Cover photo for Elvira Stephens's Obituary
1920 Elvira 2017

Elvira Stephens

November 20, 1920 — June 15, 2017

Elvira Stephens was born November 20, 1920 in Linden, Texas to Ed and Jemima Allen.  She was born into a family of farmers and married the son of a farmer, Hives Stephens.  Together they had 15 beautiful children.

In addition to farming in Texas, Mother Stephens was a gifted seamstress and often managed to sew most of her girls’ clothes as well as earn an income from home as a seamstress.  She was knowledgeable in quilt making and also an avid flower gardener.  Some of her favorite flowers include roses, petunias, and chrysanthemums.  Though she had many gifts and talents, God remained at the center and family remained at the heart of everything she put her hands to do.

In 1960, she and her husband moved their family to Portland, Oregon to be closer to family and to offer their children better opportunities.  She continued to use her skill as a seamstress to earn an income.  Mother Stephens became a member of Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church and served faithfully under the leadership of Rev. O.B. Williams.  She also served in ministry with her brother, Rev. Virgil C. Allen at Greater Faith Baptist Church.  She returned to Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor J. W. Matt Hennessee after the death of her brother.  She faithfully continued to serve as a member of the senior choir and was blessed to be one of the lead singers.  Her favorite song is Blessed Assurance.  Mother Stephens also participated in the women circles.  She was an avid student of the Bible and often spent hours at a time studying the Word of God.

Mother Stephens is preceded in death by her husband Hives Stephens, her parents and all of her brothers M. D. Allen, Threadom Allen, Lloyd Allen, Virgil Allen, George Allen, Unis Allen, Benjamin Allen and her only sister Rodessa (Allen) Mitchell.

She leaves to cherish her memory her children:  Zelmarie Ramsey, Portland, Oregon; Robert E. Stephens (Pat), Portland, Oregon; Morris F. Stephens, Seattle, Washington; Lorene Minor, Portland, Oregon;  Ivory Taylor (Dwain), Portland, Oregon; Dr. Mary J. Frazier, Louisville, Kentucky; Dennis Gachet (Jeff), Portland, Oregon; Martha Lou Martin, Portland, Oregon; Hives Richard Stephens, Clackamas, Oregon; Lenora Cason (Terry), Portland, Oregon; Enora Gould, Houston, Texas; Carolyn Jenette Stephens, Portland, Oregon; Gerald Dean Stephens, Portland, Oregon; Marilyn Jean Conner (Robert), Happy Valley, Oregon and Tommy Lane Stephens (Sonja), Vancouver, Washington.  She also leaves to cherish her memory 34 grandchildren, 65 plus great grandchildren, 5 great-great grandchildren, a host of nieces and nephews, cousins and friends.

Though biologically she was a mother to fifteen children, she has been a mother to many, always providing a home and or a meal for those in need.

Her longevity proves that she exhibited the Scripture: "Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess." (Deuteronomy 5:33)


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