LTC (Ret) James D. (Jim) Stephens passed away on April 9, 2018, while visiting family in Red Bluff, California. He was 76 years old.
Born to WG & Lucy Stephens in Gadsden, Alabama, he graduated from Jefferson County High School in Monticello, Florida and Auburn University with a BS in Business Administration. While at Auburn, he was the managing editor of “The Auburn Plainsman” and contributed many editorials. Jim served as President of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity where he organized the first Miss Fall Rush, a tradition that continues today. Later he graduated with a MBA from Georgia State University.
After receiving an OCS commission in 1966, he served his country honorably for 24 years in the United States Army. He served as an Infantry Platoon leader with the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam. Jim taught at the Infantry School at Fort Benning, successfully completed Airborne and Ranger Schools, and was a graduate of both the Command & General Staff College and the Professional Military Comptroller School. He was a company commander in the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea. While serving in Germany, Stephens organized, activated, and commanded the 7th Corps Finance Group. During his military service, he and his family were also stationed in Kentucky, South Carolina, Alaska, Wisconsin, and three bases in Georgia. Among his distinguished recognitions were a Purple Heart, 2 Bronze Stars (one with valor), and the Legion of Merit.
After retiring from the Army, he served for 15 years as the Associate Superintendent of Finance/Comptroller for Macon-Bibb County, Walton County, and Fayette County school systems in Georgia.
Jim was a faithful and active member of Peachtree City United Methodist Church where he was the past president of United Methodist Men, served on the greeting team, supported the mission ministries, and participated for many years in the Disciple Bible Study groups.
He was a dedicated volunteer at the USO at the Atlanta Airport where he loved expressing appreciation to the active duty troops for their unselfish sacrifice and service to our country.
Jim enjoyed traveling, reading, solving crossword and sudoku puzzles, and maintaining his yard. His greatest joy was being with and loving on his family.
He is survived by his high school sweetheart and beloved wife of 53 years, Mary Ann, daughter Mary Julia (Lynda) of Tyrone, Ga., sons James F. of Helen, Ga., Daniel (Courtney) of Red Bluff, Calif., and grandson Noah. He is also survived by 3 nieces, great nephews and nieces, and many dearly loved cousins. He is predeceased by his parents, brother William F. Stephens, and great nephew CJ Ford.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, April 23, 2018 at 3 p.m. at Peachtree City United Methodist Church with Rev. Sean Robinson and Dr. Shannon Karafanda officiating. Visitation will be held one hour before the service and a reception will be held afterwards. He will be laid to rest with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the USO of Georgia (PO Box 20963, Atlanta, Ga. 30320), Methodist Children’s Home (PO Box 2525, Macon, Ga. 31204), or the Peachtree City United Methodist Church music department.