Dr. Joe K. Stephens
Dr. Joe K. Stephens, age 80, passed away Friday, March 2, 2012, at Dugan Memorial Home, in West Point.
Dr. Joe Keeton Stephens was born in Belmont, Aug. 9, 1931. He graduated from University High School in Oxford in 1949 where he won numerous academic awards. He received a B.S. from Ole Miss in 1953. He went to Tulane Medical School graduating from there in 1956. He then spent one year as an intern at the University of Mississippi Medi,cal School in Jackson. In 1957 he began a two year tour of duty with the United States Air Force serving as an Air Force doctor in Japan, Korea, and at Columbus Air Force Base. After completing his military duty, he did a two year residency in pediatrics at the University of Alabama Medical Center where he served as the chief resident.
He came to West Point in 1961, to begin a practice in pediatrics. He later also became an allergy specialist. Dr. Stephens bought the Jacinto Courthouse in the 1960’s that was about to be demolished solely for use of the brick of the old structure and then donated it the Jacinto Historical Society. The society preserved it and the Jacinto Courthouse is open for tours and annually on the 4th of July, where a huge celebration and political rallies are held. Had Dr. Stephens not bought it when he did it would have been lost to the future generations. The Jacinto Courthouse used to be the county seat of Tishomingo County back when Tishomingo County was so large it was called the State of Tishomingo. Long before Alcorn and Prentiss Counties were created from it, cutting it into thirds. And each of the three new counties picked new county seats for themselves leaving Jacinto behind to dwindle away.
He retired in 1996, after 35 years of practice. He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in West Point where he taught Sunday School for many years. He was also the team doctor for the West Point Green Wave for many years and was one of the organizers of the Howlin' Wolf Blues Festival.
He was preceded in death by his parents, C. W. and Gladys Keeton Stephens of Belmont, and his wife, Sarah Jeanette (Tippy) Stephens, Nov. 6, 2010. He is survived by cousins: Thomas Everett Childs, Jr. of Fulton, and Jolee
Childs Hussey (Charles) of Oxford; and a host of other cousins and friends.
Pallbearers are Hubert Caston, Bob Wyman, Kenny Dill, Donald Raines, Art Strobel, Eugene Bailey, Danny Mize,
Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. Edmund A. Miller, Jr., Dr. T. N. Braddock, Tim McKibben, The Malone Sunday School Class FUMC.
Graveside Funeral services are today, Tuesday, March 6, 2012, at 1 p.m. with the Reverend Jeff Shannon officiating.
Burial will follow in Belmont City Cemetery in Belmont. Family and friends will gather at the cemetery at 12:30 p.m until service time for a visitation. Calvert Funeral Home of West Point is in charge of arrangements.
Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church P. O. Box 293 West Point, MS 39773.