Patricia Stephenson 1926-2018
Patricia Ann Rolley Stephenson went to be with the Lord in Heaven on Jan. 27, 2018, at age 91.
She was born on June 26, 1926, in Holton. She attended Holton schools and attended Ward-Belmont School in Nashville, Tenn., for a while.
Patricia was preceded in death by her parents, Harold E. and Marrion Rolley of Holton; her former husband, John S. Stephenson, who had roots in Holton as well; her daughter Melissa Megan Stephenson; granddaughters Johanna Stephenson and Megan Owens; sister Virginia Ginger Rolley Woolpert; and sisters-in-law Anne Rolley (Alan) and Roberta Rolley (Don).
She is survived by her children, Jeffrey Scott Stephenson (Deborah) of Panama City, Fla., Pamela Sue Stephenson Hyatt Owens of Knoxville, Tenn., Randolph Barton Stephenson of Charlotte, N.C., Roderick Selden Stephenson (Linda) of Maryville, Tenn., and John Malcolm Stephenson (fiancee Sarah) of Owensboro, Ky. She is survived by many grandchildren from Jeffrey: John Scott Stephenson (Susan), Janice Roby and Jason Stephenson (Charlan); from Pam: Heather Hyatt Haynes (David), Emily Paige Hyatt Christenberry (Dal), Rachael Owens Pelkey, Douglas Owens and Lauren Owens MacDonald (Tony); from Randy: Jasmine Melissa Stephenson Fenn (Dan) and Dylan Blake Stephenson; and from Rick: Austin LaCombe Stephenson (Sarah) and stepchildren Leslie Lindsay Wilbourn (Chad), Michael Lindsay (Tawnya) and Chad Lindsay (Brandy); and from John: John John Stephenson. There are 10 great-grandchildren and eight stepgreat-grandchildren. She is also survived by her brothers, Alan Rolley and Don Rolley, and many nieces and nephews.
Patricia, or Pat as most called her, had a very rewarding life raising her six children in Vienna, Va. After they “flew the coop,” she moved her full-time residency from Vienna to Evergreen, Colo., which had been a lifelong vacation place. She established her own residency in Evergreen in the mid-1970s after the loss of her youngest child, Melissa, at age 13.
It was at this time she grew in her relationship with God and began a new journey for her life. She began to expand her horizons by joining a group called Friendship Force, which is an international house-swapping organization. Through this organization she traveled mainly in Europe and established many friendships internationally, which ultimately led her to purchasing a small farm in South Africa near Cape Town and turning it into a Christian retreat center, which she named Anathoth, from the book of Jeremiah.
She would live in South Africa from September to May each year and return to Evergreen from June to August. She made this commute for about 20 years until age 87, when she simply could not continue to do so. While in South Africa, she made many mission trips into Zimbabwe to spread the word of Jesus Christ and provide clothing to the villagers. She would also arrange to get sponsors to help drill “bore holes” (water wells) for drinking water and irrigation water for the villages. She had a staff of local workers at Anathoth whom she had helped to come and know Christ.
She will be missed and remembered by many for her servanthood to the Lord and providing help for many here in the U.S. and abroad. There will be a Celebration of Life Memorial Service at 12:30 p.m. on June 3, held at the Evergreen Lakehouse. Family will receive friends beginning at noon.
The family asked that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Anathoth. If mailing, please send to Rick Stephenson, 3621 Southfork Place, Maryville, TN 37801.