The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

August 28, 2013

Michael Ross Stephenson


The Joplin Globe

JOPLIN, Mo. — Words cannot do justice to the pleasures of a good bookshop. Or library. Ironically.

Irony would best describe Michael Ross Stephenson. He was born in Pittsburg, Kan., on Oct., 11, 1942, to Harry B. Stephenson and Betty Stephenson. Mike graduated from Joplin High School in 1960.   

Married twice, first to Janice Kilbane Stephenson Schwartz and then to Lillian Stephenson, he produced two children, Julie Marie Stephenson/Alex Stevenson, of California, and Matthew Ketterer, of Ohio, with his long time love, Sally Ketterer. Mike was a man of few words, mostly, with a love of reading and learning that was unsurpassed by those that knew him. He knew facts that very few knew and constantly wanted more knowledge. When his words would fail him, he retreated to the world of books, spending countless hours at the Joplin Library reading.

There was a time I remember that he made homemade spaghetti sauce that I have not since tasted that would measure up. His love of cooking might have possibly been the second best thing he could do, beside read and remember.

He was a postman for quite a while and could tell you the names of every person on his route. He loved birds and wildlife. He loved women and they loved him. He had a way of putting them at ease and making them feel special.

His father married Treva Minshall Stephenson and had two stepsiblings, Diane Minshall Volk, of Joplin, and Steve Minshall, of Grain Valley.

Michael was living in Joplin at the time of his passing and his ashes will be scattered in Shoal Creek, with the remainder of the ashes to be kept in an urn that will be in the care of his long time Friend, Victor Colson and Rebecca Boyd. Vic will store the urn in the pool room so that Mike may continue the weekly pool games with his buddies.