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Lee Weldon Stephenson

Lee Weldon Stephenson

Lee Weldon Stephenson was born north of Mountain Peak, Ellis County, Texas, October 15, 1934, to Douglas and Johnnie Mae Brown Stephenson.
Five years later, his sister Patsy Ruth was born.
Because the years of his childhood were Depression years, the family moved often, living on the Henderson family farm near Venus, Texsa, in Ajo, ARizona, in Ropesville and De Leon, Texas.
After graduation from Lubbock High School in 1953, Lee entered McMurry College in Abilene with the intention of entering the pastoral ministry of the Methodist Church.
While there, he met Ruth Ann Rhodes and they married in 1955; they had two daughters, Jennifer and Sigrid.
Lee graduated from Howard Payne College in 1958, and entered Perkins Seminary, SMU, the following yeara and graduated with an Masters of Divinity in 1962 and was ordained.
After serving churches in May, Zephyr, Big Spring, Anna, Thalia, Amarillo, New Deal and Dalhart, he earned a master’s degree in English at West Texas State in Canyon.
Lee began teaching English and philosophy at South Plains College in Levelland, in 1969, planning to teach for only one year before going back into the ministry.
When he retired in 2001, Lee joked that he had taught for 32 years, one year at a time.
In 2003, he married Sandra Barnhill, also of the English department of SPC.
Lee Weldon Stephenson’s life was a life of ministry, whether in church, in school, or in the community.
In addition to the churches he pastored, once he moved to Levelland, Lee preached in a number of area churches and continued his work as a pastoral counselor.
In addition, he performed weddings, baptisms and funerals for family and friends, always with grace.
After he retired from South Plains College, he was blessed to serve the Lutheran churches in Levelland and Littlefield.
While at SPC, he touched the lives of innumerable students. Teaching not only writing, literature and philosophy, his assigned subjects, but also opening his students’ minds to life and the important issues of life.
Years after leaving his classroom, students still speak of how he changed their lives.
As a result, he was voted Phi Theta Kappa Teacher of the Month, so many times that finally he was eliminated from eligibility.
At SPC, Lee read the names of the graduates each year at commencement and each year he spoke on ethics to the incoming faculty, helping to set the tone for their commitment to their students.
Lee also wrote the lyrics for the school song and the statement of purpose for the college.
He made many contributions to the community, from reading the words for spelling bees to emceeing the annual awards banquet at the Senior Citizens’ Center to making speeches and presentations whenever and wherever he was asked.
Lee was selected as Levelland Citizen of the Year in 1988. He will be remembered for his lively sense of humor, his commitment to his students and to education, his passion for life, his love of his family, and his desire to be “God’s man.”
He is survived and mourned by his wife, Sandra, of Levelland; daughters, Jennifer Stephenson of Levelland and Sigrid Chavez and husband, Gerald, of Corrales, New Mexico; grandson, Austin Crawley and wife, Elaine, and their children, Bryson and Kanyon, all of Temple; grandson, Karsten Neustifter of Thailand; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
Extended family include: Elizabeth Barnhill and husband, James Hagan and their children, Cora and Conor, all of Coppell, Texas and Alison Barnhill of Dallas.
Lee was pre-deceased by his father; mother; a sister; and a great-grandson, Kaleb Crawley.
“Oh, who will come and go with me, we are bound for the promised land.”
Arrangements are under the direction and personal care of the professionals at Krestridge Funeral Home, 806-897-1111.

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