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Obituary - John W. (Jack) Stephenson

John W. (Jack) Stephenson

Date of Passing: November 22nd, 2010

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John W. (Jack) Stephenson, 89, of Deansboro, passed away after a long and courageous battle with cancer on Monday, November 22, 2010, at his home. At the time of his passing, his loving family was by his side. He was born November 2, 1921, in Frankfort Center, the son of the late Raymond and Mary Huertson Stephenson and was educated in Frankfort Center and Utica schools. He was a US Marine Corp veteran of WW II. On July 16, 1955, in St. Johnsville, he married Betty L. VanDeusen a loving and devoted union of 54 years. For 37 years, Mr. Stephenson was employed with the NYSDOT, Division of Canals, retiring in 1986. In 1989, the Stephenson's moved to Deansboro, after raising their family in Utica. Mrs. Stephenson passed away December 20, 2009. He was a member of the Clifford J. Fulmer American Legion Post #92. The phrase "they don't make them like they used to", sums up Jack's life. Jack was of the "Old Breed". Jack fought for his country as a Marine during WW II in the Pacific Theatre as part of the legendary First Marine Division at Guadalcanal. He received the Purple Heart and Presidential Citation. Jack was principled, honest, strong-willed, humble and selfless. Jack would give the shirt off his back and always placed other's needs before his own. Friends, family and loved ones universally liked, respected, admired, loved and even idolized Jack. He was truly a role model. Jack was an avid reader producing a brilliant mind that endlessly amazed family by educating them on virtually every topic. Jack was a naturalist, who was in his element when seen with his walking stick taking family on walks around his beloved Deansboro property, "The Ranch", identifying vegetables in his thriving garden, and planting trees. Jack loved baking, and his apple pies were world famous. Jack was an avid outdoorsman whose life revolved around his family. Family could always be found at Jack and Betty's home. Jack's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will miss him immensely. He is survived by three daughters and sons-in-law, Jacqueline (Jackie) and David Zangrilli of Whitesboro, Deborah and Robert Prody of Clinton, and Mary and John Fallon, Jr. of Waterville; two sons and a daughter-in-law, John Stephenson, Jr., and Walter and Jane Stephenson, all of Deansboro; two sisters, Mary Powers of Cold Brook and Edna Hopkins of MA; nine grandchildren, David, Jr. and Dianna Zangrilli of VA, Kelly and Anthony Vitullo of New Hartford, Kayla Prody and Robert Prody, Jr., both of Clinton, Jenna Fallon and Rylee Fallon, both of Waterville, Alec Savage and Liska Savage, both of Deansboro, and Lucinda Savage of CA; three great-grandchildren, Talia and Olivia Vitullo, and John (Jack) Zangrilli; his in-laws, Walter Hughes of Waterville and Nopel Stephenson of CA; many nieces and nephews; and special family friends, Donald (D.O.) Olivadoti and Al Dellers. He was predeceased by two sisters, Barbara Hughes and Minnie Inman; two brothers, Walter and Thomas Stephenson; a granddaughter, Jamie Prody; a niece, Linda English; a nephew, Doug Hughes; and his in-laws, Ann Stephenson, Dorothy Stephenson, Charles Inman, Eldon Hopkins and Paul Powers. Relatives and friends are invited to attend his graveside service, with military honors, on Friday at 10 am at Forest Hill Cemetery, Utica, with Rev. John Croghan officiating. In keeping with Jack's wishes, there will be no public calling hours. The family wishes to extend a special thank you to Jack's caregivers at Hospice & Palliative Care, Inc., the Barton Hose Co., and the Oriskany Falls Volunteer Ambulance Corps, for their many acts of kindness. Arrangements are with the Kloster-Northrop & Bentz Funeral Home, Waterville.

Condolences:

Your all in my heart and prayers.I can remember all the good times we had at their house... God Bless
Cindy Leone

Jackie & Family, I was so so sorry to hear about your Dad's passing, as your heart is still mourning the loss of your Mom. The memories will always be in your heart and as they become part of your everyday life they will make you smile. They were both always very giving to me, and right now I am smiling! You have my deepest sympathy. Saundra
Saundra Macri

To the entire Stephenson family So sorry to hear of the loss of your father.We as a family know the hurt you feel for loosing two family members so close to one another, but time will heal all, the hurt you feel will eventually be replaced by good thoughts may your father rest in peace and be gratefull that he is not suffering any more, and that he is now with the love of his life. Be strong love to all
Gary O

I am so sorry for your loss with the passing of your father. Condolences to all. All of the family is with you and in our hearts and prayers.
Jenny Schumacher

To the family of Jack as we all knew him, your father, grandfather, and greatgrandfather was a kind and loving man and he would do for anyone. Your father will be missed greatly by many as your mother has been for the past year. I think about you guys all the time and send my deepest condolences to you all if you need anything please contact me and my mom we are here for you guys
Melanie VanSteenburgh

I am very sorry to hear and read about the passing of your father. As my brother Bob said you guys were always like family to the all of us. This is a very difficult time for all of you as the holidays come upon us. You all can take comfort to know that your dad's suffering is over and that he is reunited with his beloved Betty. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. May your dad rest in peace. Louie
Louis Ollerenshaw

To Stephenson family, It is with our deepest condolences on the passing of your dad that my mother and I expressed our respect for your father. My mother and father and your mother and father were close friends for many many years. Especially my mom with her mother Betty. My sister would take me to your home and we always felt welcome in your house. Your parents were very loving and caring people. Your parents raised loving and caring children. We all went to the same school, St. Mary of Mt. Carmel. My mom would wait with your mother for us to get out of school and they would gossip in the parking lot. Your father was very generous and kind to all us kids. Now we are adults and mortality unfortunately has a way of finding us have very difficult times. May the Holy Spirit strengthening your whole family and bring you closer with the passing of your dad. As for me, I always got along with all of you. I have not seen any of you in a long time, but when we do it is like we picked up our conversations from yesterday. With our deepest condolences may God watch over all of you and give you strength.
Jeanette & Joe Sardina

It is so hard to even find the right words to describe the deep loss that all of you have had to endure in less than a year's time. I know first hand from Betty how proud they were of ALL of you and your love and devotion for your two special parents was very evident, not only in the recent past, but always. Jack was so many things to all of you, but the thing that always struck me the most was his humility...with a little dry humor thrown in!! You are in our hearts and prayers this Thanksgiving and always. Love, Terry
Terry Reale

Our deepest condolences to all of you at this time. Jack lived such a wonderful life & obviously had a tremoundous impact on all that knew him. It's never easy to loose a loved one, but hopefully knowing that Jack & Betty are now together again will help your family through this. Thoughts & prayers are with you!
Rhonda Zangrilli-Russell

So sorry for your lost.
Patty Fraccola Williams

To my second family, my thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Jackson was a true inspiration to all of us and I will never forget the things I learned from him. He is now reunited with Betty and they are looking down on all with a smile on their faces. Just a simple walk in the woods will bring back all the great memories that Jack has placed in our minds and hearts. I wonder how long it will take him to bag the biggest rack in heaven.
Bobby Ollerenshaw

You all must be so proud to have had such a wonderful "dad", "grandfather" with you for so long. He truly loved the simple things in life, and always greeted everyone with a smile. He was humble, yet so strong. He cherished every one of his children. Our prayers and thoughts are with you all.
Janet Grizzuto