Originally created 02/23/03

The Hon. Robert Stephens Jr. (ATHENS, Ga.)



ATHENS, Ga. - The Honorable Robert Grier Stephens, Jr., 89, former U. S. Representative from Georgias Tenth Congressional district, died Thursday, February 20, 2003. Born in Atlanta, Ga., on August 14, 1913, Mr. Stephens was the son of the late Dr. Robert Grier and Lucy Evans Stephens. He graduated from Boys High School in Atlanta in 1931, then attended the University of Georgia where he received an AB in 1935, MA in 1937, and LLB in 1941. While at the University he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi, Sphinx and Gridiron societies, and was a member of the Kappa Alpha fraternity and ODK. He attended the University of Hamburg, Germany, on an exchange student scholarship in 1935-36. Congressman Stephens taught history at the University of Georgia from 1936-40, after which he served his country in the U.S. Army, with overseas duty, from September 1941 to March 1946. His last assignment was on the legal staff of Justice Robert Jackson at the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war criminals. He was released from active duty with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He resumed his teaching career from 1946-47 at the University of Georgia and the University of Georgia Law School. He practiced law in Athens in the firm of Stephens, Fortson, Bentley, and Griffin and served as City Attorney for Athens from 1947-50. Congressman Stephens was a member of the State Senate from 1951-53, a member of the State House of Representatives from 1953-59, a delegate in the Democratic National Convention in 1964, and he was elected as a Democrat to the eighty-seventh Congress in 1961. He served in Congress for eight terms, retiring in January 1977. Congressman Stephens took part in many civic organizations and activities, including serving as chairman of the United Way of Northeast Georgia, membership in the Golden K Kiwanis Club, the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, Athens Clarke-Heritage Foundation, and many others. He served as deacon and elder at First Presbyterian Church where he taught the Hooper Bible Class for over 16 years. Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Grace Winston Stephens; two sons, Dr. Robert G. Stephens, III and Judge Lawton E. Stephens; two daughters, Winston Stephens and Mary Stephens Hopper; daughters- in-law, Carolyn Stephens and Mary Stephens; sons-in-law, Jack Dohany and Dennis Hopper; two sisters, Emma S. Wilson, Crawford, and Ida S. Williams, Lawrenceville; ten grandchildren, Robert G. Stephens, IV, John Stephens, Brendan Stephens, Rebecca Stephens, Alexander Stephens, Merideth Sheskey, Lawton Stephens, Jr., Grace Stephens, Joseph Hopper, and Jefferson Hopper. Visitation hours will be 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, February 24, at Bernstein Funeral Home. Following a private graveside ceremony, a memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church, Athens, at 2 p.m., Tuesday, February 25. The reverends Joe Berry and Glenn Doak will officiate. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the "Friday Lunch Bunch" and the Tuesday Morning Bible Group. The family will receive friends in the church fellowship hall after the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be given to First Presbyterian Church, 185 E. Hancock Ave., Athens, GA 30601. Sign the guestbook at AugustaChronicle.com

The Augusta Chronicle February 23, 2003