Mary Elizabeth Stephens 1927 - 2011 Lawrence
Memorial services for Mary Elizabeth Stephens, 83, Lawrence, will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at Trinity Episcopal Church, with the Rev. Robert Baldwin presiding. Inurnment will be in the Trinity Episcopal Church Columbarium.
Mrs. Stephens died Thursday, May 19, 2011, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
She was born Aug. 20, 1927, in Memphis, Tenn., the daughter of Walter E. and Minnie Mae Peyton Durett. She graduated from Central High School in Memphis.
Mrs. Stephens studied at the Juilliard Institute of Music in New York, under Virgil Fox. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of North Texas, where she studied under Silvio Scionti. Mrs. Stephens also earned a master’s degree in music from Kansas University. She moved with her family to Lawrence in 1968 from Victoria, Texas.
Mrs. Stephens worked as a pianist and choir director at the First Christian Church, then as the choir director at the First English Lutheran Church, and then as the organist and choirmaster at Trinity Episcopal Church. She was an instructor of piano and organ at the Victoria College, and she also had a private studio for piano and organ in Victoria. She was the choir director at the Vernon, Texas, Music Club; earned her service-playing certificate and was a member of the American Guild of Organists; and was a charter member of the Phi Tau chapter of the Mu Phi Epsilon, a professional music fraternity, a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, a honorary music fraternity, and member of Association of Anglican Musicians, Lawrence Music Club, and the Peyton Society.
Mrs. Stephens planned to retire at the end of this year as organist of Trinity Episcopal Church after 40 years of service.
She married William James Stephens on Nov. 19, 1946. They celebrated 62 years together. He died in 2008.
Survivors include two sons, William James Stephens III and wife Marilyn, Honey Grove, Texas, and Guy W. Stephens and wife Janet, Aurora, Ill.; three daughters, Cecily Stephens, Pittsburg, Shirley Stephens-Mock and husband Stuart, Golden, Colo., and Amy Monroy, Kansas City, Kan.; a sister, Mae Hoag, Orinda, Calif.; four grandchildren, Matthew, Hannah and Scott Stephens, and Elsa Monroy; and two great-grandchildren, Saxon and Jagar Stephens.
The family suggests memorials to William and Elizabeth Stephens Music Fund at Trinity Episcopal Church, sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Ind., Lawrence, KS 66044.
Online condolences may be sent at rumsey-yost.com.