[UPDATE] Remembering Barbara Stephens

Services for Barbara Stephens are set for this Thursday (December 19), 10 a.m. at Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. Chip Stephens writes:

Barbara Stephens left us this morning in body, but not in spirit.

Her family all made it in time to say goodbye. She died peacefully in her sleep, in her bed, in her home.

It was 59 years ago this month that she moved to Lone Pine Lane with her late husband, Ron, and 3 young children: Chip, Kevin and Donna. (Dee Dee arrived later).

Barbara Stephens with her son Chip, and grandchildren Dean and Bryn.

Barbara’s first job as a Westport mom was chief cook and bottle washer, Compo Beach summer lover, and kid taxi driver (a popular, common and very underpaid occupation in the 1960s).

She moved on to bigger things as a teller and manager at the old Westport Bank & Trust, then as a legal assistant at the law firm of Laux and Grant.

She loved local sports, particularly watching her kids play baseball, softball and Pop Warner football. Barbara was a very passionate mom at Staples football and wrestling matches. Her most prized award — one she often boasted about — was presented at a wrestling banquet by Coach Saul Pollack: The Loudest Fan Award.

Barbara was an active volunteer with Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the Westport Republican Party, and at Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopalian Church.

She loved trips to Maine, sitting by the lake in Readfield. Her favorite picture was taken this past July on her 84th birthday. She sat on the deck of the Maine house overlooking Torsey Pond on a glorious summer day, watching the Yankees streaming on TV, listening to the resident loons.

Barbara Stephens, watching the Yankees by the lake in Maine.

Soon after her birthday she took ill. After a month in rehab she moved back to Lone Pine as a hospice patient. She gained strength and thrived in her last months with 2 more visits to Maine, seeing her great-grandchildren baptized, and enjoying visits and texts from her 9 grandchildren.

Barbara visited Compo last Monday, and took a grand ride around town before falling ill and passing away late Friday night. Her family was by her side.

Barbara Stephens was a true Westporter. She will be remembered by many whose lives she touched.

The family has asked that donations in her name be sent to support her favorite blog, which was her great source of joy and favorite online local news: “06880” (click here for details).

Barbara Stephens with her first grandchild, Charlie, and first great-granchild, Charlie Jr.

33 responses to “[UPDATE] Remembering Barbara Stephens

  1. Oh Dan. Thank you. Chip was my first boyfriend! Mrs Stephens (never Barbara!) loaded us up in her station wagon and took us to Jones Beach….

    Do you have and could you please share his email address with me? Bittersweet news. Debbie


  2. Chip – such a great write up for your Mom. Very sorry to hear about your loss, but certain that she had the best of care and family love in her final days.
    Art Schoeller

  3. She was a sweetheart..I’ve known her since the WB and T days. I’m so sorry.

    • Such a warm and wonderful tribute to someone so clearly beloved by all who knew her.

      Deepest condolences to Chip and the entire Stephens clan. May your many fond memories help buoy your spirits in the face of this enormous loss.

      Jane and I are sending our warmest wishers and thoughts.

  4. So very sorry to learn of your mother’s passing, Chip.
    Pamela and I are thinking of you and your family.

  5. Michael Calise

    Well said Chip your Mom was a true Westport fixture, Always a pleasure to see her and have a conversation. Prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

  6. Danielle Dobin

    What a beautiful tribute, Chip. I can imagine her enthusiastically cheering you on at wrestling! Thanks so much for sharing Dan.

  7. Beautifully written Uncle Chip. Some of my fondest memories as a child was visiting all of you in Westport. Sending my deepest condolences to the entire Stephens family. Nana was an amazing woman.

  8. I’m so sorry for your loss, Chip. It sounds like she had a beautiful life with much to be proud of.

  9. Kristan Hamlin

    I am so sorry for your loss, Chip. It sounds like you were blessed with a wonderful Mom. Your tribute is a credit to her. May her memory also be a blessing.

