Jean Burkhalter Stephens was born April 22, 1938 in Austin, Texas. She was born as a twin to Earle & Charlene Burkhalter. Her twin was Jane, and she had an older sister, Joanne.
Jean attended Newman Elementary School and Allen Jr. High, and graduated from Austin High School. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, and she was a member of the Chi Omega Sorority. After graduation, she moved to Dallas, Texas where she taught the first grade. Jean attended Christ the King Catholic Church where she prayed to the Lord to bring her a husband. Little did she know, she would soon meet the love of her life. Jean later gave the advice to pray for a husband to her daughters and granddaughters.
Jean met J. Craig Stephens when he was a senior medical student. Although she was playing hard to get, Craig knew he would marry her someday. They wed when Craig returned to Texas after his internship in Indiana. Jean and Craig were inseparable. They were always seen holding hands and doting on each other. Jean and Craig were married for 58 years this past December.
Jean and Craig raised their two daughters, Jan Stephens Brosier and Shannon Stephens Burton in Paris, Texas where Jean was a long-time member of Fun ‘N Flowers Garden Club and Cosmos. Jean enjoyed decorating for Cosmos or any celebration or occasion. She was a wonderful host and could make anyone feel at home when they were around her.
Jean was a first-grade teacher and always loved children. She could make any baby smile and often asked mothers if she could hold their child. Jean was warm-hearted and easily held a conversation. She also was extremely resourceful and could tackle any project given to her. She was a master with the sewing machine and proudly produced bed skirts, headboards, pillows, and curtains for her family.
Jean served as President of Lamar Delta Medical Auxiliary, Secretary of McCuistion Hospital Auxiliary Board, and King’s Daughters Board member for 22 years. She was a member of Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church where she was involved in Religious Education over 35 years, 20 years of which she was the Director of Religious Education. She was also on the Church Council and was a volunteer teacher with PISD.
In the last two decades, Jean loved spending the summers in Estes Park, Colorado. She would book the calendar full and host many friends and family who would travel to see them. She looked forward to her summers in the mountains and traveling the West with Craig.
She loved her family more than life itself. Jean was proceeded in death by her older sister Joanne Kane and her twin Jane Cornell. She is survived by her husband, J. Craig Stephens, 2 daughters: Jan Brosier and husband Tim, and Shannon Burton and husband Tom; plus grandchildren Joy Beeler, Molly Brosier, Ben, Caroline and John Burton, as well as nieces and nephews, Karen Mosley, Claire Curtin, Catherine & David Cornell, and Cheryl, Susan, Larry, Bob, and Tom Kane.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:30 AM Friday, March 5, 2021 at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church. Burial will follow at Evergreen Cemetery. Family will receive friends from 6:00 PM till 8:00 PM Thursday in the chapel of Fry-Gibbs Funeral Home with Rosary at 7:30 PM.
For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made in Jean’s name to Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church or the charity of your choice.
Carl Cecil Richard Beeler
Tim Brosier Ken Reimer
Tom Burton David Cornell
John Curtin Glen Bawcum
Honorary: Ben Burton, John Burton, Robert Mosley