A Teacher Remembered

September 27, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
More than 300 family, friends, and students said goodbye to a popular Fresno teacher Saturday afternoon.Mary Stephens' life was cut short this week in a car accident.

A woman with a great laugh, a big smile and an even bigger heart; that's how Mary Stephens was remembered by loved ones who gathered to pay their final respects.

With song and with tears, dozens of Stephens' students said goodbye in their own way to the PE teacher and coach who touched each and every one of them.

Andreina Avalos, Roosevelt high student, says "She really made me feel special like just looking at her smile o nothing is going wrong with my life. She encouraged you in a way she just smiled at you."

Elia Martinez, Roosevelt high cross country team member, says "I'm never going to forget her she's always going to be in my heart."

The celebration of Stephens' life attracted such a big crowd it was standing room only inside Wesley United Methodist church with even more mourners outside.

Paula Mason, Roosevelt high teacher, says "Loyal friend, I will miss her deeply."

During the memorial service, friends and family laughed and cried as they remembered the 59-year old Stephens; a woman who loved life and whose enthusiasm made her one of a kind at Roosevelt high.

Jeff Bowman, Roosevelt high teacher, says "With her perpetual smile and sense of humor, you knew that she cared. Ladies and gentleman you are loved and nobody loved you more than coach Stephens, thanks Mary."

But in an instant all that zest for life was gone when an accident took Mary Stephens life. At the time she was on a scooter that her long time partner didn't want her to buy. Dinah Davis says she still can't believe Mary really is gone. "She's every place and no place. Like I told everyone this week it's like your drowning and you can't quite reach the top, you can see it but it's just not there," says Davis, Stephens' partner.

Mary Stephens is credited with creating a Special Olympics mentor program at Roosevelt high. In addition to her longtime partner, she leaves behind a 90-year old mother.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

abc30 News Links:
Links to other news sections on our website.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Breaking News Alerts:
Click Here to Sign-Up for Breaking News E-Mail Alerts
Receive Breaking News alerts in your email inbox.


Click Here to Sign-Up for Text Message Alerts
Receive Breaking News alerts right on your cell phone.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Load Comments