Olive Stephens

Dec. 27, 1919 -- Oct. 5, 2009

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Olive Stephens

MILTON-FREEWATER -- Olive I. Stephens, 89, of 514 N.W. Fourth Ave., died Oct. 5, 2009, at her home.

The graveside service will be 9 a.m. Saturday, at the Weston Cemetery with the memorial service at 2 p.m. at the Ingle Chapel Congregational Church in Milton-Freewater with the Rev. Kurt VanBatavia officiating. A reception will follow in the fellowship hall of the church.

Memorial contributions may be made to Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4567 through the Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home, 902 S. Main, Milton-Freewater, OR 97862.

Mrs. Stephens was born Dec. 27, 1919, in Munden, Kan. to John B. and Alice L. Coulter West. She went to a country school southeast of Haddam, Kan. Family members made their own fun on the farm playing outside in activities such as softball. In 1929 her father died. The family worked hard to earn a living. At age 17, Mrs. Stephens left home and worked as a housekeeper to support herself. She married Homer VanCuren in 1939. The couple later divorced. In 1943, she moved to Denver, where she worked as a waitress during World War II. Mrs. Stephens moved to Milton-Freewater in December 1945. She worked for Brown's Packinghouse, Milton Hotel, Piper's Café and for Mattie Mader at the Pastime Tavern.

In 1946 she met Ernie Stephens and the couple married on Feb. 14, 1948 in Walla Walla. The couple lived all over Oregon as he worked in highway construction. After their retirement, the couple lived for a brief time in Kansas before returning to Milton-Freewater. Mr. Stephens preceded her in death on March 26, 1989.

Mrs. Stephens enjoyed reading, fishing, camping, needlework, watching Lawrence Welk, soap operas, traveling, NASCAR races and talking to her sisters every week. She also worked as an assistant cook for three years at the Milton-Freewater and Weston Senior Centers. She ran the bingo game at the M-F Senior Center and for the Golden Agers.

She was a member of the Ingle Chapel Congregational Church, Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary Post No. 4567, American Legion Auxiliary Post No. 24, Golden Agers, Stateline Grange, Eagles Lodge, Royal Neighbors of American, M-F Senior Center, and the Blue Mountain Senior Club. She is survived by a daughter, Alice Thomsen of Milton-Freewater; a step-daughter, Pauline Edinger of Lebanon, Ore.; a step-son, Wesley Stephens of Surprise, Ariz.; two sisters, Ruby Harding of Lolo, Mont. and Clara Goodrich of Belleville, Kan.; and numerous step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by two step-sons, Lee and Wayne Stephens.

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