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Eli Stephens, 94, Russell County, KY (1922-2017)

A most remarkable, admirable life is completed. 'Anyone whe ever met Eli was drawn to him and soon came to love him. He had a funny saying for everything which made him endearing and unforgettable.' Though much of his life was spent out-of-state, his final resting place will be home in Russell County, KY. He was the widower of Modine Johnson Stephens. He leaves 24 direct living descendants to carry on his legacy.
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Eli Stephens, 94, passed on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at The Hospice Center in Somerset, KY.

His life will be celebrated Saturday, May 13, 2017 at Bernard Ridge Church of God, 170 Stephens Ridge Road, Russell Springs, KY, with Pastor Lindsey Cornett officiating. The family will receive friends at the church from 1pm-3pmCT, prior to the service at 3pmCT. Burial will be at McBeath Cemetery, Old Eli Road, Russell Springs.

Eli Stephens, 94, Russell County, KY (1922-2017)

Eli was born August 10, 1922 in Russell Springs, Russell County, KY. He was the son of Ezra & Arizona (West) Stephens. He died Thursday, May 11, 2017, in Somerset, Pulaski County, KY, at the age of 94 yers, nine months, and one day. He married Modine Johnson February 26, 1942 and they were inseparable until her passing in 2009.

Anyone whe ever met Eli was drawn to him and soon came to love him. He had a funny saying for everything which made him endearing and unforgettable. At the age of 17 Eli left home with no money and hitchhiked to Illinois in the dead of winter to seek work, in a place he'd never been. He was not afraid of hard work and didn't let anything stand in his way when he set his mind to do it. He worked as a tenant farmer around Deland & Monticello, IL, for 8 years, until he accepted a job at The Viobin Corporation in Monticello, where he worked for 35 years. He became foreman and a trusted leader to all while there.

After retiring at 62 Eli kept busy working a number of jobs, from painting barns, to driving an asphalt truck, to cutting grass or moving inventory for his sons in their business of Horizon Hobby. Eli was known to be frugal and conservative so when he invested most of what he had in his sons to help them get their business started; people figured it must be a sure thing or he must love those boys a lot. It wasn't a sure thing.

They enjoyed Florida in the winter and traveling with friends to Hawaii and elsewhere. When their daughter Joanne was ill they sacrificed everything to care for her the last years of her life. They were always there for a friend when help was needed.

Eli is survived by:
  • His sons: Larry (Karen) Stephens of Jamestown, KY; and Rick (Jeanene) Stephens of Champaign, IL

  • Three brothers: Wilbur of Monticello, IL; Calvin (Marilyn) of Chesterfield, IN, and Bobby (Geri) of Russell Springs, KY

  • Two sisters: Jenny McQueary and Kevel Grider of Russell Springs, KY

  • Six grandchildren

  • Sixteen great grandchildren
He was preceded in death by his wife Modine; his daughter Joanne; his parents; two brothers, Arvester and Jason; and three sisters, Orpha Bennett, Ruth Smith Johnson and Magdalene Rexroat.

Send condolences to the family of Eli Stephens

Memorials may be made to the Fair Oaks Health Systems, 1 Spark Avenue, Jamestown, KY.

Bernard Funeral Home, 367 N Main Street, Russell Springs, KY, is in charge of arrangements.

This story was posted on 2017-05-12 18:49:49
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Grissom-Martin Funeral Home
Located one block off the Square at 200 Campbellsville Street in Columbia, KY.
To reach David and Cathy Martin, phone (270)-384-2149, or e-mail:
Large enough to serve comfortably; Small enough to serve personally.

G & G Monuments
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1670 Liberty Road, Columbia, KY. email:, 270-634-0359
First Quality Marble and Granite

Stotts-Phelps-McQueary Funeral Home
Established 1922 | 210 Greensburg St., Columbia, KY 42728 | Jeff Jessie, Owner
270-384-2145,, email

Eli Stephens , 94, Russell County, KY (1922-2017)

2017-05-12 - Russell County, KY - Photo from Bernard Funeral Home, 367 N Main Street, Russell Springs, KY.

Eli Stephens , 94, Russell County, KY (1922-2017)

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