1941 in New Market, AL the daughter of James H. and Janie Mae (Clark) Nichols. She was married on February 11, 1962 in New Market, AL to Robert Elgin Stephenson Jr. who survives at the home.
Shirley was a graduate of Hazel Green High School and earned the honor of being named Valedictorian.
Following graduation, she accepted a position with NASA, working in the administrative field and earned the opportunity to work closely with notable scientific researchers including Wernher von Braun. Shirley was a Certified Nursing Assistant and worked at Villa Marie Nursing Home alongside her daughter then finished out her professional career as a travel agent for Alaska Airlines where she helped countless clients plan memorable excursions.
Shirley found strength and comfort in her faith, was an avid reader of her scriptures and was a dedicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Jefferson City.
Shirley enjoyed tending to her flower and vegetable gardens, canning and watching birds. Around the Christmas season, Shirley was known for baking delicious goods to share. She made caramel candies, baked pecan and strawberry pies and butter horn rolls, and was always seeking out new recipes to try. She was blessed with wonderful talent and creativity, and not only played, but even wrote music. Shirley delighted in having a large family and cherished spending time with them, especially her grandchildren and great grandchildren who were the light of her life. Shirley was a kind soul with a loving and accepting heart. She lived her life with compassion for others, greeted all with a sweet smile and let her subtle sweet spirit speak louder than her words ever could.
Shirley is survived by: her loving husband of 60 years, Robert; children, Greg Stephenson (Kassie) of Lynchburg, Ohio, Rhonda Schmitt of Jefferson City, Mo., Dawn Korsmeyer (Jim) of Wardsville, Mo., Marsha Villalva (Javier) of North Pole, Alaska; sisters, Maggie Morse (Vern) and Kathy Omasta (Gene); 13 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, James and Janie Nichols; sister, Marie Elliot; brothers, James Harvil Nichols, Jr. and Gerald Graham Nichols; grandson, Joshua Schmitt; and great-grandchild, Braylee Terlaan.
Visitation will be held at Freeman Mortuary, August 29, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.
Funeral services will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. at Freeman Mortuary with the former Bishop Karvel Kofoed officiating. Graveside services and interment will be held at 1:00 p.m. at Meta Southside Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to Shriners Hospitals for Children, St. Jude Children’s Hospital or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Funeral arrangements are under the care of Freeman Mortuary.