Ruth Baldwin Stephens
July 28, 1930-March 1, 2022
Ruth LaVerne Baldwin Stephens went home to be with her Heavenly Father on March 1, 2022 at the age of 91. A service celebrating her life will begin with visitation at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, March 4th, followed by a memorial at 2:00 at Woods New Hope Baptist Church in Panola County. Her pastor, Rodney Puryear will conduct the ceremony with interment to follow at the nearby Woods Cemetery under the direction of Watson & Sons Funeral Home.
Ruth started her life’s journey on July 28, 1930 in the Woods Post Office Community as she entered the lives of her devoted parents, Clarence and Bessie Lee Baldwin. Born in a small wood framed unpainted house built by family members, she was joined 18 months later by sister, Fannie. Her educational path led her to Woods School until 8th grade, then transferred to Carthage ISD. When the oil and gas boom hit and the school became overcrowded, she finished her senior year, graduating with the 1947 Class of Tenaha HS. Furthering her training she attended Satterwhite Business College in Lufkin Texas. She was employed by Lufkin Motor Company as Office Manager/Bookkeeper for Lynn Metteauer until her first retirement.
She met and married Collis Stephens, Sept 2, 1950. Lufkin offered a wonderful life for the couple as they made steadfast friends through church who loved to travel and fish together. Collis, a self-trained carpenter, built 3 beautiful homes, and offered affordable houses for many young couples. Every summer they entertained their nieces and nephews during days of movies, driving lessons and bowling. During this time they had a special young man enter their lives. Danny Mott filled a void as they had no children, and they learned how to parent during his teenage years. Because of their support and mentoring he and his wife, Marivel, have remained close to her.
When her father became ill, Ruth and Collis built a beautiful ranch style home, returning her back to her Woods roots. They both took part and renewed fellowship at Woods New Hope Baptist Church where she served as treasurer for many years. Mission Trips and building projects honored God and man. Ruth could not totally retire as she became employed by John Cain & Associates and those steep stairs kept her in shape through her 70s. Bookkeeping and taxes were always on her mind as she saved copies of everything...just in case she might need them for an IRS audit.
Ruth is preceded in death by her parents, husband and Collis’s parents, Clyde and Lena Stephens, his brothers and sisters, and brother in law, Dock Watson. Left to cherish her memory are Fannie Baldwin Watson, Brenda & Gene Giles, Glenda & Charlie Leflett, Steven Watson, Danny & Marivel Mott. Special cousins were dear to her heart as were great nieces, nephews and a host of friends who added much joy. A special thanks to caregiver, Renae Riddle Courtney, during the last months of her life for her constant care.