A Celebration of Life for James E. “Jim” Stephens will be held beginning at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, at Millenium Lanes, State Highway 17, Aledo.
Jim, 69, of Aledo, died unexpectedly from a brief illness surrounded by family Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018, at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Private burial will be at Candor Cemetery in rural Seaton. Local arrangements are by Speer Funeral Home, Aledo. Memorials may be made to either Aledo Fire Company, P.O. Box 148, Aledo, Ill. 61231-0148, or Mercer County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, P.O. Box 1, Aledo, Ill. 61231-0001. Donations also may be dropped off or mailed to the funeral home or brought to the celebration of life.

A Celebration of Life for James E. “Jim” Stephens will be held beginning at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, at Millenium Lanes, State Highway 17, Aledo.

Jim, 69, of Aledo, died unexpectedly from a brief illness surrounded by family Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018, at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

Jim was an avid Los Angeles Dodgers fan and loved watching sporting events. Please wear your favorite team’s shirt or hat to his Celebration of Life. Food will be served from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Doug’s Town and Country Restaurant in the bowling alley. Friends may continue to visit past 7:30 p.m. in the bowling alley, where Jim spent much time in the past with friends bowling and socializing.

He graduated in 1967 from Aledo High School and in 1971 from Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. He formerly worked as a teacher at Winola School. He was the sixth-generation farmer to live on and operate the family farm in the Sunbeam section of Ohio Grove Township. The farm has been in the family since 1842.

In addition to his wife Beth Hofer Stephens, surviving are a daughter, Dr. Elisabeth “Lisa” (Chuck Gysi) Stephens of Aledo; a son, Jeff (Starla) Stephens of Aledo; two stepsons, Christopher Wilkin and Matt Wilkin, both of Springfield; two stepdaughters, Jennifer Bennie of Peoria and Sarah Wilkin of Queen Creek, Arizona; a sister, Judie (Ronnie) Bonynge of Andalusia; a niece, Pam (Justin) Dilly of Port Byron; an aunt, Ethel “Tommie” Greer of Aledo; two grandchildren; and 14 stepgrandchildren.

His first wife, Barbara Whan Stephens; parents, Gerald and Helen Smith Stephens; and a stepson, Jaron Wilkin, predeceased him.

Private burial will be at Candor Cemetery in rural Seaton. Local arrangements are by Speer Funeral Home, Aledo. Memorials may be made to either Aledo Fire Company, P.O. Box 148, Aledo, Ill. 61231-0148, or Mercer County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, P.O. Box 1, Aledo, Ill. 61231-0001. Donations also may be dropped off or mailed to the funeral home or brought to the celebration of life.