Charles E. Stephens, beloved husband, father, brother, grandpa, and great-grandpa passed away peacefully in his sleep on September 28th, 2017 at the age of 80 years.
He was born On October 15, 1936 in Revelo, Kentucky to the late Norman Stephens and Cordelia (Kidd) Stephens. Charles grew up in the Pine Knot area, raised by hands that never saw an easy year. He spent his childhood at the side of his father working in the timber, at the sawmill, and in the field.
In addition to his parents, Charles is preceded in death by a sister, Ellouise Shepherd.
After graduating from high school he enlisted in the Army with his buddy Ledford Stephens. He always would tell the story that he had enlisted to get away from the log woods but he soon found out he would be stationed at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO. where his first assignment was on a cutting crew cutting trees with a cross-cut saw. He and Ledford teamed up on the saw because they knew what it would be like on their end of the saw if they were paired with someone who had never used one before.
In 1961 he married the love of his life Carol King. Shortly after their wedding he was sent to France and there his tour lasted two years. He returned to Kentucky to pack his belongings and reunite with his wife. They both took a scenic road trip catching up and building memories as they headed to Ft. Carson, CO, his next station. There they would have their first child, Charlotte.
His next station was Ft. Leavenworth, KS. Daughter Pam and son Norman were born. He made their home across the river on a farm in Weston, MO. where he raised tobacco and cattle.
In 1971 he was sent to Vietnam. Before he left he moved Carol and the children back to Pine Knot, KY to be with family. He would be gone for one year. He and Carol corresponded with each other through letters and cassette tapes. He often would sing songs for the children on the tapes. While in Vietnam he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. When he returned he was stationed in Fort Leonard Wood, MO before orders to Fort Leavenworth came once again. His family lived in Weston, MO and raised 30 acres of tobacco.
After retirement his urge to travel and unwillingness to ever be in one place too long prompted him to start a second career as a truck driver. He would then travel the country for the next 26 years often bringing his family on road trips with him.
During his truck driving career he moved his family back to Pine Knot, KY one final time. There he would tend to the land and be with his family. He would enjoy spending time with grandchildren.
Charles lived an all-American life. He grew up with a hammer in his hand, defended our country, married a beautiful young lady, raised a family by the sweat of his brow, traveled the world, and created a legacy that will be forever remembered.
Surviving family include his wife, Carol (King) Stephens; a son, Norman Joe (Katrina Stephens) of Weston, Missouri; daughters, Charlotte Anderson (Kevin) of Pine Knot, Kentucky, and Pamela Stephens also of Pine Knot; brothers, Russell Stephens (Sharon) and John Arthur Stephens (Faye); sisters, Norma Jean King (Boyce) and Rosalean Stephens, all of Pine Knot; grandchildren, Matthew Stephens (and Taylor), Lucas Stephens, William Perry (and Shelby), Sarah Perry (and Jeffery), Patience Sharon (and Travis), Hope Anderson, and Tiffany and Amanda Stephens; and great-grandchildren, Waylon Stephens, Garrett Taylor, and Kaylee Perry.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at 3:00 pm in the chapel of Pine Knot Funeral Home with Rev. William Kilby officiating. Burial to follow in the Pine Knot Cemetery with full military honors. The family will receive friends on Tuesday after 1:00 pm until time for services at the funeral home.
Pine Knot Funeral Home is assisting the family of Mr. Charles Stephens.