  10. Ah Chip, I am so sorry to learn of your mom’s passing. Your words here are just so beautiful and heartfelt. A truly lovely tribute! Please know that you and your family are in my prayers.

    All my best,

    John F. Suggs

  11. Chip:
    I was so sorry to hear about your Mom. She certainly was a Westport institution. My thoughts are with you and your family.
    Jim Ezzes

  12. Mary Beth Mollica

    Sorry for your loss. I didn’t know your mom but I wish I had, as I grew up in Readfield, Maine. If you are also familiar with her experience there and would like to chat about it, I would be happy to accommodate you! She sounds like a really neat woman and her appreciation for Lovejoy Pond shows it. My condolences to your family.
    Mary Beth Mollica

  13. My condolences to your family Chip. Your heartfelt words remind me we are all here just visiting, so let’s be nice to each other.

  14. Gerald E. Kuroghlian

    A lovely memorial for a great lady She was one of my favorite Staples

  15. What a beautiful tribute to your mother, Chip. I am so sorry for your loss.

  16. Chip, I am so sorry for your loss. Your mother was clearly a woman who left her mark on her world. An example for all of us!

  17. Hi chip sorry for your loss from sal

  18. Chip, Kevin, Donna & Dee Dee…I remember well what Chip and some other posters have mentioned…the trips to Jones Beach, and the ubiquitous station wagon with the plate reading CKDD!

    My condolences to all.

  19. Thoughts and prayers to the whole family. May all your fond memories keep her close to your heart ❤️

  20. Barbara was a good friend of my mom’s and I got to spend many happy and fun hours in her home with Barbara, Ron and their family. A wonderful lady and family! Love and condolences to you all.

  21. Chip, so sorry for your loss. I never met your mom but she must have been an exceptional woman to have brought you up to be the man you are. Really liked the picture of the four of you (Mom, Dean, Bryn and yourself above). You were a great boss and still an exceptional friend. Our thoughts are with you and your family.

  22. Chip, I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. I remember her well. My condolences to you and your family.

  23. Heather Grahame

    Chip – Your Mom was wonderful and she always made me feel at home and part of your family. She excelled at personal relationships and warmth. I am happy she was able to see so many generations, and your tribute is fantastic.


  24. Hi Chip
    I am sorry to hear about Barbara’s passing. My condolences to you, Kevin , Donna and Deedee.
    Having known and worked with Barbara for over 25 years I have seen her great love of family and Westport. She will be missed by all.

  25. Chip – I am sorry for your loss. Your Mom’s legacy lives on with the greatest gift she gave Westport in the form of her son. She made us all be better by thinking before speaking knowing she was watching, and by speaking louder and more clearly on Thursday night’s in the auditorium reminding us that the P&Z Commission serves a greater audience then can be accommodated in the auditorium. The Commission serves the entire Westport community. I’m sure you made her very proud and she would be grateful of your family’s generosity directing your friends and associates to help support an outlet we sometimes take for granted provided daily by Dan. My sincere condolences. Mary Young

  26. Chip, Kevin, Donna & DeeDee – I am so sorry for your loss. She will be truly missed in the Westport community. That was a wonderful rememberance you wrote. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  27. Services for Barbara Stephens are this Thursday (December 19), 10 a.m. at Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Westport.

  28. I loved reading about your Mom. A Life well lived. We both had moms that left the world better than they found it.

  29. Sara and Charles Hemmerdinger

    To Barbara’s family – Barbara was one of our most favorite people. We (as Realtors) worked with her for many years. She always had an answer for everything, and if she didn’t know something she searched until she found out. We will especially miss her sense of humor, but take comfort in memories of her well-lived and well-loved life. Sara & Charlie

  30. Chip – Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time. Jeff, Karla, Cole, & Ryan Quinn

  31. Chip Stephens SHS 73

    Thank you all for reading and for all of your kind words. Mom was Westport’s biggest fan and saw in Dan’s columns the picture of our collective minds picture of the loving, caring and often dysfunctional tribe that defines our great Westport community .
    Peace all