Obituary for Linda Marie Stephens

    • Name: Linda Marie Stephens
    • Home Town: Sunset Beach
    • Date of Death: 03/14/2019
    • Birth Place: Cleveland, Ohio
    • Birth Date: 11/02/1942
    • Service Date: 03/28/2019 at 11:00 AM
    • Service Place: Seaside United Methodist Church in Sunset Beach, NC

    Linda Marie Stephens (nee Gabelli) “Gabby” passed away peacefully at her home in Sunset Beach, North Carolina on March 14, 2019.


    Linda was born to the late Daniel and Evelyn Gabelli in Cleveland, Ohio on November 2, 1942.  She was a 1960 graduate of Medina High School.  Linda received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Baldwin Wallace College in 1964. While at Baldwin Wallace, she met the love of her life, Frederick Criswell Stephens, who she married on June 26, 1965 at the Lindsey Crossman Chapel on campus.  Linda was a physical education teacher for the Buckeye Local School District, Mayfield City Schools and Berea City Schools. After the birth of Linda and Fred’s first child in 1969, Linda devoted her time to raising their children. She returned to the workforce as the executive secretary of the Discover Berea Chamber of Commerce until her retirement in 2000. She was a long-time resident of Berea, where she spent countless hours volunteering to enrich the experiences of her children and community.


    To call Linda a passionate sports fan would be an understatement. Whether it be Tennis, Track, Soccer, Basketball, Cheer, Baseball, Wrestling, or Football, if her child or grandchild was playing, she had a front row seat. She could be found under the Friday Night Lights every fall cheering on her son’s football teams as he coached over the last 20 years. An avid fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes, she and Fred traveled to many OSU football bowl games across the country. In her spare time, away from sports, you could find Linda reading or crafting where her bird houses came alive with color and designs, where her quilts told stories of journeys and taught children how to spell, and she masterfully knitted and crocheted. Linda loved the sun and could be found poolside or at the beach with her grandchildren or with a good book in hand. The competitive spirit ran deep beyond the children and grandchildren. Linda was the best of the best playing cards, Scrabble, Words with Friends or even a game of kickball with the grandkids. There were no strangers in Linda’s life, only friends whom she had not yet met.


    Linda is survived by her devoted husband of nearly 54 years, Fred, of Sunset Beach, NC.  She was the dedicated mother to son Matthew Criswell (Kathryn) of Lewis Center, Ohio and Megan Marie Truax (Ronald) of Sunbury, Ohio.  She was the beloved Nonna to Trey Daniel Stephens, Connor Phillip Stephens, Victoria Criswell Stephens, Gabriella Marie Truax, Isabella Regan Truax, Estella Grace Truax, dearest sister to Gail Tierney of Berea, sister-in-law to Margaret Barker of San Diego, CA and Evelyn and Joseph T. Stephens of Sunset Beach, NC, special cousin to Marie Grisanti Pochatek and family and loving aunt to Margi Watts.

    A Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 11:00am in Seaside United Methodist Church. A Celebration of Life will be held at Berea United Methodist Church in Berea OH, on Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 2:00pm.

     In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made in Linda’s honor to the Brunswick Family Assistance, P.O. Box 1551, Shallotte, NC 28459.


    Brunswick Funeral Service, Shallotte

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Dicky Powell Owner/Funeral Director/Embalmer
Connie Powell Owner/Funeral Director
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Jason L. Benton Manager/Funeral Director/Embalmer
Jack White Crematory Operator
Joseph Benton Funeral Assistant
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Dave Andrews Horticulturist
Scottie Babson Funeral Assistant/Crematory Operator


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