James R. “Shorts” Stephens 78, died Sunday, March 22, 2015 at his son’s home in Newton, Kansas. He was born November 28, 1936 in McCurtain, Oklahoma to Lewis A. “Hude” and Eunice M. (Searcy) Stephens. He married Char M. Sharp on November 29, 1957 at Newton, Kansas. They were later divorced and remained lifelong friends. He was a graduate of McCurtain High School and served his country from 1959 to 1965 in the United States Army Reserves. He was retired from the Santa Fe Railroad offices after nearly 33 years of service. He enjoyed fishing and bowling and played on the longest running Newton league team “Millers Cleaners”. He was a member of the VFW and American Legion and also belonged to the former ELKS club all in Newton. James was known for his kind generosity and would “give the shirt off his back” to those in need.
He is survived by his son Gary and his wife Julie Stephens of Newton, Kansas. He is also survived by 2 grandchildren Megan Stephens of Winfield and Kyle Stephens of Newton and one great grandchild Ethan
James is preceded in death by his parents and two brothers Charles and Robert Stephens.
A gathering time with family will be from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday evening with the family receiving friends from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Petersen Funeral Home. A private family inurnment will be at a later date in the family cemetery in McCurtain, Oklahoma.
Memorials are suggested to Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice in care of Petersen Funeral Home.