Gladys Stephens


Ms. Gladys Genevieve Stephens, 86, lived a profoundly rich life as kind friend, beloved mother, dear sister, and treasured grandma. She left this world in peace and surrounded by loved ones on Friday evening, July 2, 2021.

Gladys was born Jan. 5, 1935, daughter of Hyldred and Gracie Wood. She was born in an era of simplicity, hardship, and resilience.

These trying times made Gladys a woman of strength, integrity, and virtue. She passed these characteristics on to her five surviving children, firstborn, Jennings Bryan Stephens III, and his wife, Elaine, eldest daughter, Sandra, and her late husband, Roman Morris (lovingly known as Junior), middle son, Michael “Mike,” mother of his children (preceding her in death), Anita, and his wife, Beth, youngest daughter, Debra, her son, Daniel (preceding her in death), and dear son, Jonathan Earl.

Over these many years, Gladys’ children have carved a culture of generosity, compassion, and humility as they have dedicated their lives to raising children and grandchildren that bring honor to the convictions of their devoted mother.

Gladys leaves a legacy of 11 charming grandchildren, 25 precious great-grandchildren (two preceding her in death), and five enchanting great-great-grandchildren; a great many nieces and nephews; and innumerable friends, all of whom she was captivated and delighted by. Gladys is also survived by her very special niece, Shirley Fortune, along with her husband, Mike, for lovingly tending her needs by taking her “out on the town.”
Her gentle presence, soft voice, and warm hugs will be deeply missed.

The family would like to thank all of the health care professionals at the Coronary Care Unit of University of Virginia Hospital for their great care and comfort of Gladys in her final days. The family is arranging a service to honor her memory, the date of which will be announced at a later time. They thank you for your thoughts and prayers during this time of grief.

May you carry on the determined compassion that Gladys embodied by doing just one unexpected and unsolicited act of kindness for someone in her name.