Mrs. Isabel Britt Stephens

October 13, 1925January 8, 2018
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Mrs. Isabel Britt Stephens, 92, passed away on January 8, 2018 at Sunrise of Cary. Born on October 13, 1925 in Candor, NC; she was the daughter of the late Burney and Elizabeth Pearl Britt and wife of the late Tommie Norris Stephens.

She graduated from Cary High School in 1942 and went on to graduate from Meredith College. She enjoyed 42 years as a High School Chemistry teacher, beginning in Johnston County within the community of Cleveland, going onto Franklinton High School and then retiring after 20 years at Cary High School. Quoted in 1988, Mrs. Stephens said “The ones I’ve taught, I feel that they are my children. To watch young people grow and mature and develop is one of the most rewarding experiences anyone can have.”

She was an active member of the First United Methodist Church of Cary, beginning her membership at the age of 12 years old. She also participated in the Pilot Club, the Cary Garden Club and United Methodist Women.

Mrs. Stephens is lovingly remembered by her nieces and nephews and their families: Tiffany Britt Halford (Greg) and their children Anna and Catherine, of Myrtle Beach, SC, Dorothy Mabrey (the late Richard) and children Rick and Melanie, of Raleigh, Nancy Brinkley (Gary) and their children Julia, Andrea, Brian and Michael, of Palestine, IL, and Thomas Barnes (Denise) and son Tommy, of Raleigh; and by many dear friends, including Susan Ross Cain (Sam) and Betty Ross (Bill), both of Cary.

She was also preceded in death by her brother and sister-in-law, Burney Alexander Britt, Jr. and wife Margaret Britt; by sisters-in-law: Mattie Stephens Barnes (the late Ed) and Lydia Underwood Stephens (the late Paul); and brother-in-law: Johnnie Stephens (the late Mavis).

Visitation will be held on Sunday, January 21, 2018 from 12:30 – 2:00 pm at Brown Wynne Funeral Home (200 SE Maynard Road in Cary). Funeral Services will begin at 2:00 pm in the funeral home chapel, officiated by Dr. William Green and Rev. Bruce Johnson. Interment will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery in Cary.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Cary (memo line - Memorial Gift - Isabel Stephens) - 117 S. Academy Street - Cary, NC 27511 or Reedy Creek Baptist Church - 1524 N. Harrison Avenue - Cary, North Carolina 27513.


  • Visitation/Reception Sunday, January 21, 2018
  • Funeral Service Sunday, January 21, 2018

Mrs. Isabel Britt Stephens

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Thomas Barnes

January 20, 2018

When I need Aunt Bell, she was always there.

Peggy Benton-Lineberger

January 19, 2018

Mrs Stephens influenced so many of us in such a positive, heartfelt way. She was my chemistry teacher during my 11th grade year at Cary High School. I am currently in my 39th year of teaching and I aspire to be like her! God bless her and hold her in his loving arms.

Michael Brinkley

January 17, 2018

Isabel and Tommie were like another set of grandparents to us. She said of almost everyone in Cary, "They're all my babies." She cared for everyone she knew as if it was their own child, and it's evident to me that all of Cary loved her like their own grandmother.

When my parents needed someone to watch us, Isabel and Tommie were there. While Tommie was in pain for almost his entire adult life, Isabel was there. I learned to do latch hook as a child because of the inspiration Isabel and Tommie were to us. Isabel was the first to a lot of things, but she never considered that a reason to do what she did. She did what she loved. She loved teaching more than almost anything in the world, and she loved her students more. But more than all of that, she loved Tommie. She knew that when Tommie needed her, the decision was easy - she would retire from the job and the students she loved so much to be with the man that she loves even more.

My family moved away from Cary when I was 7, and when we came back to visit, she would frequently ask me, "Do you remember Cary?"

Yes I do, Isabel. I remember Cary, I remember Tommie, and I remember you. I will always remember you, and my new daughter will know who you are, too - that is why we named her after you. Now Tommie misses you and wants to be with you again. We know you love us, but it's time once again to go be with the man that you love more.

We love you, Aunt Isabel.

Marcia Kennedy Lancaster

January 16, 2018

Ms. Stephens was not just a teacher but a friend. My junior year I had the responsibility of caring for my two year old sister. So on days she couldn't go to the babysitter's I either had to stay home with her or as Ms. Stephens put it bring her with you. She fixed a playpen in a back room and I brought my sister to school with me. While I was in other classes she kept her occupied and made sure she was safe. Years later after I graduated from college I ran into her in town with my own baby and she did nothing but make all over her and loving every little kiss she got. I will always remember her kind and loving heart and how she took me under her gracious wing and helped mold me into the person I am today. When I lost both of my parents in the 80's she was there. I could go on and on. God has a beautiful angel helping him take care of all the little ones who have gone before her. Love you Ms. Stephens you were the best!!!!

Vada Hayes

January 13, 2018

Isabel was a member of our Wesleyan Circle, WMU, at FUMCC. She was a sweet, kind, lovely lady and we miss her greatly. She was a blessing to everyone. God Bless her family and friends.

Becky Swanson

January 12, 2018

Isabel was our next door neighbor when our children were small, and then she taught chemistry to some of them later on. Every times I saw her she wanted to know where they were and what they were doing. Even a month ago when my husband and I visited her she was interested in our 4 children. She was a very, very sweet lady

Patricia Benton Bennett

January 12, 2018

Mrs. Stephens will live in my memory forever. As my senior chemistry teacher, she showed me so much love and patience! Her students were important to her and it showed. She and some others were why I wanted to teach.

Freida Simmons Vaughan

January 12, 2018

Mrs. Stephens was one of my teachers at Franklinton High School. She always seem to care so much for her students. God bless her and her family.

Cheryl Hall

January 12, 2018

Mrs. Stephens was a classmate of my (deceased) mother, both at Cary High School and Meredith College. My mother always spoke so highly of "Izzie" and when I met her, I could see why she would be a favorite teacher. Sympathy and condolences to her family and friends.

Ron Stoppenhagen

January 11, 2018

I had Ms. Stephens for Chemistry my junior year at CHS in 1974-75. Such a sweet lady and great teacher. I remember her fondly.