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Georgene “Jo” D. Stephens, 76, of Siloam Springs, AR passed away peacefully in her sleep, the way she always said she wanted to go, on September 29, 2019 at her home.
Jo was born on May 7, 1943 in Plainview, Texas, the daughter of George A. Dotson and Ethel Fern Holder Dotson. She went through her schooling there and was most proud of being a part of the Plainview High School Bulldogs Band who are still sweepstakes winners. She met her best friend and life companion, Wes Stephens, while home on summer break from college in the summer of 1961. After just a few weeks of dating, Wes and Jo eloped to the next county over because Jo was 18 and old enough to get married, but Wes was only 20 and had to have a parental signature. They finally had a formal wedding on December 28th, 1961 so that all the family could celebrate with them. Jo always said they would stay together because they had a double knot in marriage. They knew from that moment that they would be together for life. Jo attended the University of Texas San Antonio with two majors, Computer Science and Business Data Management. She worked in the cosmetic industry in sales and management for many years before retiring from the Almay Cosmetics Company. Through the years, Jo and Wes owned and operated several other business adventures, always working together, including managing Wes’s Massage Therapy Studios after she retired from corporate America.
Jo was an artist, painting in acrylics and oils, doing bead weaving work, and was a member of the Sager Creek Quilting Guild. Quilting was a love she picked up from her mother in law, Pearl Stephens, and there are a few quilts where they both worked together to complete. If you were “quilt worthy” and received a quilt she made, you were, indeed, someone she loved and cherished! She was an avid reader, a genealogist, tracing her family back many generations and an accomplished musician playing the piano and several other stringed instruments. Jo never had idle moments. She would be seen bead weaving, reading a book, and listening to a tv program and carrying on a conversation with someone on the phone or in the room most of the time. She was known as the artist in the family.
Jo loved to grow roses and herbs in her garden. As time went on, the big garden in the back had to be downsized to her front porch where she grew herbs and tomatoes, and her roses of course. She also loved her lilies in the front yard and other blooming plants all over the front yard. She used her herbs in her meal preparation and shared them with anyone who came by. She also loved riding motorcycles with Wes any chance they had. Her favorite bike turned out to be the CanAm because the back seat had a cup holder!
Jo valued family above all else and would drop everything to be with a relative in need. She cared deeply for all family members and felt when someone passed. While she was empathetic, she could also be the strongest person around and be the person everyone leaned on in hard times. She would give you the shirt off her back if she felt you needed it. Her love language was to give gifts and her lifetime was spent as a gift to everyone who knew her.
She is survived by her husband Wes Stephens of the home; one daughter, Nora Stephens of Lubbock, Texas; two grandchildren, Nora Elizabeth Lee Jaco and George Alexander “Alex” Paine; along with other family and many friends.
She was preceded in death by one daughter, Jerry Ann Stephens.
A Memorial service will be held at Backstrom-Pyeatte Chapel on Saturday, November 30, 2019 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. To sign online guestbook please go to www.backstrom-pyeatte.com.
Backstrom Pyeatte Funeral Home - Siloam Springs
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