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01/23/09 - NNHS Newsletter - Elmo Stephenson

Elmo Lister Stephenson
(16 June 1927 - 21 Jan 2009)

President of the Student Body of the Newport News High School Class of June 1948

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,   

   The sad news continues.  Outstanding Newport News High School graduate and President of the Student Body of the Class of June 1948,
    Elmo Stephenson, passed away in Williamsburg on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at the age of 81. 

From the Daily Press - 01/23/09:  

             Elmo L. Stephenson

  WILLIAMSBURG - Elmo Lister Stephenson, 81, of Williamsburg died Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009.

He was born on June 16, 1927, in Newport News, Va., to William Thomas and Gertrude Wheeler Stephenson. The youngest of five children, Mr. Stephenson was a graduate of Newport News High School, where he was an all-state basketball and football player and served as President of the student body.
Mr. Stephenson proudly served in the Armed Forces of the United States, serving in the Navy during World War II and in the Marine Corps during the Korean War.
He attended the University of Richmond on an athletic scholarship and graduated in 1952, with a degree in education. In 1995, he was honored by his alma mater, when he was inducted into the University of Richmond Athletic Hall of Fame.
Upon graduation, Mr. Stephenson taught at Warwick and Newport News High Schools. He served at both schools in numerous coaching capacities including head basketball coach, head baseball coach, and assistant football coach.
Elmo L. Stephenson

Upon graduation, Mr. Stephenson taught at Warwick and Newport News High Schools. He served at both schools in numerous coaching capacities including head basketball coach, head baseball coach, and assistant football coach.

In 1954, he left education and coaching and went to work for the City of Newport News, where he served in various positions within the Juvenile Justice Department. He also served the City as a Justice of the Peace.

Mr. Stephenson later returned to graduate school, obtaining his juris doctorate from the University of Richmond Law School. In 1966, he started a law practice in Newport News with Ted Morrison. He later served the City of Newport News, as a substitute General District Court Judge and Commissioner in Chancery of the Circuit Court. He was a former president and member of the Newport News Bar Association, a member of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, and a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association. At the time of his death, Mr. Stephenson was of counsel to the law firm of Cope & Olson, in Newport News.

Mr. Stephenson served on the Board of Directors of the Peninsula Boys Club, was a past President of the Peninsula Sports Club, and a member of the Warwick Lions Club.

He was preceded in death by his sisters, Elsie Bradburn and Audrey Kegley.

Mr. Stephenson is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Barbara; his children, Sharon McCormick and her husband, Frank of Midlothian, Va., Elmo L. Stephenson Jr. and his wife, Pamela of Riner, Va., Bill Stephenson and his wife, Michelle of Gilbert, Ariz., Patricia Adams and her husband, Clark of Midlothian. He is also survived by nine grandchildren, Ryan, Blake, and Lindsay McCormick, Elmo L. Stephenson III (Chip); Shelby, Ashley, and Megan Stephenson, and Zachary and Lauren Adams; and two great-grandchildren. Other survivors include his brother, William T. Stephenson Jr.; sister, Anne Johnson and her husband, Robert; and several nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009, at Nelsen Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Road, Williamsburg, with the service to follow at 7 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made to the Jonel Foundation, a college scholarship fund for Native American children that was started in honor of and named for Elmo Stephenson, 13700 Thorngate Road, Midlothian, VA 23113, or to the Heritage Humane Society, 430 Waller Mill Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185.

On-line condolences may be registered at View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

Published in the Daily Press from 1/23/2009 - 1/24/2009.
Guest Book

Aunt Barbara and family,
My sincere sympathy is with you as you deal with the loss of your dear husband and father. Uncle Elmo was very dear to me, and indeed, to all in our family, and we join you in sharing our grief for his loss. May God bless you as you mourn, and soon replace the tears of loss with joyful memories of happy times and special remembrances. With love, Jane

Jane Montgomery, Jan. 22, 2009, Lynchburg, VA

Barbara, Elmo and I met in the Marines when he and I played basketball for Quantico. He was instrumental in getting me to go to the University of Richmond, and we remained friends from then on. He was a great friend and Edie and I will miss him. Our prayers are with you and the family.

Walt Lysaght, Jan. 23, 2009, Reston, VA

January 23, 2009

We were so sorry to hear of your loss. The thoughts of many are with you at this time of sorrow.

