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Dorothy “Dot” Louise Stephenson

Dorothy "Dot" Louise Stephenson


Dorothy “Dot” Louise Stephenson, 87, passed peacefully in her sleep at Randolph County Care Center on August 8, 2021, with her family and friends at her side.  Now she is with her Heavenly Father where there are no wheelchairs, no sickness, no pain, no sadness, no suffering.

Dorothy was born in Mena, Arkansas on September 28, 1933 and was raised by her mother, Clara Louise Braden and father, Ralph Braden, in St. Louis, Missouri.

As a young woman, love brought her to Sparta, Illinois where she made her home, raised her daughter and became a cherished member of the community. Dorothy touched many lives during her years working at the Sparta Public Library, and her contributions continued as she served on the Sparta Senior Center Board and the Misselhorn Art Gallery Board.  She was a Charter Member of the Theta Delta Beta Alumnae Association, a contributor to the Resident Council at Randolph County Care Center and a member of First United Methodist Church of Sparta.  She offered countless volunteer hours throughout the Sparta community.

Dorothy enjoyed many things, especially traveling and reading.  But art was her passion – painting, in particular.  Her artwork showed an appreciation of nature’s beauty.  She was eager to take classes and learn new techniques in all areas and mediums – watercolor, oil painting, paper making to name a few.  Dorothy sought out lessons that would help her discover new approaches to her craft and to apply new practices to those she already possessed.

Her home was her art gallery and many of her pieces are now displayed in the homes of her daughter and friends as a reminder to consistently explore, experiment and cherish.

Dorothy is survived by her daughter, Kathleen Louise Stephenson of Atlanta, Georgia.  She was preceded in death by her mother and father, Clara Louise and Ralph Braden, her sister Alegra Gale Braden – all of St. Louis, Missouri, her Father-In-Law Vincent Stephenson of Sparta, Illinois and Son-In-Law Vincent Blundo of Atlanta, Georgia.

Memorial contributions may be made to Sparta Public Library or First United Methodist Church of Sparta.

Condolences to the family may be expressed at

Family and friends may gather to celebrate the life of Dorothy at Heil-Schuessler & Sinn Funeral Home in Sparta, IL on Wednesday, August 11, 2021 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Memorial services will be held at the First United Methodist Church in Sparta, IL on Thursday, August 12, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Randy McGeehon officiating.

For those who know Dot best, think of her walking along a white sand beach, taking in the blue hues of the Caribbean ocean, the ocean breeze in her hair, seagulls floating overhead, beautiful sea shells at her feet and being totally at peace as she looks out over the horizon and into the face of God.  That is my wish for her.  Love, Kathy

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  1. Nancy Alderson says:

    Kathy, so sorry to hear of your loss. Your mom was such a kind and gracious lady with a wonderful sense of humor. I have fond memories of enjoying her hospitality all those years ago. Take care, dear friend, and keep her close to your heart.

  2. Linda Boston says:

    Kathy, I am so sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. She was the most kind, caring, and loving person I know. Always had a beautiful smile. She was a beautiful Spirit inside and out. Sending hugs for you my friend.
    Sincerely, Linda Boston
    Quincy, IL

  3. Racquel Brown-Lindsay says:

    Peace be with you now and always my dear friend. You are always in my prayers and heart. I AM HERE YOU WHENEVER NEEDED. I know she is smiling down on you… Love you girl.

  4. Scott Blundo says:

    Dot fought quite a battle because she was setting an example for you Kathy.

    May you always remember her strength and love for you!

    Peace be with you my friend and kin.

  5. Kathy Beach says:

    So sorry for your loss. Seems I remember she always had a book in her hand. May God comfort you and your family. 🙏🙏🙏

    • Jan Schwartz says:

      So enjoyed working with Dot. Loved her willingness to stay involved while at RCCC. A very special lady. Thoughts and prayers are with you Kathy.

  6. Cristy Stupegia says:

    May the peace that surpasses all understanding be yours , Kathy…Your mom is up with the angels love to all

  7. Pat Cavalier says:

    I met Dot before she moved to Sparta and stayed in touch for many years, but not recently. I’m so sorry to hear of her passing. You wrote a beautiful and loving tribute, Kathy. You and I need to connect again soon.

    Hugs, Pat McSmith (Stephenson) Cavalier

  8. Zoila Casida says:

    It was an honor to know her. She was a sweet lady. She will be missed! Sending prayers and hugs to the family.

  9. Jenny Hobeck says:

    I am so sorry to here this. She and Lois were such dear friends to me. I love the

    picture, and the wording. Sincere thoughts and prayers for you and the family.

  10. Carol Pirtle says:

    So sorry to hear of your mother’s passing, Kathy. I enjoyed my years working with her at the Sparta Public Library. She was one of the best! You have written such a lovely tribute to her!

  11. Susan Colbert says:

    Kathy, I am so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. We had many good times working together at the library. I am thankful to have known her. May you find peace and comfort in your sorrow.


    Susan Colbert

  12. Regina Harrison says:

    Grateful that prayers for peace and relief from pain and discomfort have been answered. Heartfelt condolences to Dot’s friends and family – especially dear Kathy.

  13. Dave Elsea says:

    Kathy, I’m so sorry for your loss! Your mom and dad will always be remembered as kind and caring individuals. My prayers are for God’s blessings and comfort you and the rest of your family in His loving embrace. 🥲🙏

  14. Nancy Stevenson Maehle says:

    Kathy, So very sorry to read of Dot’s passing. She was a very dear friend of ours for many years, till miles made it more difficult. My sincere sympathy to you! Nancy Stevenson Maehle

  15. Tee Pollard says:

    Kathy, so very sorry for your loss and thinking of you during this difficult time. I love that picture of your Mom and know that walking along her favorite beach is how she will get to spend eternity. Thoughts and prayers from your friends, Leigh and Tee

  16. Spike says:

    My heart goes out to my dearest friend, Kathy. My you find peace and closure in the coming months and rest assured you are the best daughter your mother could have wanted.

  17. Laurie Shain says:

    What a treasure she was to so many people.

  18. Barbara Feliz says:

    My condolences on the loss of your mother. It’s never easy to loose a parent. Peace be with you.

  19. Arifa Maqbool says:

    May God rest her soul in peace. May you find comfort in knowing that my thoughts are with you during this difficult time. Please accept our heartfelt condolences.

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