Tony Wayne Stephens passed from this life on June 6, 2018 in Tahlequah, OK at 81 years of age.
Tony was born January 13, 1937 to Harry Wayne Stephens and Bertha Marain Stephens west of Tahlequah, OK. The night he was born it was snowing and his dad had to plow the road to make the way for Dr. Herbert Masters to make his way to their home in the Manard community for his birth. Tony and his brother Eddy attended Manard school along with their favorite cousins until he moved with his family to Arizona when he was 12 years of age.
There he attended and graduated from Gila Bend High School in 1955. He met and married the love of his life Edith (Bode) Hazen from Palo Verde, AZ on February 12, 1957 and from the union was born three children, Charles, Valerie and Stephanie.
Tony was a self-made man who worked tirelessly to provide for his family. During his years in Gila Bend he owned several businesses including 2 Chevron service stations and a hardware store. He had many friends in Gila Bend and he and his family made many wonderful memories there. Many vacations were taken with other Gila Bend families that they had grown close to, from camping in the White Mountains to fishing in Mexico at the Gulf of California. Those same families also gathered for cross country Jeep treks with everyone in their four-wheel drives crossing the desert and camping at night. He treasured his friendships especially the ones he made in high school. He was referred to as "TW" by his closest friends. He maintained those friendship throughout his life through fun gatherings, fishing, hunting and RV'ing.
His children always felt loved and provided for and enjoyed always having a horse to ride and an old car to drive around on their 40 acres from the time they were old enough to reach the gas pedal. He always wanted them to have fun and was always showing up with toys for them to enjoy from a dune buggy he had spotted on the beach in Mexico to one of the very first jet skis for them to enjoy on the lake.
In 1974 Tony and Edith bought a ranch in Cherokee County and moved their family back to Tahlequah Oklahoma. Tony raised cattle and then branched out into selling real estate. His children thrived in Oklahoma and went on to be college graduates and raise strong families of their own.
Tony was a proud 60-year charter member of the Gila Bend Elk's Lodge, the Cherokee County Cattlemen's Association and attended First Christian Church of Tahlequah.
Tony was preceded in death by his parents Harry and Bertha. He is survived by his Wife, Edith of 61 years, His Son, Chuck Stephens(Billie) of Locust Grove. Daughters, Val Dobbins (Mark) of Tahlequah and Stephanie Reed (Scott) of Houston, TX, 6 grandchildren, Jyme Ferguson Lowe, Stephanie Dobbins Gray, Sydney Dobbins, Britt Dobbins, Mitch Reed, Sarah Reed and one great granddaughter Jadyn Lowe. He is also survived by his brother Eddy Stephens (Helen) from Leaky, TX and many other friends and loved ones. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to First Christian Church in Tahlequah.