Gerald Lincoln Stephenson

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Gerald Lincoln Stephenson, loving husband and father, passed away on September 30, 2017 at Mountain View Manor Nursing Center after a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He is survived by his spouse of 60 years, Annie Parker Stephenson.

He was born in Swain County on May 21, 1936 and was the son of the late Robert Pierce Stephenson and Bessie Johnson Stephenson. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers, Junior Stephenson and Harold Lee Stephenson and his grandson, Isaac James Stephenson.

Gerald was an active member of Mount Zion Baptist Church for most of his life. He served the Lord in many capacities in the life of the church, but some of the major ministries were his service as Deacon, Sunday School teacher and Choir Director. He was also instrumental in the planning, building and funding of the new church facility. Gerald also played an active role in the Tennessee River Baptist Association.

After proudly serving his country in the United States Marine Corp for four years, Gerald’s career led him to Elkton, Maryland where he was employed by Thiokol Corporation. He returned to Swain County in 1965. He was a carpenter by trade building and remodeling homes throughout his life. He worked for a season in maintenance at the former Singer Manufacturing Company. Then, he spent over twenty years with Swain County High School as a Building Trades teacher. 

He also coached the JV and Varsity baseball teams for 10 years and was affectionately nicknamed, “Stense.” He was a positive role model and influence in the lives of countless young people through his time spent with Swain County High School.

Gerald was also a 33rd Degree Mason and proud of his service with the Oconee Masonic Lodge. Words cannot sufficiently convey the impact he made in the lives of so many people in the community.

Gerald is survived by his loving wife, Annie, his children, Tina Royster (Burke) of Greenville, SC, MSG Jeffrey Stephenson, US Army Retired (Kimberly) of Bryson City, Mark Stephenson (Tammy) of Bryson City and Rev. Dr. Keith Stephenson (Bethel) of Rutherfordton, NC. Gerald and Annie were also blessed with five grandsons: Nicholas (Dana), Jake (Lauren), Jeremy (Samantha), Eric (Nikki) and Josh and six great grandchildren: Kale, Shaylin, Allie, Logan, Kree and Nora. He is also survived by his sister, Genevieve Lindsay (Phillip) of Bryson City.

Services were conducted at Mount Zion Baptist Church on Tuesday, October 3 at 2:00 p.m. 

The family received friends at the church from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. David Watkins and Keith Stephenson officiated the Celebration of Life service. Burial was at Sawyer Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mount Zion Baptist Church General Fund, 164 Caney Branch Road, Bryson City, NC 28713. Crisp Funeral Home be handling the arrangements.

Smoky Mountain Times

Mailing Address:
PO Box 730
1 River Street
Bryson City, NC 28713 
Phone: 828-488-2189
Fax: 828-488-0315