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Mark O. Stephens

Services for Mark O. Stephens, of Wesson, Mississippi, are at 11 a.m., Friday, March 6, 2020, at Clear Branch Baptist Church in Wesson, with interment at Sylvarena Baptist Church Cemetery in Wesson. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m., Thursday, March 5, 2020, at Riverwood Family, in Brookhaven, Mississippi, and will resume at 10 a.m. Friday, March 6, 2020, at Clear Branch until the time of service.

Mr. Stephens, 65, passed away quietly at his home on March 1, 2020. Mark was born Dec. 23, 1954, in Brookhaven, to Ted Oliver Stephens and Jimmy Ruth Joyner Stephens. He was a member of Clear Branch Baptist Church, Wesson.

He attended high school both within the United States and abroad, before graduating high school from The Joint Embassy School, Jakarta, Indonesia. He attended Copiah-Lincoln Junior College, Wesson.

Mark was an avid outdoorsman his entire life and was an enthusiastic knife collector. His love of the outdoors led to many lifelong friendships. Mark also enjoyed sports; especially baseball, basketball and football, and for many years he coached youth baseball in Wesson.

He loved all types of hunting and fishing, mostly saltwater fly fishing and spent many happy times with friends at hunting camps and on his boat in the Louisiana marsh. Mark also loved to vacation in the scenic outdoors and fish the White River in Arkansas. Another ritual that he cherished was making “old fashioned cane syrup” with his Tolar family and distributing their syrup to family and friends. He loved every moment spending time with them.

Mark’s proudest achievements were being a wonderful father to his two beloved children. He was an enthusiastic supporter of his children’s registered Hereford cattle activities while they were growing up, which included numerous trips across the country exhibiting their cattle. He was a proud and doting Pawpaw to Mark Kypton and Ellie Ann, the new loves of his life.

Preceding him in death are his father, Ted Oliver Stephens; mother, Jimmy Ruth Joyner Stephens; father-in-law, Lawrence M. “Buddy” Lowery; mother-in-law, Julia Lee Lowery; paternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Stephens; and maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Doyle Joyner.

Those left to cherish his memory are his loving wife, Julia Ann Lowery Stephens; son, Christopher Mark Stephens; daughter, Erica Ann Lofton; son-in-law, Don Louis “Boomer” Lofton; and grandchildren, Mark Kypton Lofton and Ellie Ann Lofton. He is also survived by his brother, Tim Stephens; sister, Melissa Stephens, and their families; sisters-in-law, Myra Lowery and Nancy King and husband Mike King and their families; as well as his cousin, Cynthia Miller and other loving family members and friends.

The family requests memorials be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, and The Hereford Youth Foundation of America, 11500 NW Ambassador Dr., Suite 410, Kansas City, Mo 64153.

Condolences and other information are available online at www.riverwoodfamily.com.