Welcome to my celebration of life, my name is Dorothy “L” Stephens. The “L” stands for “Lou,” a nickname given to me by my beloved husband, John Stephens, my partner in life for 53 years, who predeceased me on February 19, 2023.
Born May 1, 1941, in Sumter, S.C., I was fortunate to be the second child of Horton Lewis, Jr., and Lorraine Lewis. But I was also very proud to be the little sister of Joe Lewis, my big brother, who I adored! Everybody knew, “I loved my brother”, he predeceased me in 2012.
My life was rich in family and friends. I didn’t have biological sisters, but I did have my cousins, Geri and Sharon. We’ve been inseparable since we were kids. Growing up in the heart of North Philadelphia (30thth & Oxford), I never realized how fulfilling my life was.
Educated in the Philadelphia School system, 68 years ago I met my best friend Kathrine. At the age of 13, every morning she and I would walk down 24th and Master streets to Vaux Jr. High School. Giggling and socializing, we walked the same path going to school, as we did journeying through life!
You see, the social norms back in my day were to get married, have children, and be a homemaker. I, however, was defiant! I knew there was more to being a woman. I wanted a house, a husband, a career, and children, and I wouldn’t allow anyone to tell me I couldn’t do it all!
In 1965 I was an administrative assistant at Philco. Always a trendsetter, I drove a 1965 navy blue hard-top Mustang. My independence was very important to me, lovingly my friends called me “Mustang Sally” or simply, “Dottie.” While working at Philco, I met a tall-dark glass of drinking water, John Stephens, my Denzel Washington! I am a very modest woman but back in my day, I turned heads! If you haven’t noticed from my pictures, I was gorgeous!
John and I married on April 19, 1969. Yes, the day after on April 20th, 2023 I departed this earth, it is plain to see that John and I were inseparable in life and in death. From our union, we had my beloved son David and my precocious daughter Denny who predeceased me in 2010.
Multitalented, my career and hobbies always crossed paths. In my 81 years of life, I was the church florist for Canaan Baptist Church, I also served on the Scholarship and Kitchen Committee. I was a cake decorator, event & wedding coordinator, fashionista, and funeral florist. Did I forget to mention that I was also an Eastern Star?
Climbing the ladder of success, I became a supervisor at Smith Kline. There I met, managed, and mentored 9 women who became “My Girls”. We created a relationship built on love, trust, and “no-nonsense” man talk! I gave it to “My Girls” straight and they love me for it. We later formed an investment club called “ELIC”. Like I said, I wanted to do it all!
My career-fulfilling moment was the day I started my own business, “Floral Art Boutique”. My floral designs were legendary, my high styles, casket sprays, bleeding hearts, and simple floral arrangements amazed everyone.
My business grew by word of mouth. Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and you name it days, my phone rang off the hook with requests.
These fond memories along with my “I can do it on my own” attitude helped me to be the strong-willed, independent woman that I always desired to be!
As I previously mentioned, the day after our 53rd wedding anniversary, April 20th, 2023, God said: “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” He called me home to be with my husband. I’m sure John talked God to death and the Lord just gave in saying, “Oh Alright John, I’ll bring Lou to you! Please no more stories of Iceland!”
I bid farewell to my beautiful son David who cared for me through my illness, to the day I took my last breath. I’m thankful for his blessing, Verona, and I’m leaving him in good hands. They loved and cared for me when I could no longer care for myself.
Tiffiney, thanks for your companionship, I loved my milkshakes! Rodney and Kevin my first babies I’ll always love you! Melvin thank you for everything! Stace, good job I knew you could do it!
I love you all, thank you for journeying through life with me! I am survived by my loving son David Stephens (Verona); grandson, David L. Stephens Jr.; Carrie Ann Lewis (sister-in-law). A host of cousins, nieces, nephews, and extended family.
Submitted With Love,
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