James (Jim) Stephenson succumbed to COVID on Nov 23, 2020. He tested positive on Oct 31 and was hospitalized until his passing. He was 85.
Jim is survived by his children: Brian Stephenson, Ann Stephenson, Karen Payne (Steve), Dale Stephenson (Deanna), Terry “Chip” Fitzpatrick (Cheryl), four grandchildren: Victoria Berry (nee Payne and husband Brandon), Timothy Stephenson, Courtney Stover and Ashley Stover. He is also survived by his three sisters: Patricia Smith, Marie Bustos, Sally Tople and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He is preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Margaret Stephenson and his wife, Marylin Stephenson.
Jim was born on September 10, 1935 in Cleveland. He joined the Coast Guard after High School and trained as an Electrician’s Mate; he served at Charlevoix Lifeboat Station, Michigan. After his Coast Guard tour, he began a career in Real Estate. Jim was very handy – he renovated homes and flipped them in the 1960s and early 1970s. After the recession in the 1970s, he took a job in New York as an electrician. After completing the job in NY, he went to work for Union Commerce Bank in Cleveland (later became Huntington Bank). In 1976 Jim relocated with his family from Cleveland to a small farm in West Salem. He completely renovated the farmhouse and was a gentleman farmer; commuting every day to Cleveland to work for Union Commerce/Huntington Bank. He retired from Huntington Bank in 1991. After retirement he and Marylin enjoyed traveling throughout the USA.
Jim never met a stranger. He had the gift of gab and loved to stay busy. He was Catholic by faith. He was a member of Our Lady Help of Christians Parish in Seville and was very active with the church – helping with the grounds work, he and Marylin sang in the choir, he served weekly meals and served as a greeter. He and Marylin were active with Farm Bureau. They had many close friends in the farming community of Wayne County. Jim was also a Ruritan and enjoyed helping with recycling efforts and preserving the history of Wayne County. Jim and Marylin were members of the Wayne County Republican Party – they volunteered every year at the Wayne County Fair setting up and manning the Republican booth. After Marylin’s passing in 2016, Jim continued his many community service activities and added a few more. Many mornings you could find him enjoying breakfast at the West Salem Village Cornerstone Restaurant, connecting with his many friends. He participated in a weekly Bible Study breakfast group and a Church group breakfast. Jim also had a passion for gambling. One of his favorite places was Las Vegas. As travel got more challenging, Jim turned his attention to Jack’s Casino in Cleveland. He was a “frequent flier” at Jacks and was always pursuing the next big jackpot!
Jim was known for his sense of humor, friendly, easy-going manner and willingness to always lend a helping hand. Jim had a vast collection of crazy suspenders that he sported with every outfit. He will be missed by all.
At this time, due to the extraordinary circumstances of COVID 19, no services are planned. The family will plan a celebration of life later, as circumstances allow. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Our Lady Help of Christians Parish (9608 Norwalk Rd, Litchfield, OH 44253). The family would like to thank the caregivers at The Cleveland Clinic (Medina Hospital ICU and Regency Hospital ICU) for their efforts and care during Jim’s final days. Matteson Funeral Home is assisting the family. Online condolences can be left at mattesonfh.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Stephenson, please visit our floral store.