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In Loving Memory

Stephens, Irene

March 24, 1930 - December 25, 2023

Irene Stephens, 93, of Wildwood, MO, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Christmas day, at Laclede Groves Long Term Care in Webster Groves, MO.

Irene was born to the late Charles and Florence (Lesnau) Masterson, March 24, 1930, in Syracuse, NY.  She was married to Thomas N. Stephens in 1959 until his death in 2000.  Irene is survived by their children, Christelle M. (Timothy) Cooper, Caroline A. Stephens (Maryann Lato), Sarah E. Stephens, and Paul M. Stephens.  She is also survived by seven grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

Irene was predeceased by her siblings, Sr. Barbara Masterson, Charles F. Masterson, Jr., and Mary Grace (Richard) Frederick.  She is survived by her remaining sister, Genevieve (Daniel) McLaughlin, of East Longmeadow, MA.

She spent her formative years in Springfield, MA before graduating from Cathedral High School in 1948.  She attended Carney Hospital School of Nursing in Boston, MA, graduating and becoming an RN in 1951.  Later, after raising her family, Irene went on to update her nursing credentials by earning a Bachelor of Arts in Nursing with a Minor in Management from Webster University in 1985. She did this while working at Lutheran Medical Center in St. Louis. She returned to work in 1975 as a Staff Nurse in the Emergency Room and by 1980 was the Supervisor of the Emergency Department. By the middle of that decade, she was part of the team that set up the Same Day Surgery Center at Lutheran Medical Center. She retired in 1995 as the Same Day Surgery Nurse Coordinator.

As a new graduate, Irene spent the early 1950s working at Wesson Memorial Hospital in Springfield MA, but in 1954 Irene and two classmates bought a used car with the intent of broadening their lives and careers in California.  The car only made it as far as Denver, CO, but its owners soon found work as nurses at Rose Memorial Hospital in Denver, and later as office nurses in a private practice. In the fall of 1958 Irene became the school nurse at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale CO. On her days off she had the great good fortune of being able to ski in Aspen CO in its early days.

In 1959, she returned to Springfield, MA, to help care for her ailing father. There she met and soon married Thomas Stephens.  In 1965, after starting their family in Simsbury CT, they moved to St. Charles, MO, and in 1978, the family relocated to Ballwin, MO. After Thomas’ death in 2000, Irene moved to Wildwood MO where she found a wonderful circle of friends and spent many happy hours with her monthly luncheon group and catching the latest movie.

Devoted wife, mother, and nursing professional, Irene lived her life caring for others.  She loved a good book, a good laugh, and all things chocolate.

Visitation at Kutis Affton Chapel, 10151 Gravois Rd 63123, on Saturday, January 13 from 11 am to 1 pm.

Private burial will be at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery at a later date.

Memorial Service and Mass will be held in the late spring in New England.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations made in support of Alzheimer research.









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