James Franklin Stephens age 79 of Clinton, TN gained his angel wings on May 2, 2023, with his wife Barbara and daughter Debbie holding his hands. He was born on June 7, 1943, in Lake City, TN to Clifton and Beatrice Stephens. Anyone who knew Jim knew he had a big personality and loved to eat, read his bible, fish, talk politics, and be with his family. He was a loving husband, father, and the best papaw anyone could wish for. His grandchildren, Blake and Sarah Hudak were his entire world. Jim retired from the K-25 Gaseous Diffusion Plant after 30 years back in 2001. He was a wonderful carpenter and spent his retirement using his skills on mission trips, helping others, and traveling with his wife Barbara. Jim grew up in a large family as one of 7. He was quite the basketball player and still holds the record at Lake City High School for most points ever scored and most rebounds in a game. Jim graduated from Lake City High School and played basketball at Cumberland University in KY. Jim was a member of the Masonic Lodge in Clinton, TN, Alpha Chapter 376, and a past Worthy Patron of the Order of the Eastern Star in Andersonville TN, Dutch Valley 369. Jim was a member of Beech Grove Baptist Church in Rocky Top, TN.
Jim is preceded in death by his first wife, Hazel Lay Stephens, parents Clifton and Beatrice Stephens, brothers Charles Stephens and Lester Stephens, and step-sons Darryl Disney, Ronnie Disney, and John Disney.
Jim is survived by his loving wife Barbara Stephens, daughter Debbie Hudak and husband Chris of Clinton, TN, daughter-in-laws Amy Blevins of Colorado, Sharon Dameron of Powell, TN, and Christy Disney of Lake City, TN. He leaves behind his precious grandchildren: Blake Hudak of Cookeville, TN, Sarah Hudak of Clinton, TN, Rachel Bittinger and husband Brad of Clinton, TN, Jamie Ford and husband Ben of Grandview, TN, Kendra Disney of Powell, TN, Samantha, Mary & Sarah Disney of New York, great-grandchildren Blane Bittinger and Nora Campos. He is also survived by brother Kenneth Stephens and wife Kay of Florida, sisters: Thelma Berryhill of Clinton, TN, Dorothy Arnold of Maryville, TN, and Carolyn Strizak of Clinton, TN, and special niece Linda Bass of Kokomo, IN and special nephew Terry Meeler of Clinton, TN. Also left behind to mourn his passing is his wonderful nurse and adopted daughter, Abigail Murphy of Andersonville, TN who took such wonderful care of him and Barbara for many years, and his best friends Everette and Gail Byrge of Lake City, TN.
The family would like to say a special thank you to his wonderful family doctor and friend, Dr. Robert Alley for all of his care over the years. Special thank you to Dr. Kelly, Dr. Newman, and Dr. Maroun, and the staff at Parkwest Hospital for all of their care and support.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Visitation: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the Hatmaker Funeral Home Chapel in Rocky Top.
Funeral Service: 4:00 PM, Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the Hatmaker Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Kenny Sharp and Rev, Paul Smith officiating.
Graveside Service: To immediately follow Funeral Service at Oak Grove Cemetery.