Luellen Hovey Stephenson died February 14, 2018. She was born in Louisville, AL, September 5, 1924, the second child of the late John Wess and Nelle Greene Hovey. She spent her childhood in Central Alabama where her father was a farmer. She enjoyed walking, painting, crocheting, tatting, and sewing, and faithfully wrote thousands of letters.
She attended Auburn University where she graduated in December, 1945, and earned a Bachelors Degree in Applied Art. Afterward, she joined the art department of the Baptist Sunday School Board in Nashville, TN and contributed artwork and layout to periodicals, pamphlets, and books.
While in Nashville, she met Charles V. Stephenson, II, a student at Vanderbilt University. They were married in Birmingham, AL on August 29, 1948. After her husband earned his doctoral degree in 1952, they moved to Albuquerque, NM and started a family. She became a housewife and mother. She is survived by her three children: Dr. Charles Bruce Stephenson (Dr. Marija Norusis) and Dr. Frances Luellen Lightsom, both born in Albuquerque; and Dr. Gregory Brian Stephenson (Dr. Carol Thompson), born in Auburn, AL.
She moved with her husband from Albuquerque to Auburn, AL, to Birmingham, AL, and back to Nashville, TN, where he joined the faculty of Vanderbilt University. After several years as an active mother, Girl Scout leader, and volunteer at Trinity Presbyterian Church and Vanderbilt Hospital, she was appointed Director of Recreational Therapy at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. She retired shortly before the birth of her grandchildren, Calvin Francis Hotchkiss and Samuel Stephenson Hotchkiss.
As a grandmother she delighted in sewing children’s clothes and intricate costumes, showering the children with beautiful picture books, baking cookies, and growing hundreds of African violets. Trinity Presbyterian ordained her as an Elder. She organized volunteers to read to preschool children at Martha O’Bryan Center, participated in Meals on Wheels and Habitat for Humanity, and was an expert calligrapher who was frequently asked to make posters and artwork, especially for the church. She made many clothes for herself and her grown daughter, frequently trimmed with lace she tatted herself.
She and her husband moved to Montreat, NC, in 1999, and to Givens Estates (Asheville, NC) in 2005. They belonged to Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church and volunteered at Mission Hospital.
She was predeceased by sister Johnnie Mae Vanderford, and brother Robert Greene Hovey. She is survived by her husband, sisters Sarah Eleanor Gullatte, Evelyn Carol Gullatte, brother Albert Paul Hovey (Ann), three children, two grandchildren, and countless nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at the Norma F. Pulliam Chapel at Givens Estates in Asheville on March 24 at 11 AM. Memorial donations may be made to Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, or Homeward Bound.
Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian is assisting the family.