(May 29, 1941 – September 30, 2018)
FUNERAL SERVICE: 2:00 P.M. Friday, October 5, 2018, at Comanche Funeral Home Chapel.
BURIAL: Baggett Creek Cemetery in Comanche County.
VISITATION: 6:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. Thursday, October 4, at Comanche Funeral Home.
LUNCH: Family will have lunch at Board Baptist Church at 11:30 A.M. on Friday, October 5.
MEMORIAL SERVICE: A memorial service will also be held on Saturday, October 6th at 10 A.M. at Greenwood Funeral Home on White Settlement Road in Fort Worth, Texas.
MEMORIALS: In lieu of flowers, donations in Ronnie’s memory can be made to Board Baptist Church, CR 304-A, Comanche, Texas, 76442.
Ronnie Preston Stephens, age seventy-seven, of Gustine, Texas passed away on September 30, 2018 after a courageous battle with cancer.
On May 29, 1941 George and Anna Ree Moore Stephens welcomed their first son, Ronnie, into the world. His parents raised him in Gustine alongside his younger brothers. During his early years, he learned the virtues of hard work and perseverance growing up on his family’s farm. After graduating from Gustine High School he attended Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, earning a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education.
His first job out of college was teaching and coaching at Starr ISD. While at Starr, he was set up on a blind date with Martha Jane Moody. He and Martha were married on March 27, 1964 and she went on to be his bride for forty-two years until her death in 2006. Together they raised two sons, Rodney and Randy. The Stephens family lived together in Goldthwaite, Waco, Palestine, and Fort Worth, but Gustine was always home, and where he maintained a farm for most of his life.
Professionally, Ronnie had success in all aspects of the agricultural industry. As a salesman, he worked for Fort Worth Tower, International Mineral Company, Riverside Chemical Company, and Crescent Chemical. Eventually, he went into business with the Hlavinka family and together they founded S & H Chemical. After gaining full ownership of S & H Chemical, he expanded from DeLeon to other locations around the state and also continued to own and operate Amber Terminal in Fort Worth.
In addition to his farms in Gustine and DeLeon, Ronnie bought a farm in Falls County near the Highbank community. In recent years, he loved reminiscing about his life spent farming. Harvesting his first peanut crop on the first tractor he purchased, his beloved John Deere 4020, was among his favorite memories. Ronnie gave each of his four grandchildren their very own John Deere 4020, a tangible symbol of the love and legacy he leaves with each of them.
For the better part of the last decade Ronnie was blessed with the love and companionship of his wife Dorothy. They enjoyed traveling together, especially to Florida’s beaches and taking country-western themed cruises. Ronnie always said the great loves of his life were his grandchildren, cows, wife, and family. Although, the argument can be made that the Paris Coffee Shop and Dixie Cafe could also make the list.
Ronnie was preceded in death by his parents, George and Anna Ree Moore Stephens; wife, Martha Jane Moody Stephens; uncle, T.W. “Tommy” Moore, who he thought of as a brother; and stepson, Brandon. Ronnie is survived by his wife, Dorothy Anderson Stephens; son, Rodney Stephens, his wife Sheila, and their children, Taylor, Molly, and Ryan; son, Randy Stephens, his wife Kris, and their son, Robert; stepdaughter Michelle, her husband Andre, and their son, Anderson; brothers Kerwin and Gayland Stephens; niece, Bailey Anderson; and several close family and friends.