Obit: Stephens, Agnes L. (1921 -2004)

Contact: Dolores Mohr Kenyon

----Sources: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.)


Surnames: Stephens, Bryan, Cummings, Fischer, Felt, Bush, Rusinko, Palubicki, Kelley.

Agnes L Stephens, age 83, Alma Center, died Fri. Aug. 13, 2004, at the Pine View Care Center, in Black River Falls where she had resided since April of 2003.

Agnes was born on June 26, 1921, in Neillsville, the daughter of James D. and Agnes Isabelle (Bryan) Cummings. She was the oldest of 11 children. Agnes graduated in 1939 from Neillsville High School and attended Mt. Sinai Nurses College in Chicago for two years, receiving a cap with a black braid qualifying her for general hospital nursing. For several years, she worked part-time as a nurse at Neillsville Memorial Hospital. She lived in Madison for a short time, and worked part-time as a waitress until a "pie-throwing incident" ended her career as a waitress.

Agnes married Eugene Fischer in Chicago in 1946 and they later divorced. On Nov. 4, 1950, she married Harold "Joe" Stephens in Chicago. While in Chicago, Agnes was employed as the personal secretary for the national director of the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority from 1954 until 1959. In 1959, Harold and Agnes bought a hobby farm in rural Alma Center and in 1968 Agnes began working at Fort McCoy as a transportation clerk. In 1974, she became the bookkeeper at the Empire Gas Company in Merrillan. The couple moved to rural Merrillan around 1980 and in 1982, Agnes returned to Fort McCoy as a clerk in The Training Aid Center until her retirement in 1986. Her husband preceded her in death on March 16, 1988.

Agnes moved to Alma Center in 1991, residing at the Midtown Apartments. She was the secretary for Grace Lutheran Church in Alma Center for many years. She also worked for the Jackson County Department of Health and Human Services delivering senior meals and also as the Alma Center senior meal site manager. She served as treasurer for the Alma Center American Legion Auxiliary for many years and she also volunteered at the Pine View Care Center.

Agnes enjoyed fishing and loved to garden, joyfully sharing her produce. She and Harold had many beloved poodles. "JJ" was her favorite because he was the friendliest and he seemed to understand her thoughts. She also loved poetry, and particularly enjoyed reading and memorizing poems.

Surviving Agnes is her one son, Dean (Janet) Stephens, of Alma Center; two granddaughters, Karla (Kurt) Stephens-Felt, of Neenah, and Tracy (Bob) Stephens-Bush, of Jackson, WY; six brothers and sisters, Donald (Dolly) Cummings, of Arlington Heights, IL; Jo-Ann Rusinko, of Warrens; Mary Palubicki, of Sparta; Nancy (Jack) Kelley, of Friendship; Thomas (Pat) Cummings, of Humbird; and Allen Cummings, of Sun Prairie; besides many other relatives and friends.

Preceding Agnes in death besides her husband, Harold, are her parents, James and Agnes "Belle" Cummings; and four brothers, William, Robert, John and James.

Funeral Services for Agnes were held Monday Aug. 16 at Grace Lutheran Church. Burial was in the East Lawn Cemetery, both in Alma Center. Rev. Paul Bittner officiated.

Casket bearers were April Breheim, Dale Cummings, Gary Cummings, Amy Mercer, Jackie Olson and Crystal Sluga. Honorary bearers were Ethan Brehheim, Dylan Olson and Colton Sluga.

The Jensen-Modjeski Funeral Home in Hixton assisted the family with the arrangements.



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