Commander Richard Gerrard “Jerry” Stephens, U.S. Navy (Retired), 93, of Dallas, Texas, passed away on July 7, 2018 of natural causes, with his family at his side.
He is survived by his wife Helen Virginia (Hoffman) Stephens; son Capt. Rusty Stephens, U.S. Navy, (Ret.) and wife Lani of Colorado Springs, CO; son Mike Stephens and wife Gillian of Dallas, TX; daughter Susan Dirting and husband Jim, of Dallas, TX; granddaughter Sally Stephens Hunt and husband Lowell of Surprise, AZ; grandson Mike Stephens of Colorado Springs, CO; granddaughter Amy Stephens Burnett and husband John of Colorado Springs, CO; granddaughter Kristen Dirting Kirby and husband Josh of Dallas, TX; grandson Ryan Dirting of Dallas, TX and 5 great-grandchildren.
Jerry was born Friday, May 1, 1925 in Abilene, TX. He was an Abilene High School Honor Band member (1937-1941) where he was known for his cornet solos (especially “Carnival of Venice” and “Flight of the Bumble Bee”) and his chest full of UIL band medals. His college years were interrupted during World War II on February 14, 1943 when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy as an aviation cadet. He was commissioned an Ensign and awarded his naval aviator’s wings on October 2, 1945. Following the war, he continued in the Navy Reserve and retired on July 1, 1972.
Following the War, he returned to the University of Texas and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Petroleum Engineering. He worked for Texaco for two years.
In 1950 he married his wife Virginia (Jen), moved to Irving, TX, and began his career as a business merchant, starting Hearthstone Floors, which he owned and operated for 32 years. He was a charter member and served as an Elder of Woodhaven Presbyterian Church in Irving; was President of Irving Rotary Club; on the Board of Directors of Irving State Bank; was Past President of Irving Aid, and also the for Greater Dallas Floor Covering Association. He was known for being a gentleman, for his kindness, and being a joy to work with.
In his later years, he loved to travel with his wife Jen, visiting Hawaii, Europe, and the grandchildren. He was a rabid Texas Longhorns and Dallas Cowboys fan and a member of the Texas Exes.
The family will receive friends between 2:00 and 4:00pm, Sunday, July 15, 2018 at Brown’s Memorial Funeral Home in Irving. A committal with full Military Honors will be 11:00am, Monday, July 16, 2018 at Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery in Dallas. All family and friends need to line up in LANE 1 by 10:45 AM. A memorial service to celebrate Jerry’s life will be held 1:00pm, Monday July 16, 2018 at Presbyterian Village North, in the Chapel, 8600 Skyline Dr. in Dallas with a reception to follow.
The family would like to express their sincere appreciation to the staff of The Terrace Memory Care at Presbyterian Village North for their loving care provided to Jerry and the support given to the family during the last 2 years of his life.
Memorial contributions may be made in his name to Woodhaven Presbyterian Church, 3650 North O’Connor Road, Irving, TX 75061; or PVN Foundation, Presbyterian Village North, 8600 Skyline Drive, Dallas, TX 75243.