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1935 Cleo "Steve" Stephens 2023

Cleo "Steve" Stephens

August 16, 1935 — December 24, 2023

Cleo Dewell (Steve) Stephens, age 88 of Greenwood, IN died December 24, 2023.

“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” – G. K. Chesterton

Born in Kavito, Kentucky on August 16, 1935, Dewell was the oldest son of Cleo and Lissie (Grammar) Stephens. Life on a small Russell County farm during the depression was tough, and there he learned the importance of faith, caring for others, and doing good work. He was preceded in death by his siblings Maudena LaFavers, Norma Jean Huesman, and Elza Ray Stephens.

Dewell graduated from Nancy High School in 1953 and attended Lindsey Wilson College before moving to Indianapolis to find work. He was employed by Standard Grocery for several years. Dewell married Evona Montfort in 1957 who preceded him in death in 1994. He is survived by son Alan (Brenda) Stephens of Kalamazoo, MI, and grandchildren Zachary Stephens, Tyler Stephens and Erin (Nathan) Pritchard.

“Steve” was drafted into the Army in 1958 and served in Osan, Korea with the 304th Signal Battalion. In 1967, he graduated from Sam’s Technical Institute and began a nearly 3-decade career at Allison Transmissions, primarily at Plant 3 as a senior engineering technician. His work took him several times to the Arizona desert as well as Europe–wonderful experiences for a man who loved to learn and travel. He thoroughly enjoyed spending time in the southwest, indulging his life-long interest in the old west and Mexican food. Steve retired in 1992 and quickly developed an appreciation for Florida winters. He enjoyed spending time with family and friends in New Smyrna Beach for nearly 2 decades.

Faith in Christ was the foundation of His life. Steve was baptized in 1968 and was a member of the Brooklyn Christian Church for over 50 years. He served as a deacon and church treasurer for many years. He also attended Coronado Community UM Church in New Smyrna Beach. Those who knew Steve well have seen his devoted walk with the Lord through times of joy and grief.

Family life gave him immense satisfaction and contentment. He married Madonna Bolt in 1996, a blessing that added new family members who came to know him as a husband, father, and grandfather. Madonna preceded him in death in 2021. He is survived by daughter Barbara Benskin, grandchildren Shelley (Bobby) Hensley and Eddie (Kierstyn) Martinez, and 4 great-grandchildren.

Steve’s recent moves to Demaree Crossing Assisted Living in Greenwood, IN and to Vineyard Assisted Living in Kalamazoo, MI allowed new people to experience his gentle spirit, resilience and gratitude. The family would like to thank Paradigm Health of Greenwood and Centrica Care Navigators of Kalamazoo for their excellent hospice care.

Final arrangements were provided by Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial and Cremation Services, Kalamazoo, MI.

Burial will take place on January 20th at 11 am at West Newton Cemetery, West Newton, IN. Family and friends are invited to share memories and celebrate Steve’s life at Folktale Event Center, 243 S. Madison Avenue in Greenwood following the graveside service until 3 pm. Memorial contributions can be made to Brooklyn Christian Church, Brooklyn, IN or Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Steve will be greatly missed but the memories of his good nature and love for family and friends will sustain us until we meet again.

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