Arbutus Morris Stephens


Arbutus Morris Stephens, born May 9, 1933 in Dyke, Virginia, peacefully departed this world on December 16, 2023.  Arbutus will be remembered for her passion of gardening and cooking comfort food as well as a vigorous defense of her strongly held beliefs.  She might have even been referred to as a “tad stubborn” on occasion.  While not overtly emotional, she expressed her love by generously sharing the bounty from her enormous garden and by over-filling the bellies of her family and friends with country cooking, which was an integral part of her culture.

A cup of coffee and a meandering conversation with a loved one, preferably in the glow of a woodburning stove, was her idea of a perfect moment; one that seemed to nurture her soul.  She believed that simplicity was the ultimate virtue; that a neatly stacked pile of firewood was a work of art; that a heat pump was something to be despised and that technology was an unnecessary complication of life.  In many ways she was the epitome of Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation.”

Arbutus was preceded in death by her parents Leonard and Louise Morris; her husband Horris Dabney Stephens; her son, Horace Wayne Stephens; and four sisters—Freddie Mae Morris, Geneva Morris, Juanita Shifflett and Flossie Watson.  

She is survived by her son, Bill Stephens (Lynda), daughter-in-law Patricia Stephens, grandchildren Ahren Foster (Ryan), Meghan Stephens (and Eamon), Carson Stephens (Mattie), Patrick Stephens (Jackie), and Lauren Woodberry (Craig); great grandchildren Addison, Hudson, Nellie, Benjamin, Rhett, Roselyn and Ella Jay; sisters Rozenia Shifflett and Naomi Crawford; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A visitation was held at Anderson Funeral Home, on December 27.  A memorial service will be held at a later date.


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