Joseph Lee Stephens, 95, of Grand Ridge went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, November 1, 2020.
Joe was raised on the family dairy farm in Grand Ridge and as a young man loved to play the guitar and sing. He even sang on the radio with a group back in the days before television. He worked hard at various jobs in his youth, a ship welder in Panama City, a water well driller in the huge orange groves of Central Florida, and a meat processor at Lykes Brothers in Tampa.
He and his wife, Katherine missed home and moved back to Grand Ridge where he bought a farm, built a home, and went to work at Florida State Hospital. Joe was a Shift Supervisor at the Forensic Unit and retired after 33 years of service. He and Katherine were both avid fishermen and they spent many hours together enjoying their hobby. Joe also loved his flowering plants and fruit trees and spent countless hours taking care of them.
Joe was preceded in death by his bride of 56 years, Katherine and their infant daughter, Lorine; his parents, William Riley Stephens and Ella Hamilton Stephens, and numerous brothers and sisters.
Joe is survived by his children, Elwood Stephens (Kathryn) and Dianne Ray (Barney); grandchildren Justin Stephens (Camella) of Destin and Lauren Sistrunk (Brad) of Panama City; brother, Doyle Stephens (Edna) of Grand Ridge; and a host of nieces and nephews; along with a very dear friend, Linda Benton.
Funeral services will be 2:00 PM, Thursday November 5, 2020 at El Bethel Assembly of God Church with Reverend Clinton Howell officiating. Interment will follow at Dykes Cemetery with James & Sikes Funeral Home Maddox Chapel directing.
The family will receive friends at 1:00 PM, one hour prior to funeral service at El Bethel Assembly of God Church.
The family is asking that Covid prevention measures be observed by wearing masks and social distancing, and appreciates everyone’s cooperation.