John Gentry Stephens
May 1, 1955
December 14, 2021
In his starched jeans and shirt, John saddled up and took his last ride on Earth to the gates of heaven on Tuesday, December 14, 2021.
John Gentry Stephens was born on May 1, 1955 in Houston, Texas. He was the son of William G. and Laura Stephens and baby brother to sisters Janie and Kathy. John is preceded in death by his parents, oldest sister Laura Jane (Janie) Casseday, brother-in-law Gary Casseday, father-in-law Robert Wells, and sister-in-law Margaret M. Wells.
John was a graduate of Spring Branch High School in Houston, TX. This is where he met Robin, the love of his life and wife of 46 years. John said he fell in love with Robin the first time he laid eyes on her in their sophomore English class.
After graduating high school, John worked for the Pipe Fitters Union for 9 years then started Stephens Services in 1982. Stephens Services was a welding, metal building, and hay business which John owned and operated until he began a second career with Scianna Farms. For the past 15 years, John has managed all aspects of ranch management including hay production, cattle, and maintenance at multiple locations.
John loved to hunt, to ranch, and to rodeo. One of his greatest joys was being side by side with his girls, Lauren and Courtney, and his wife, Robin as they spent countless days and weekends travelling from rodeo to rodeo. Through the years, horses were bought and sold, saddles and buckles were won, and John was there for it all.
John was known by many names, but the name Bear Paw was extra special. (If you ever saw the size of John’s hands, you understand how fitting the name Bear Paw is!) He is Bear Paw to Aubrey Elaine Rodell, 8, Clay Huston Riefkohl, 6, and the newest little bear cub, Rylee Kate Rodell, 3 ½ weeks old.
John Stephens was a larger-than-life presence in the lives of so many people. To his friends, he was “one of a kind.” He leaves behind his wife, Robin, daughters Lauren Riefkohl and Courtney Rodell, sons-in-law Matt Riefkohl and Shannon Rodell, and grandchildren Aubrey, Clay, and Rylee Kate. He also leaves behind his sister Kathy Stephens, mother-in-law Doris Wells, brothers and sisters-in-law Steve and Kathy Wells, Mike and Sandra Bishoff, and Bill and Kay Barcus. He was also Uncle John to numerous nieces and nephews.
John was a man of strength, perseverance, and he modeled what true commitment to family and friends should be. “Legacy is not leaving something for people. It’s leaving something in people.” Thank you, John, for your legacy. You will be forever remembered and missed by all who knew you.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund.