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Donald Gene Stephenson


Donald Gene Stephenson, 74, of Pipe Creek, passed away Saturday, May 31, in a San Antonio hospital. The tenth child of the Stephenson family, he was born on Friday, August 13, 1939 in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.
After finishing high school in 1957, Don joined the United States Air Force, serving his country for 20 years.
In Viet Nam he was stationed at Da Nang for a year. He didn't understand why the US military was fighting for freedom for people who really didn't want them in their country, but that is what he was asked to do to keep this great country free.
Don served his country proudly, winning many awards, never complaining and without regrets but with pride.
He married Ilene in 1958. They met in Fairfax, Oklahoma where Don went to see what an up-and-coming city of 400 residents did for entertainment. Ilene was attending a banquet with a date she didn't like, so she asked to be taken home.
After returning home, however, she drove her dad's car back into town, ending up at the same drive-in where Don was parked. At that time, a drive-in was a place to eat in cars and flirt with whomever you could.
Don and Ilene talked, danced a little and ended up dragging in the one-stoplight town - both were 14 at the time. This was the beginning of a long-time relation. This August, Don and Ilene would have been married for 56 years.
The couple had three children, Brenda, Deigh and Dana. At last count, Donald and Ilene also had nine grandchildren, Jason, Justin, Shawn, Chad, Susun, Heather, Kimber, Adam and April; 13 great-grandchildren, Samuel, Atley, Kayleigh, William, Nathan, Ian, Megan, Owen, Silas, Libby, Caleb, Noah and, in less than a month, Elisa; granddaughters- and grandsons-in-law, Charlotte, Michelle, Mindy, Rachel, David Andrews and David Hernandez - no more Davids April, please.
Even though Donald couldn't remember their birthdays, he named them one by one. All meant the world to him and he often talked about the things that they did and what was special about each one.
A good husband, Don always provided for his family, sometimes working more than one job to make sure all of their needs were met. He was a good man, who loved God, family and country.
Don fought a long, hard battle, but, in the end, he won the fight. He is now in heaven bowing down to the Holy One singing "Holy, Holy, Holy" to the one and only living God he served for many years.
Please help celebrate Donald's life without sadness. He was very sick and now he has a new life.
A graveside service will be held at 10 am, Friday, June 13, at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio with Pastor David Busby officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to VA Hill Country Chapter #863, PO Box 291704, Kerrville 78029-1704. Email for more information.
Condolences may be sent to the family by clicking on the "Send Condolences" link at