~ Richard and Cheri Burgner, Charlottesville, Virginia

January 23, 2009

I am sorry for your loss as well. Elmo was a great and admirable person. He will be sorely missed.
~ Gill FitzHugh, Southport, North Carolina

January 23, 2009

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Mr. Stephenson was a very special man, I am fortunate to have known him. The Stephenson family will be in our thoughts and prayers.
~ Jim and Nancy Welsh, Williamsburg, Virginia
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January 23, 2009

I was saddened to learn that Elmo passed away. I knew him quite a few years ago, but I'll always remember his quick mind and his helpful nature. Elmo was a wise and kind-hearted man with a friendly sense of humor.
~ Mathew Paust, Gloucester, Virginia

January 23, 2009

Elmo was a "True Hero" in every sense of the word. He saved me and my unborn child's life by taking on people who wanted to hurt us. He was a man of his word, backed by his faith. My beautiful 27 year old daughter would not be alive today had he not intervened. I will treasure his memory in my heart forever. Every time my daughter accomplishes another good thing, I will give thanks to God and Elmo for giving her that chance. Rest in peace, Elmo. I'll see you in heaven; till then I will do for others what you did for Kristina and me. In Christian Love, Chaplain Marie Torres Boyd
~ Maire Boyd, Newport News, Virginia

January 23, 2009

Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
I thought the world of Elmo! (I am retired from the Bureau of ATF and was stationed in NN.)
~ Bob Gemmill, Deltaville, Virginia

January 23, 2009

My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.

~ George Murphy, Midlothian, Virginia

January 23, 2009

Dear Barbara: So sorry to hear of your loss. Tom and I enjoyed Elmo so much. Know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Pat Avis, Newport News, Virginia

Dear Mrs. Stephenson and family,
My very deepest sympathy for the great loss of your beloved.
I met Mr. Stephenson approximately three years ago when I entered his office with a general legal question. Since then I have spoken with him about many things and he was always an encouragement and blessing to me. He was one of the rare individuals that you feel you've known all your life. A person of true great character who I'm sure has left a positive influence on more people than he could imagine. What a wonderful legacy he has left to his children, and grandchildren.
GOD bless and comfort you and your family during this very difficult time. You all are in my prayers.
With heartfelt condolences,
Joann Brand

Joann Brand, Jan. 24, 2009, Poquoson, VA

Dear Mrs. Stephenson & family:

I was deeply saddened to learn of Elmo's death. I had the great pleasure of working one summer for Elmo and Ted before graduating from law school. That experience was incredibly rewarding. I learned more that summer about the practice of law than in 3 years of law school. During the 10 years that I practiced Elmo was always incredibly gracious and helpful. I will always remember him fondly as a mentor, colleague and friend. May God bring all of you peace and comfort during this difficult time.

Coleman Walsh

Coleman Walsh, Jan. 24, 2009, Newport News, VA

The Stephenson Family wants you to know that the Sunday Visitation and Service for Elmo has been postponed until a future date due to an illness in the family.

Scott and Mary Lou, Windsor Meade neighbors

Scott & Mary Lou Wagner, Jan. 24, 2009, Williamsburg, VA

January 24, 2009

Although I never had the pleasure of meeting your dad, you know I knew him. You and I talked about our fathers often. As I read more about him I realize how much like him you are. What a great man he was and what a very special friend you are. You Pam and your entire family are in our thoughts and prayers.

~ Marc and Darlene Jordan, Bluff City, Tennessee

January 24, 2009

Barbara, I was very saddened to read of the passing of Elmo. He was always a gentleman, and will be missed by many on the Peninsula. My heartfelt sympathy is extended to you and your family.

~ Rick Thomasson, Newport News, Virginia
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We are so sorry to hear of your loss of Elmo. As former neighbors, and with a couple legal issues that he helped us with, we have found Elmo to be one of the most compassionate and understanding people as well as an encourager. You and your family have lost your earthly family member and will surely miss him. It'll take a while to recoup from this but hopefully then you can ponder on the good times with him. We lost our older son in Nov. and it can be quite a blow.
Keep the faith.
Our sincere sympathy.

Bob and Judy Weikle, Jan. 25, 2009, Newport News, VA

The family of Elmo Stephenson regrets to inform you that the visitation and memorial service scheduled for Sunday, January 25th has been postponed due to an unforeseen circumstance. We deeply appreciate your support and understanding during this difficult time. At such time as we are able to reschedule, we will rerun Elmo's obituary with updated information on the service to be held in his honor. Many thanks.

Bill Stephenson, Jan. 25, 2009, Gilbert, AZ

I feel privileged to have known Elmo during my time on this earth. Elmo was a remarkable, well rounded, successful person in the many career fields he undertook. What I most remember about Elmo was his friendly, easy going and caring personality. He truly had a knack of putting people at ease. He was able to ascertain other people's interests and direct them to something they would enjoy. An example of this was the first time I met him, he recommended that I see the Maritime Museum in Newport News. As someone who has sailed the Atlantic in a clipper ship this was truly a wonderful experience. Another time, I was a guest of Elmo and Barbara in their lovely home. The next day as we walked all over Williamsburg, Elmo was my wonderful informative guide and you could see that he loved history and people. In summary, Elmo was an interesting, caring person who truly loved life. I will sincerely miss seeing him when my travels take to Virginia later this year.

