Mrs. Alwilda Gale Phelps Stephenson of Chesapeake passed away Tuesday July 5th after an 8-year battle with Alzheimer’s. She was preceded in death by her devoted husband Richard D Stephenson. She was born May 27, 1941 in Hurricane, WV. She is survived by her sister, Carolyn; sons David & wife Theresa, and Bob & fiancé Holly; grandchildren, Alyssa, Robert & wife Ashley, and Benjamin & wife Nicki; and two great-grandchildren, Jackson and Colton.
Alwilda taught high school in Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach; where she was once Teacher of the Year at Salem High School, and where she retired after over 30 years of teaching. She was one of “those” teachers- the kind people get choked up about when they talk about her impact on their lives. She rose from poverty and disadvantage to became the first in her family to earn bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, becoming a highly recognized professional, and a life-long community leader. She attributed her success to a teacher who recognized her potential and guided her to realize it; and she spent the rest of her life paying it forward in many ways.
The family expresses great affection and appreciation to dear friends June Vinson and Pat and Hank Winston for their years of loving support; as well to the wonderful staff at Sentara Village in Chesapeake.
Following cremation, a memorial and visitation ceremony for both Alwilda and Richard Stephenson will be held at 3pm Friday, July 8, 2016 at Family Choice Funeral Home, 5401 Indian River Rd, Virginia Beach. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations in memory be made to the Alzheimer’s Association 6350 Center Drive, Suite 102, Norfolk, VA 23502 or at www.alz.org/join_the_cause_donate.aspSend Flowers
Awilda was always cheerful with me and I enjoyed her company immensely. Her smile and her ability to laugh and make
those around her feel important was a very special gift. Though I haven’t seen her in years, those positive memories will always be an important part of living.
My friend and classmate was always a breath of fresh air!
Her laughter, her wonderful sense of humor and her love of life was always an inspiration to those of us who knew and loved her.
God’s love surrounds Alwilda and Richard now and for eternity.