Memorial services for Mary Elizabeth Stephens, 83, Lawrence, will be 3:00 p.m. Saturday, June 11, 2011 at Trinity Episcopal Church, with the Reverend 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 August 20, 1927 in Memphis, Tennessee, the daughter of Walter E. and Minnie Mae Peyton Durett. She graduated from Central High School in Memphis, Tennessee. She studied at the Juilliard Institute of Music in New York, under Virgil Fox. She received a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of North Texas, where she studied under Silvio Scionti. She also earned a masters degree in music at the University of Kansas. 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, and was an instructor of piano and organ at the Victoria College, she also had a private studio for piano and organ in Victoria, TX. 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, charter member of the Phi Tau chapter of the Mu Phi Epsilon a professional music fraternity, member of Pi Kappa Lambda a honorary music fraternity, member of Association of Anglican Musicians, Lawrence Music Club, and the Peyton Society.
She 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 November 19, 1946, they celebrated 62 years together. He died in 2008.
Survivors include sons, William James Stephens, III and wife Marilyn, Honey Grove, TX, Guy W. Stephens and wife Janet of Aurora, IL; daughters, Cecily Stephens, Pittsburg, KS, Shirley Stephens-Mock and husband Stuart, Golden, CO, Amy Monroy, Kansas City, KS; sister Mae Hoag, Orinda, CA; grandchildren, Matthew, Hannah, and Scott Stephens, Elsa Monroy; great-grandchildren, Saxon and Jagar Stephens.
The family suggests memorials to the William and Elizabeth Stephens Music Fund at Trinity Episcopal Church, sent in care of the funeral home.