VERONA – Clara Mae Wood Stephens, 95, passed away on Friday, August 9, 2013, at North Mississippi Medical Center after a brief illness. She was born September 16, 1917, to Charles Franklin Wood and Bertha Long Wood in Iuka.
She graduated from Iuka High School in 1936, where she was Valedictorian of her class. After attending Draughan’s Business College in Memphis, she worked for the Federal Reserve Bank in the Accounting Department. Upon moving to Tupelo in 1948, she continued her professional career as bookkeeper and office manager for Central Electric and Machinery. She was a member of the Tupelo Chapter of Business and Professional Women.
On February 22, 1958, she married James M. Stephens at First United Methodist Church in Tupelo. They were married for 53 years until his death on January 15, 2011. Clara and Jim were one of the first families that helped charter St. Luke United Methodist Church before moving to Verona and joining Verona United Methodist Church. As an active and devoted member of her church, she participated in many activities including teaching the Adult Bible Class, the Nora Coggin Circle and founding the OWLS (Older Wiser Livelier Seniors). At the time of her death, she was the oldest living member of Verona United Methodist Church.
Clara lived a full life and had many friends. She was a member and former President of the Verona Lioness Club. She especially loved celebrating birthdays with the “Golden Girls,” teaching ceramics at Traceway Manor and also spending time at her home hobby ceramic shop. In addition to being a wonderful wife and mother, she was also a gifted writer, often penning superb and entertaining narratives for friends and family. Clara loved watching Atlanta Braves baseball, traveling, working crossword puzzles and her dog, Chipper. An avid reader, she enjoyed attending book reviews and Lunching With Books at the Lee County Library. Known for her kindness, generosity and caring nature, she was always smiling and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.
She is survived by her loving son, Jimmy Stephens of Verona; her sister, Urcle Lomenick; her nephew, Eddie Lomenick and his wife, Janice; great nieces, Suzye Sheffield and Merrie Hughes and her husband, Andy; great-great niece, Mattie Hughes; and great-great nephews Tyler Sheffield and Jake Hughes, all of Tupelo.
She was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; her brother, Charles F. Wood, Jr.; and her brother-in-law, Clarence Lomenick.
Services will be at 11:00 am on Tuesday, August 13, at Verona United Methodist Church with Rev. Harold Robinson, Rev. Casey M “Buddy” Smith, Rev. Dennis Fink and Rev. Frank Davis officiating. A committal service will follow in Lee Memorial Park.
Pallbearers will be David Allen, Clifton Hodges, Paul Odle, Galen Prouty, Ken Stephens and Jimmy Williams. Honorary Pallbearers will be William T. “Buddy” Hall, Bobby Williams, the men of Verona United Methodist Church and the “Golden Girls.”
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, August 12, at the Tupelo
Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors, and from 10 a.m. until service time at the church on Tuesday.
Memorials may be made to Verona United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 370, Verona, Miss. 38879. Condolences may be e mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.