Margaret M. (Marky) Stephens December 21, 1933 – July 26, 2021 Margaret “Marky” Stephens, passed away peacefully on July 26 , 2021 in Sierra Vista, Arizona. Born at home in Garber, Oklahoma in the middle of the Dust Bowl, Marky was a beloved sister, wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
She is survived by her daughter Gwen Reardon (Kevin) of Riverside, Connecticut; 4 grandchildren, Trey, Jaclyn, Dan, and Jessica; 1 great-granddaughter, Cadence; 2 sisters, Charlotte Magill of New Mexico and Mary Roberge of Pennsylvania; a daughter-in-law in Texas and dozens of cousins, nieces and nephews all over the USA.
Marky was predeceased by her parents, Chester and Jessie Magill, son Gregg in 2010, husband Tom of 65 years in 2018, brother Bob, and sister Jean.
Marky lived a long and interesting life. For 3 years she attended grade school at a State Teachers College in Oklahoma which had 5 boys and 5 girls in each grade with 4 rooms available. There were 2 grades per room with both grades being taught at the same time with a different teacher. A separate student teacher arrived for each subject and all the teachers were changed every 6 weeks. It was a profound learning experience that lasted throughout her life.
During WWII, her father was in charge of a POW camp in Oklahoma and the family lived in an old farmhouse 12 feet from the edge of the camp where both German and Italian prisoners were held.
Marky graduated from Bonham High School in Texas in 1952 where she was the Coushetta Queen, and served on the Bonhi newspaper staff, as a member of the Spanish and Square Dance clubs and participated in many other school and community activities.
She then moved to Lawton, Oklahoma to attend college and immediately after signing up for classes, she got a full-time job working every night on the morning newspaper as a proof reader.
On a field trip to Fort Sill in December she met her husband Tom Stephens and they were married on December 27, 1952. As a career military officer’s wife, she was involved in multiple base activities but also spent many hours involved in hobbies and things she loved for her whole life including pottery, sculpture, cake decorating, and playing bridge.
Marky was also an NRA instructor teaching Junior Rifle and was the leader of a Cub Scout and Brownie Troop. She was also an avid bowler all of her life who won many trophies over the years and she taught Junior Bowling for many years.
While at Fort Wainwright, Alaska she was the editor of the monthly news magazine, which won a tri-state award for excellence.
In November of 1963, Marky and Tom moved to Fort Huachuca. She continued her base activities by becoming the Chairwoman of the Welcoming Committee for new arrivals and Manager of the Thrift Shop. Upon retirement from the military, Marky became a realtor and shortly thereafter earned her GRI rating (Graduate, Realtors Institute). She was one of the first 3 women in the state of Texas to receive her GRI. She was elected to the office of President of the Board of Realtors that covered 5 counties and was on the Texas State Board of Realtors.
In 1976, Marky and Tom moved back to Sierra Vista, as they had loved their time there in the 1960’s. They purchased 12 acres in Hereford where she and Tom actually built their own home of over 3,000 square feet while living in a 12-foot RV on the property.
Marky was very active in the Fort Huachuca Ladies Golf Association and she served in many offices and committees. Because of her love for golf, she became even more active as a volunteer in Tucson for both the PGA (20 years) and LPGA (25 years) and she received significant recognition from both of them for her many years of service. She was also very active in the Fort Huachuca Women’s Bowling League and served as Secretary/Treasurer for 9 years.
Marky was also an active member of several national and community organizations including the Daughters of the American Revolution, and served as Treasurer of the local Tombstone Chapter from 1984 to 1986. As a member of Huachuca Area Republican Women’s Group, she was installed in December 2005 for 2 years as Corresponding Secretary. She served a 4-year tenure on Mr. Vega’s Readers Advisory Board for the Sierra Vista Herald Dispatch.
Marky never minded that her birthday was always blended with Christmas and her anniversary as she loved the holidays and getting everyone together. Ironically, she then had to share Mother’s Day, too, as she had her daughter, Gwen, born on that actual day.
Marky always made life with her children, Gregg and Gwen, a priority and they recalled how she would dance the jitterbug with them and was always singing along with the radio. Another strong memory was when she would tell them it was time for her “sewing project” which meant they had to lay on the floor on top of piece of fabric. Marky would trace around each of them on the fabric. In a day or two, she would have something new for each of them for school, play or costumes.
Marky was constantly looking for ways to share and make life special with unique activities and family accomplishments that stayed with them their entire lives
. In her final years, Marky remained active in her community and moved from Hereford to a new location in Sierra Vista. She spent the entire 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays in Connecticut with Gwen and her family, touring around NYC seeing shows and events, and visiting her sister on the east coast.
During her final days Marky lived at Garden Terrace Assisted Living in Sierra Vista. They were beyond excellent and gave her such loving care. ViCAP, a non-profit volunteer agency in Sierra Vista was so valuable to Marky taking her to the Commissary and many medical appointments over the last year of her life.
Donations can be made to ViCAP, P.O. Box 3004, Sierra Vista, Arizona 85636.
Margaret has now joined Tom in her final resting place in the Tucson East Lawn Cemetery.
Due to Covid and travel restrictions for some family members a Memorial Service will be held at a later date in Sierra Vista, which will be announced with plenty of notice.
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