Marshall Adams, Jan. 25, 2009, San Jose, CA

Sue and I express our deepest sympathy on your loss. We were fortunate to be able to call Elmo a friend.

Charles Friedman, Jan. 25, 2009, Williamsburg, VA

January 25, 2009

I am deeply distressed and saddened to learn of Mr. Stephenson's passing. I worked for Mr. Stephenson from 1973 to 1984. He was a wonderful boss and was like a second father to me. I am fortunate to have known him and his family. The world will be a less brighter place without him and he will be sorely missed. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to Mrs. Stephenson, Bill and the rest of the family.
~ Kathy Saunders ("KB"), Hampton, Virginia

January 26, 2009

My deepest condolences to the entire family. Elmo was a true gentleman by all accounts and a wonderful person. He served Hidenwood Associates as counsel and advisor for many years. He shared with us his vast wisdom and professionalism, always with a gracious and caring manner. All will miss him.
~ Grayson FitzHugh, Loveland, Ohio

January 26, 2009

So sorry to hear about the passing of your father. It sounds like he was a truly wonderful person. During this difficult time, you and your family will remain in our prayers.
With Sympathy.
~ Tre and Mary Carter Stallings, Morehead City, North Carolina

My sincere condolences to the family of Elmo. I was fortunate to know Elmo as "COACH" when he was coach at Newport News High School.
May God bless you family members as a great loss has come upon you.

Bill Glover, Jan. 27, 2009, Chesterfield, VA

January 27, 2009

~ Carolyn Eure Brice, Greenville, North Carolina

January 28, 2009

Elmo was one great lawyer. I have watched him in court countless times. He was such a great off-the-cuff advocate. He served his clients well. And he had some great stories too. An Icon of Newport News. Always a friend. He always had time to give and the ability to focus on you. He shall be missed and not replaced.
~ Douglas L. Hornsby, Esq., Newport News, Virginia

January 28, 2009

My family is so sorry to hear about Elmo. He was a good "lifetime" friend to my dad, Paul Burroughs. He has also helped my family in other situations and was always kind to us! We will pray for you as you walk this valley.

Paula Burroughs Newbill
~ Paula Newbill, Hampton, Virginia
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   Our sincerest sympathies are extended to Mr. Stephenson's family and their many friends. 

   From Fred Field (June '45) of CA - 01/29/08, 11:36 AM - "Stephenson Obit.":

Welcome back on the air!

Elmo Stephenson left
NNHS before graduation to serve in WW-II.  He came back to NNHS after the war to complete his studies while starring in football and basketball.  He graduated in the June Class of 1948.  His listing is on page 118 of the 1948 Anchor.....

Nostalgic best wishes,

Fred W. Field
Fullerton, CA

   Thank you so much, Fred, for providing that very important missing information.

    Y'all take good care of each other!  TYPHOONS FOREVER!  We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                          Love to all, Carol





Carol Buckley Harty
219 Four Ply Lane
Fayetteville, NC 29311-9305

Lead On, O King Eternal

Words by Ernest W. Shurtleff, 1888 (4 Apr 1862 - 24 Aug 1917)
Music (Lancashire) by
Henry T. Smart, 1836 (26 Oct 1813 -6 July 1879)

Shurtleff wrote this hymn wrote this hymn for the graduation ceremony at Andover Theological Seminary, where he was a member of the class of 1888.

 Lead on, O King eternal,
The day of march has come;
Henceforth in fields of conquest
Thy tents shall be our home:
Through days of preparation
Thy grace has made us strong,
And now, O King eternal,
We lift our battle song.

Lead on, O King eternal,
Till sin's fierce war shall cease,
And Holiness shall whisper
The sweet amen of peace;
For not with swords loud clashing,
Nor roll of stirring drums,
But deeds of love and mercy,
The heav'nly kingdom comes.

Lead on, O King eternal,
We follow, not with fears;
For gladness breaks like morning
Where'er thy face appears;
Thy cross is lifted o'er us;
We journey in its light:
The crown awaits the conquest;
Lead on, O God of might.

"Lead On, O King Eternal" midi and lyrics courtesy of - 12/07/07

Greg Olsen Paintings courtesy of 01/27/05

Animated Navy and Marine Corps Flags clip art courtesy of - 06/18/03

Blackwork Flowers Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 08/12/04

Lions International Logo courtesy of - 02/06/08

Navy Seal clip art courtesy of - 05/29/06

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