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 www.heilschuessler.com.
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