December 11, 1933 – September 5, 2020
Charles Kenneth "Chuck" Stephenson passed away on September 5, 2020 as the result of a fall he incurred while in his Nursing Home in Kerrville, Texas. He was 86. Chuck was a devoted father and grandfather to his family and to his friends, he was a great guy, public spirited and service oriented.
Chuck was born in Lufkin, Texas on December 11, 1933 to Lawson McKenney Stephenson and Billie Mae Birdsong. He spent his childhood growing up around Victoria, Texas and graduated high school in Bloomington, Texas. He later attended Rice University on a football scholarship, but eventually earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston. He became a police officer for the city of Bellaire, and a claims representative for Travelers and Allstate. He married, and later divorced, Carol Jean Yarbrough, with whom he had two children, Ken and Dana. He went to night school to obtain his law degree and was admitted into the State Bar of Texas in 1964. For the next 50+ years he practiced law as a trial attorney in Houston with his firms of Stephenson & Moore, Stephenson, Anderson & Assoc., and Stephenson & Lowry. He retired to Marfa, Texas in 2010 where he met his devoted partner, Verena Zbinden. He never gave up his love of practicing law, which prompted him to serve as Magistrate and Municipal Judge for Marfa from 2017 – 2019.
Chuck enjoyed tennis, sailing and hot air ballooning, but his biggest passion was his service to people. He donated a lot of his time and money to various organizations such as Boys and Girls Harbor in LaPorte, Texas. He served on the Board of Trustees for the University of Houston and was voted ‘Volunteer of the Year’ by the University of Houston. He was the most passionate and dedicated to the Rotary Club, where he served as President of the Marfa Rotary Club and National District Director. He was recently awarded the Rotarian Lifetime Service award and became a Paul Harris Fellow with black diamond status.
Chuck is survived by his son, Charles Kenneth "Ken" Stephenson, Jr.; daughter, Dana Stephenson Koehn; son-in-law, Tim Koehn; and grandchildren, Dylan Koehn, Krislyn Koehn, Kelly Stephenson and Katie Stephenson, and various nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Lawson McKenney and Billie Mae Stephenson; brothers, Woodrow and Witt, and sisters, Vera, Vida, and Emma Lee. Chuck could put a smile on your face as he was always full of good stories and jokes to share with family or friends. He lived his life to the fullest and will be dearly missed.
A Memorial Service will be held September 19, 2020 at 11am at Earthman Hunters Creek Funeral Home at 8303 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX 77024 . It will also be live streamed at https://www.facebook.com/EarthmanFuneral/
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Rotary Club of Marfa, P.O. Box 600, Marfa, TX 79843.
Saturday, September 19, 2020
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September 19, 2020
Dear Dana and Ken,
It was a beautiful service. I wish I could have been there in person. I loved Uncle Chuck with all my heart. He was always there for my family and always there for me. We will all miss him.
September 14, 2020
First of all, I was introduced to Chuck by Frank Cook. Frank was in the SW Houston Bellaire Rotary Club with me.
Frank arranged a golf game at the Sugar Creek Country Club. Chuck was introduced by Frank as my cart partner. On the first hole, Chuck inadvertently struck a duckling with his golf ball. Chuck was upset which, of course, prompted us to kid him about that for several years. Then the last time I kidded him about it, Chuck said “enough about the duck”. He said it rather sternly so I never made that comment again.
Another story to show how considerate Chuck could be. Several of us Rotarians were playing cards at Chuck’s place in Sugar Creek. Two of the players, Frank and another banker, Bob Vickery, had advanced Alzheimer’s. To help them remember the rules, Chuck glued white cards with the rules on string hanging from the ceiling over the table.
I’ll never forget that.
September 13, 2020
Chuck was a sweet soul and a great neighbor when I lived in Marfa. His dog Nessie and mine became friends first, but Chuck and I quickly followed their footsteps. We would visit while the dogs played and quickly became friends while talking about life and enjoying a good wine. He was tender and sincere and the world truly profited from him being here. God speed Chuck! Thanks for being you.