Harry J. Stephens, 78, 11588 Greenlawn, a resident of Plymouth since 1986, coming from East Chicago, died following a brief illness on Thursday, June 1, 2000. Known as a loving husband, father and grandfather, Harry died at 5:50 a.m. in St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center – Plymouth Campus.
Born on November 17, 1921, in Kenosha, Wis., he was the son of Joseph A. and Catherine Kavalauskis Stephens.
He graduated from Kenosha High School in 1939 and attended the University of Wisconsin for one year before being joining the U.S. Navy where he served for four years.
During W.W.II, Harry was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries received in serving his country. One of his shipmates in the Navy was prize boxer Tony Zale. Their friendship fostered an interest in the sport and Harry became a Chicago Golden Gloves Boxing Champion. Upon his return to civilian life, he graduated from Chicago’s Gregg College and School of Business.
On August 10, 1947, in Chicago, Harry and Ella E. Stephens were married.
In East Chicago, Ind., Harry was an active member of the Fire Department and their service to the community. After 33 years he retired as a Captain in 1986. He was a member of the East Chicago Fire Fighters Association, Local 365.
At other times in his life, Harry was a Chicago cab driver. He also worked at the Chicago Post Office and delivered meat in Gary.
Bob and Ella traveled a great deal following retirement, abroad and especially enjoyed Alaska and Hawaii. His family was number one in his life. His grandchildren were his pride and joy.
A member of the First United Church of Christ since coming to Plymouth, his former church affiliation was in Hammond where he served 25 years as Vice-president of the Faith United Church of Christ Consistory.
Harry is survived by Ella, his wife of 53 years and their two daughters, Donna E. Toth and grandchildren, Michael, Kevin and Marla, all of Schereville, Ind., and Linda and Jim Keister and their family, grandchildren, Eric, Laurie, and Brandon, all of Plymouth.
Three nieces, Elma Smith, Sandi Gibbs and Joyce Pandak survive as well.
His parents preceded Harry in death.
Friends may visit with the family on Saturday, June 3, 2000, from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at the Johnson-Danielson Funeral Home, 1100 N. Michigan St., Plymouth.
Funeral services will be on Sunday, June 4, 2000, at 1 p.m. in the funeral home. The Rev. Dr. David Moffett-Moore, pastor of the First United Church of Christ will officiate.
Burial will be in Graceland Cemetery, Valparaiso, Indiana.
Memorial gifts in Harry’s memory may be made to the First United Church of Christ.