Chicagoland Time & Weather

Florence Stephens, dead aged 90, being remembered as caring community volunteer, loving family member & mentor

by Dustin Alexander-Pérez, Met Sentinel Editor-In-Chief | Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019 | Early Edition

CHICAGO – Florence Louise Stephens, aged 90, of Bartlett, Illinois passed away Friday, September 13, 2019. Mrs. Stephens is being remembered by family, friends and colleagues as a role model to many of the people whose lives she touched and for the many hours of outreach to her local community she gave willingly.

Mrs. Stephens retired from Midwest Bank where she served as coordinator of the Senior Funtimers Group. She continued to be very active in the community while also spending as much time as possible with family the people who meant the most to her.

Faith and humanitarian causes were near and dear to Mrs. Stephens' heart. She was a former Sultana of the International Order of Alhambra, a Catholic organization that among its many different charitable venues is well known for its work with developmentally handicapped persons and the Order's constant involvement in Special Olympics. She was also a member of The Bartlett Woman's Club.

The following is a segment from the Official Obituary as provided by the Salerno Funeral Directors:

Florence Louise Stephens (nee Croce), age 90, of Bartlett (formerly of Franklin Park, Chicago & Ohio); retiree of Midwest Bank (coordinator of the Senior Funtimers Group), former Sultana of the International Order of Alhambra and member of Bartlett Women’s Club, author, artist, pianist, gardener and a wonderful cook; began her eternal life with our heavenly Father, Love of her Life and passed family and friends on September 13, 2019. Beloved wife for 40 years of the late Ashby “Steve” Elmore Stephens; devoted mother of William, Stephen (Janet, nee Seleski) and Elisa (nee Stephens, (Mark)) Stevens; cherished grandmother/Nani of Samantha (Kyle Peck), Christopher, Joshua “Joshie”, Ashley “Ashy/Little Ash” (nee Stevens, (Mike)) Paparella, Amanda, Aaron (Alyssa) Seleski, Casandra “Casey” and Alexandria “Lexi”; proud great grandmother of Nova, Noah, Nylah and Leilani; loving daughter of the late William and Elizabeth Croce (nee Petramala); dear sister of Mary Jane (nee Croce, (William)) Croce, and the late Samuel “Bob” (the late Julia, nee DiBenedetto) Croce; daughter in law of the late James and Millie Elizabeth Stephens (nee Elmore); sister in law of Dorothy “Pug” (nee Stephens, (James)) Wilson, the late Myrtice (nee Stephens, (the late Paul)) Manley, and the late W. Roy (Debbie) Stephens; former mother in law of Matilda and the late Margie; former sister in law of Mozell Stephens; dear aunt, cousin and friend to many.”

A visitation for Mrs. Stephens is this evening, Wednesday, September 18, 2019 from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Salerno's Rosedale Chapels in Roselle, Illinois from The Funeral for Mrs. Stephens will be Thursday, September 19, 2019 where family and friends are invited to gather 8:30 a.m. at Salerno’s Rosedale Chapels 450 W. Lake St. Roselle, IL. 60172 (3/4 mile west of Bloomingdale/Roselle Rd.) A cortege will proceed to St. Isidore Church where Mass will begin at 9:30 a.m. Final Interment will be at Mt. Carmel Cemetery. For more information, please call the funeral director at 630-889-1700 or their website

This writer and our news agency wish to offer our sincerest condolences to the entire Stephens Family at this time of their great loss. We especially send our deepest sympathies to Wm. “Bill” Stephens, who serves as Vice President of News Operations and the Chief of Photography for Metro News Network, the owners of this newspaper. We also send our thoughts to Bill's daughter and Florence's Granddaughter, Samantha Stephens, who has contributed her professional photography talents to our news wire agency.

As a friend to The Stephen's Family, I missed many opportunities to sit down with the family to one of Mrs. Stephens' famous Thanksgiving Dinners. I'm sorry those invitations weren't able to be fulfilled on my part, but am grateful for the opportunity to have met Mrs. Stephens in July of 2012. The circumstances during our brief meeting were filled with great emotions. Bill had just come through a lengthy, critical heart surgery. Nothing was certain, but faithfully Mrs. Stephens had made the trip up to Wisconsin to be by her son's side.

What brought comfort to me was to see so many of Bill's family members there including Mrs. Stephens comforting and holding vigil for her son, Bill. Sadly often times so many people have absolutely nobody there for them, but The Stephen's Family have apparently always been there for each other and God willing shall continue to be hereafter.

I never did figure out though just how the family got approval to have so many family members in that Intensive Care Unit bay when usually no more than two people are allowed to visit and only for just fifteen minutes at a time; The Stephens Family obviously had some good connections at Mercy West. I was truly impressed with how the nursing staff was able to work with so many of us crammed into one small room.

So, collectively, Metro News Network & Affiliates, bid farewell to Mrs. Florence Louise Stephens, a lady who a huge family in Illinois will love and remember forever. I personally tip my hat to Mrs. Stephens who left a lasting impression on me with the words, “Your friend is going to be alright. My son is a fighter. He'll be back to you in no time.” It's amazing how meeting someone only once - that experience can be more significant than some of the experiences we've had with people we've known for a lifetime. For that brief, precious moment in time with you, Mrs. Stephens, I thank you.