Douglas Frank “Doug” Stephens, beloved husband, father and grandfather died Saturday, November 13, 2021 following a two-week battle with breakthrough COVID-19; his wife and children at his side. He was 95.
Born October 7, 1926 to Herbert and Betty (Cottell) Stephens, Doug was a life-long Lansing resident. Following graduation from Eastern High School, he began a 41-year career as a USPS letter carrier interrupted only by his U.S. Army service overseas during the Korean war.
He married Anna Catherine Meyer on October 14, 1949. Together for 72 years, they raised two children, served their church and community, and enjoyed domestic and international travel.
He had an enduring interest in sports, both as a participant, coach and a spectator, notably attending both the pivotal Game 5 of the 1968 World Series and MSU’s victory at the 74th Rose Bowl in 1988. He especially enjoyed cheering on his grandchildren during their competitions.
Beyond family, Doug had two passions – music and tennis. While in school he participated in both choir and marching band. He was a life-long member of Mount Hope UMC and member of their choir throughout the majority of his adult life. He was a founding member of the Merri-Men, an award-winning barbershop quartet active from 1951 – 1971, performing more than 650 shows throughout the Midwest over their 20-year career. The Merri-Men were 1951 Michigan (Pioneer) District champions, then Semi-Finalists at the Barbershop Harmony Society’s International Quartet competition at Minneapolis in 1956.
Tennis was his second passion, taking up the sport in the early 1970’s and remaining active until age 88. He medaled 9 times at Lansing “Senior Challenge” events.
Douglas is survived by his devoted wife, Anna, and their children David (Rochelle) Stephens of Lambertville, MI and Julie Traver of Williamston, MI; grandchildren Kyle Stephens, Eric Stephens, Sean (Monica) Traver, Sarah (Nick) Sheridan and great-grandchildren Beau and Sloane Sheridan.
He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Esma Alice Kline.
Doug was cherished by his extended family and friends and will be remembered for his warmth, generosity and kindness. If Heaven doesn’t have a barbershop quartet or chorus when he arrives, there will soon be one.
Interment will be private. A Celebration of Life is planned for the spring of 2022. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Douglas’ memory may do so through contributions to the Music Ministry at Mount Hope United Methodist Church in Lansing. Arrangements are by the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel.