Joseph Robert Stephens, Sr., 81, of Painter St. in Pearisburg departed this life Thursday evening February 16, 2006 at Giles Memorial Hospital in Pearisburg, secured in the loving care of his family. Born on March 12, 1924 in Giles County he was a son of the late Charlie Edward and Edna Margaret Johnston Stephens. He was retired from the instrument shop at the Celanese Celco Plant with forty-three years service, was a graduate of Eggleston High School Class of 1942, a member of Green Valley United Methodist Church, a member of Eggleston Masonic Lodge No. 309 AF&AM since September 6, 1946, became an Amateur Radio Operator in 1950 known to his HAM friends as K4QLR, and to his beloved grandchildren as “Papa Joe”. He was preceded in death by two brothers Garnett M. Stephens, Lawrence R. Stephens and two sisters Christine Stephens McGinnis and Mae Stephens Baker.
He leaves to cherish his memory his beloved wife of fifty-eight years Elsie Barnett Stephens; two sons and daughters-in-law Joseph R. Jr. and Carolyn Stephens of Charlotte, NC and Randy E. and Carol Stephens of Pearisburg; a brother and sister-in-law Herman B. and Alta Stephens of Eggleston; five grandchildren Ursula and Sean Lee of Rocky Mount, Erich J. Stephens of Roanoke, Heather D. and J R Lawrence of McCoy, Traci S. Ervin of Pearisburg, Cpl.Jason D. Ervin (U S Marine Corps)of Pearisburg; seven great-grandchildren Dalton, Alex, RJ, Keila, Logan, Tray, and Shannon; a special niece Vickie Collins; brother-in-law Frank McGinnis of PA ; and a sister-in-law Margie Stephens of Bristol, VA.
Funeral services will be conducted Sunday at 2:00 PM in the Kendall Funeral Home at 605 Snidow St. in Pembroke with burial following in Birchlawn Burial Park in Pearisburg. The family will receive friends at the funeral home Saturday evening from 6 to 8 PM. The family would like to extend special thanks to Dr. Kenneth Walker, the nurses and staff at Giles Memorial Hospital and the staff at Montgomery Regional Hospital for the care given to Joe during his illness.