Robert Lynn Stephen, 72, of Georgetown, died at home on Wednesday, Feb. 15 2017, after a long illness. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Veronica Panfilow Stephen; son, Jordan C. (Angie) Stephen; and two grandsons, Chase Alexander and Carter Richard, of Des Plaines, Ill. Other survivors include two sisters, Karen Smitley (Covington, Ind.) and Claudia Russian (Danville); and two brothers, LeMoyne Stephen (Danville) and Rick Stephen (Clermont, Ind.); as well as several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Robert was born on April 16, 1944 to Robert Fouts Stephen and Ruby Maxine Bailey Stephen in Ft. Wayne, Ind. His father's employment with General Electric led the family to Georgetown, where Robert grew up and graduated high school. Later attended Illinois Institute of Technology. After graduation, he moved to Chicago where he met his wife. The couple wed on April 30, 1967 and moved to Georgetown shortly thereafter.
Robert was an expert craftsman who took great pride in the quality of his work. He designed and built cabinets, tables, armoires, and more. He owned Architectural Components and Materials Company for several years and was manager of Carter Truss Company, both in Ridge Farm. He worked for Elliott Lumber Company (later known as Th. Snyder Millwork), in Danville, for a long period of time, and then as a carpenter with Carpenters Local #243. He was a life-long dues paying member of the union. Robert was involved with the remodeling of McDonald's on South Gilbert Street and the building of Garfield's at the Village Mall.
In other capacities, Robert served as alderman on Georgetown City Council for several terms and was instrumental in establishing the shopping area at Route One and West Street in Georgetown.
Robert thoroughly enjoyed rebuilding his home. He and his wife worked together as a carpentry team, building floor joists, dry walling, and creating outdoor living spaces. He enjoyed the landscaped gardens his wife built and even tried his hand at planting different species of plants. In his spare time, his enthusiasm was rooted in designing and building large-scale line-controlled model airplanes in his workshop. He liked photography, PBS television, James Bond movies, and had a keen interest in astronomy, politics, history, and finance. And, he was a devoted Downton Abbey fan.
Robert loved to travel with his wife, an avid photographer, to numerous places all across the United States. He particularly enjoyed a trip to Alaska. They also took many short road trips, adding to their treasure trove of exceptional photo memories.
Robert was a kind, gentle, and compassionate man. He will be greatly missed by his friends and family, especially by his wife - his partner, his soul mate, and his best friend.
A celebration of Robert's life will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19, at Sunset's Houghton-Leasure Funeral Home, 200 E West St, Georgetown, with Pastor Raymie Gordon officiating. Visitation will be held 2-4 p.m. on Sunday prior to his service at the funeral home. As per his wishes, Robert will be cremated.
Memorial donations may be given in Robert's name to his family to build a memorial garden. Cards may be sent to Dr. Veronica P. Stephen in care of Sunset's Houghton-Leasure Funeral Home.
Published on February 16, 2017