Annette Louise Stephens, a longtime resident of Laguna Beach, died Dec. 14, 2013, due to the complications of Widely Metastatic Uterine Cancer. She was 78 years old.
Stephens was born in Union City, N.J. to Gerard and Zoe Steencken on May 5, 1935. There she was educated and graduated from Emerson High School with honors. Upon graduation, she entered Pratt Institute where she fulfilled her dream of extensively studying fashion design, artistic sketch drawing and pattern making. After completing almost two years at Pratt, she married Joseph A. Stephens in 1956, and shortly thereafter moved to Santa Ana. She gave birth in Santa Ana to a cute, energetic blond boy, Kevin Stephens, born on June 23, 1958, and was adored by all.
Stephens spent the majority of her life as a Laguna Beach resident, arriving in 1973. She was ultimately divorced from her husband. Sadly, Kevin succumbed to a brain tumor on Sept. 16, 2003. He definitely shared his mother’s creative spirit and giving nature.
During her professional life, Stephens designed a fashion line for the top department stores in the country. Her repertoire in Laguna Beach included designing a vast number of bathing suits for local clientele. She also designed special order wedding dresses, and apparel for various venues. Teaching students fashion design and pattern making in San Diego was high on her list of accomplishments.
She was also quite the activist, speaking out at town meetings in both Santa Ana and Laguna Beach, where she strongly supported or voiced her dissent on many issues affecting her community. She was a person with strong values and opinions and when issues surfaced that mattered to her, she could be quite persuasive in her delivery. She truly cared about people and her friendliness and compassion were felt by many residents. Stephens was a devoted mother, sister and friend to all who knew her.
The creatures of the earth also were of importance to Stephens. She loved boxers and enjoyed many during her lifetime. She could talk for hours regarding the breed’s intelligence, endurance, and strength of character.
There will be a memorial service to celebrate the life of Annette Louise Stephens for friends and family on Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Laguna Presbyterian Church (in the parlor) at 1 p.m. The church is located at 415 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach. There is ample parking in the church’s parking lot located in the alley way behind the church. Light refreshments and time for fellowship will commence in the parlor following the service.
The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, people may wish to make a donation in Stephens’ name to the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter, 20612 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach, CA 92651.