Harold O Stephens, FN (1946-1947)

Harold Otis Stephens, 94, known to his family and friends as Steve, died in Tyler, Texas, on Sunday, December 27, 2020. Steve was a proud member of the United States Navy and a WWII veteran serving from 1945 to 1947. He served on the USS Spangler and the USS Currier, both destroyer escorts. His daughter, Suzanne, says he and his lovely wife Kitty enjoyed their ship reunions, visiting many places, including Hawaii, California, Biloxi, Gatlinburg, and South Dakota. Steve and Kitty attended eight Spangler reunions beginning first in Louisville, KY, in 2002 and last in San Diego, CA, in 2011.

He was born on June 23, 1926, and raised in Port Arthur, Texas. He is survived by his beloved wife of 69 years, Kitty Stephens of Tyler (Nederland). Other survivors include: daughter Suzanne Middleton and husband Jim of Tyler, his son Mark Stephens of Humble, his son Mike Stephens and wife Beverly of Tyler, nine grandchildren, and five great-grandkids.

In high school, Steve ran track and was in the band, playing clarinet, saxophone, and violin. He was a Jeffersonian, a group which played for school and community affairs. He also performed with the Harry Vaughn Orchestra on Pleasure Island, where he served as a lifeguard.

Following his military service, he worked for the Gulf Oil corporation for 37.5 years. He was an active participant in the Boy Scouts of America, earning Vigil membership into the Order of the Arrow and attaining the rank of Eagle Scout. He later served as a Scoutmaster for his two sons and earned the Order of the Silver Beaver Award which is given to recognize registered Scouters of exceptional character who have provided distinguished service within a council.

Steve and Kitty were both very active in the VFW and the VFW Auxiliary. Dad, notes Suzanne, also spent time polishing rocks and incorporating them into jewelry he made. They loved going to their camp in Toledo Bend where Dad could spend hours fishing and Mom could read and watch the wildlife. They took many summer family vacations in their camper to various locations, with Colorado being a favorite. Ship reunions were a highlight of his later years.

Thank you Suzanne for the personal information on Steve and your family. Suzanne notes that Mom and Dad moved to Tyler three and a half years ago and now he is home once again.

Before departing here be sure to view Harold's excellent photo album of his time aboard the USS Spangler.