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BROWNSVILLE, TX. – William Alva “Will” Stephenson, Jr., born on May 15, 1942 in Mission, Texas, son of the late William Alva Stephenson, Sr., and Cornelia Kilburn Stephenson, died on Tuesday, the 14th of March 2023 of kidney disease in the comfort of his Brownsville residence at the age of eighty.
He married Barbara Hardcastle in 1966 and was divorced in 1987. They had two sons, William Alan Stephenson (b. 1968, of Austin, Texas) and David Joseph Stephenson (b. 1972, of Macedonia). He married Mimosa Summers Schraer in 1988.
He attended Wilson Elementary School, Lamar Junior High, and McAllen High School, Class of 1960. While in high school, he was a member of the Civil Air Patrol and also served for six years in the Air Force Reserve. He went on to earn his Bachelor of Arts degree from Pan American College in Edinburg, Texas in 1963 and was then awarded a National Defense Education Act Fellowship for graduate study at Texas Technological College in Lubbock, Texas where he earned his Master of Arts degree in 1965 and his Doctorate in English in 1970. He was employed as an instructor at Texas Tech while in graduate school; as an Assistant Professor at Savanah State College in Savanah, Georgia; as a salesman at Sears in Lubbock; as an instructor at Texas State Technical Institute/College in Harlingen (1987-1998), where he became Chair of the English Department; and as a Lecturer at The University of Texas at Brownsville (1998-2000).
He enjoyed camping out with other Sears employees, shopping, cooking, and leading the singing in church services, teaching a Sunday School class, and directing the Food Pantry at Portway Baptist Church. He was also a member of the First Baptist Church of Brownsville. He also liked the adventure of traveling and living in foreign lands. In the Fall of 1959, he was a Foreign Exchange Student in Trento, Italy, the site of the Council of Trent. He also studied Spanish in Cuernavaca, Mexico; visited his son David in Maputo, Mozambique; and lived eleven months (2000-2001) with his wife in Xiamen, Fujian Province, People’s Republic of China.
Preceding William in death were his parents; his first wife, Barbara; and his brother-in-law, Donald Lee Summers.
Will is survived by his wife, Mimosa; his sons, Alan and David; his daughter-in-law, Julie Cline Stephenson; his grandchildren Morgan Lindsey Cline, Asher Thomas Stephenson, and Liesl Kate Stephenson; great-grandson, Benjamin Elias Tod Cline; his stepchildren Mimosa Schraer Flores, Amanda Schraer Lopez, and Adam David Schraer; his grandchildren Daniel Ezekiel Vasquez, Sara Elise Vasquez, Christian Taylor Flores, Miryssa Nicole Flores, Aiden Alexander Flores, Jasmine Kayla Lopez, Timothy David Schraer, and Mary Margaret Schraer; and his great-grandson, Haziel Avery Trejo; his sisters Nancy Elaine Cosby, Amy Louise Seitz (Danny), and Valda Lee Rispoli (Frank); his brothers-in-law Kenneth David Summers (Marva), Daniel Donovan Summers (Barbara), David Sidney Summers (Sharon), and Jerry James Summers; his sisters-in-law, Ramona Summers Spence (Johnny) and Jeanne Morrow Summers; in addition to numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, cousins and extended family members.
A Memorial Service will be held at five o’clock in the afternoon on Saturday, the 18th of March 2023, at the First Baptist Church, 1600 Boca Chica Boulevard, Brownsville, Texas 78520.
In lieu of floral arrangements and customary remembrances, the family requests donations in his memory be made to the First Baptist Church of Brownsville, (956) 542-5334, www.fbcbrownsville.com, or to a charity of your choice.
Memories of Will may be shared at www.darlingmouser.com.
Personalized funeral arrangements directed by Steven R. Hieu Bailey and Staff have been entrusted to the care of Darling-Mouser Funeral Home at 945 Palm Boulevard in Brownsville, Texas 78520, (956) 546-7111.
To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.