July 4, 1946January 23, 2019

Sylvia Marie Stephens, 72, of Jefferson City, peacefully passed away on January 23, 2019. She entered the world with a bang on July 4, 1946, setting a precedent for how she would live for the rest of her life. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio to John M. and Frances (Brink) Griga, she attended St. Charles Borromeo Elementary School in Carthage, Ohio and graduated from Our Lady of Angels High School in 1964. After high school, she worked for the Mechanical Supplies Company in Gulf Manor, Ohio until 1971, when she moved to Jefferson City to become the Office Manager at the Heart of Missouri Girl Scouts Council. In Missouri, she was able to pursue her dream of owning a horse. Sylvia was a natural and talented equestrian and horsewoman. Through her love of horses, she met her true love - Wilkinson A. (Steve) Stephens. They were married on November 28, 1975, moving to Tebbetts where she and Steve lived happily with their horses, dogs, and cats for nearly 23 years. Sylvia began working in 1978 for the Construction Industry Laborers Welfare, Pension & Vacation Funds. She worked there for 30 years, making many close friends who became her Missouri Family.

Sylvia’s sense of humor made each of us smile and her innate ability to make light and fun of any situation was Sylvia’s gift to all of us. She was a special friend to many, a crazy and fun Aunt, loving wife, sister and daughter. Her strong but infectiously positive spirit will be sorely missed by all. Sylvia is survived by her Missouri Family of close friends, brother John “Mike” (Ann) Griga, sisters JoAnn (Dennis) White and Margaret Tierney, all of Cincinnati. She was very close to her nieces, Laura (Michael) Julian of Columbus, Ohio and Beth (Bruno) Lanman of Covington, Kentucky. Sylvia is survived by many nieces and nephews and many great nieces and nephews who enjoyed many fun times with her, especially endless games of Blitz.

Sylvia was also preceded in death by her loving husband, Steve Stephens; her parents; sister and brother-in-law, Maureen and Edward Kistner and brother, Steven Griga.

Friends are invited to celebrate her life from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saturday, February 16, 2019 at Debo Funeral Home in Holts Summit. She will join her husband Steve in the Mausoleum at Riverview Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be directed to the Jefferson City Animal Shelter, Rape and Abuse Crisis Service (RACS), Samaritan Center or the Central Missouri Food Bank all in care of Debo Funeral Home, 833 Court Street, Fulton, Missouri 65251.

online condolences may be made at


  • John Michael Griga, Father
  • Frances C. Brink Griga, Mother
  • Wilkinson A. (Steve) Stephens, Husband
  • John "Mike" (Ann) Griga, Brother
  • JoAnn (Dennis) White, Sister
  • Margaret Tierney, Sister
  • Laura (Michael) Julian, Niece
  • Beth (Bruno) Lanman, Niece
  • Sylvia is also survived by many nieces and nephews and many great nieces and nephews who enjoyed many fun times with her, especially endless games of Blitz.

    Sylvia was preceded in death by her parents, her loving husband, Steve Stephens; her sister and brother-in-law, Maureen and Edward Kistner and brother, Steven Griga.


  • Family will receive guests Saturday, February 16, 2019


have a memory or condolence to add?

Bobbi Williams

February 10, 2019

For the past 38 years it has been a pleasure to call Sylvia my best friend. From the moment I met her I was totally in awe of how authentic she was - so full of energy, not afraid to express her strong convictions, and always the life of the party; such an infectious positive spirit with an open heart. Our mutual love of horses brought us together with she and Steve providing English riding lessons to a thirsty hearted introvert. For some reason Sylvia took me under her wing and through the hours of hard work followed by laughter and spirited conversation, a bond developed. She was the rock upon which I clung during difficult years in my life. Always available for a hug, word of encouragement and brutal honesty (whether I wanted to hear it or not) when I needed it most. Sylvia will be missed by everyone who knew her. She is in my heart forever.

Pam Otto

January 27, 2019

Sylvia was a gem. I came to know Sylvia through her volunteer work at the Rape and Abuse Crisis Service, where I was the Volunteer Coordinator. Sylvia came in every week with a smile and a willingness to work. She developed friendships with all of the staff and volunteers with whom she worked, and loved to talk about her sweet pup and her extended family. Her eyes were always most alive when she talked about her pup and her family.
I believe that Sylvia loved very deeply. If she cared about you, you knew it. She was the most loyal and loving of friends, and she gave some great hugs. You probably know exactly what I'm talking about!
Our world is a little darker without Sylvia in it, but the night sky is a little brighter, having gained a new star. My prayers and condolences to Sylvia's family - both biological and chosen. Sylvia will be missed.