On June 22, 1955, David Abraham Stephens was born in Springfield, Missouri, to William H. and Evelyn (Scott) Stephens. On January 3, 2019, he suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage. He left the confines of this world on January 5, 2019, surrounded by his loving wife Jeanne, family and friends and entered the gates of heaven where he joined his parents; grandparents Charley and Lizzie Stephens and Howard and Ruth Scott; aunts, uncles, and a great-niece.
David loved his family and friends with all of his heart. Those who survive him will always remember his stories, vast knowledge of the genealogy of the family, good nature and his ability to find humor and have fun in any situation. He was the eldest sibling of Mark (Monica) Stephens, John (Kathleen) Stephens, and Elizabeth Kingsley. On February 24, 1983, he married Debra (Jim) Williams Baker and to this union was born the greatest legacy a man can leave behind, his children William (Tiffany), Charles, and Marie Stephens. On March 16, 2000, he married his best friend Jeanne Montgomery Sawyer and gained two more children Blake (Lauren) Sawyer and Alyssa (Josh) Ludwig, father and mother-in-law Harold and Noma Montgomery and sister-in-law Suzie (Greg) Morgans. David loved nothing more than being a grandpa to Zeke and Isaiah Stephens; Sky and Sierra Ludwig; and Hazel, Sophia, and Calvin Sawyer. David always cared deeply about his many nieces, nephews, cousins, and an aunt. David seldom met a stranger and once he became a friend, he was a friend for life. He has left behind many close friends, including his best friend since childhood, Terry Hoggard and his family. David’s family and friends were always assured that he would do everything in his power to be there for them.
David was extremely passionate about learning and educating others. He graduated from Augusta High School in Augusta, Kansas in 1973. He attended Central Bible College from 1973-1977. He continued his education at MSU in 1983 and earned his master’s degree in Educational Administration in 2005. David began his teaching career at Green Valley State School for the Severely Handicapped where he taught from 1982-1992. He taught Special Education at Logan-Rogersville High School from 1992-1996. He began teaching Special Education at Aurora High School in 1996. During his tenure at Aurora he was very involved in leadership, serving tirelessly on the Welfare committee for many years. He brought many issues of concern from the teachers in the district to the administrators and was sure to be available at any time for his fellow teachers. He retired in 2015 but continued to substitute in the Aurora school district and then returned to a part-time position in Aurora this school year. David loved preparing students with disabilities for life after graduation and helping them find their place in the world. He was always willing to share his knowledge with other educators and to assist them in any way possible. He became a transition liaison and worked with teachers from around the state, helping them to develop programs to help special need students prepare for the future. He was always ready and willing to step into a classroom to share stories or music or to expound on whatever subject came to mind. In his earlier years of teaching David was very involved with Special Olympics, at one time serving as an Area 6 Missouri Special Olympics Board member.
David was always a very caring man with a big heart. His decision to become an organ donor is an indication of how important he felt it was to help others.
A celebration of David’s life under the direction of the Crafton-Cantrell Funeral Home in Aurora was held on Friday, January 11, 2019, at Aurora High School.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to A Sporting Chance at P.O. Box 1137, Springfield, Missouri 65808. Office address is 1501 E. Pythian, Springfield and email is Sportingchance@sbcglobal.net.
Online condolences may be shared at www.CraftonCantrellFuneralHome.com.