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Charles Anthon Stephens

Obituary for Charles Anthon Stephens

October 13, 1925 - June 11, 2018
San Antonio, Texas | Age 92


Charles Anthon Stephens of Odessa, Texas, passed away peacefully at Brookdale at Alamo Heights on June 11, 2018.

Charles is survived by his four children: Claudia Stephens, Charles Stephens and his wife, Kathleen, Barbara Stephens and her wife, Jayne Iafrate, and Jerry Stephens and his wife, Ana; seven grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and his brother, Fred Stephens. He was predeceased by his wife, Nancy; daughter, Debbie Stephens; siblings, Claude Stephens, Buford Stephens and Doris "Sissy" Stephens; and great-grandson, Gus Owen Stephens.

Born in Oct. 13, 1925 in Camden, Texas, Charles lived in Nome and graduated from South Park High School in Beaumont, Texas in 1943. He entered the United States Navy in October 1943 and was stationed at Guam during WWII as a radar operator for ground search. He was honorably discharged and entered The University of Texas at Austin in 1946. After graduating in 1950 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in science, he entered The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, where he graduated with an MD in 1954.

During his time in Austin, Charles met Nancy Raisch on a blind date. Six years later, they married in 1954 and moved to Little Rock, Arkansas for his one-year internship at The University of Arkansas. From 1955-1958, they returned to Galveston where Charles served his residency in obstetrics and gynecology.

Charles, Nancy and their growing family moved to Odessa, Texas in 1958 to join a medical practice with Dr. A. B. Finch. Within a few years, he opened his own OB-GYN practice, serving generations of Odessa families until he retired in 1992. He also served as chief of staff at Medical Center Hospital and Women and Children's Hospital and was chairman of the Department of OB-GYN at Medical Center Hospital. In 1987 the Odessa Medical Auxiliary honored him as Doctor of the Year.

Later in his career, he helped Texas Tech expand its medical school and establish a residency in Odessa. He was a part-time clinical professor with the Texas Tech Regional Health Science Center.

Charles loved spending hours in his woodworking shop with his children. The house was full of wooden bowls and tables made for Nancy and his family. He loved surprising her with these gifts. He enjoyed fishing at Lake Amistad near Del Rio, TX even if no one caught a fish. His children have wonderful memories of travelling across the United States and Canada in a 1969 Airstream. Whether it was driving down winding roads in a national park or visiting a museum, Charles gave to his family inquisitive minds and the love of travel. Planning these family vacations with five children and busy schedules caused him to shake his head and laugh about "the logistics of this family…."
On these trips, Charles refined his skills in photography and videography. Every family vacation or event has photographs or film. He was always an "early adopter" of technology: He taught himself computers and darkroom photography, and how to use everything from sheet film cameras and 16mm film to digital photography and video. His family has fond memories of eating popcorn and watching family movies. Into his 90s, he remained active in the project to digitize these memories.

After retirement, Charles and Nancy began researching their genealogy. He loved to share stories about his findings, which ranged from meticulous data and DNA sampling to general misconduct of ancestors. He loved the research and the mysteries he uncovered; every family member has visited some graveyard or library with him to learn about our ancestors. He became a member of the Permian Basin Genealogy Society and served as a chairman for one year.

Charles was an active volunteer in the Odessa community: Boy Scout Troop 74, Permian Basin MHMR, Permian High School trips (choir, band, orchestra), St. John's Episcopal Church vestry and St. Barnabas Episcopal Church vestry. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the Texas Ranger Division, in which his ancestors served with distinction.
Charles ultimately will be recalled as a kind and compassionate man. His friends, patients and family will remember his soft laugh, twinkly eyes, and practical advice. And inevitably that advice was at a dinner table, where he'd pull out his pen from his front pocket and start drawing or writing on a paper napkin. After the discussion, he would say, with humor and a clap of his hands, "Well, thar ya go!" It is safe to say that Charles left this world in this same manner.

A burial service will be held at Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Cemetery in Pflugerville for family and friends on Saturday, June 16 at 10:00 am.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Charles' name to the Gus Owen Stephens Foundation.

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Charles' name to the Gus Owen Stephens Foundation.

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Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home South

2620 S. Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704
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