Cover photo for Mr. Johnny Kenneth Stevens's Obituary
Mr. Johnny Kenneth Stevens Profile Photo
1934 Johnny 2021

Mr. Johnny Kenneth Stevens

July 31, 1934 — August 19, 2021

Johnny Kenneth Stevens passed away at home surrounded by family on August 19, 2021, after battling thyroid cancer and then suffering a stroke. Johnny was born in Florence, Mississippi on July 31, 1934. He joined the Navy in September 1951, at the tender age of 17, and by the time he was 19 years old he was serving as the coxswain of a rescue boat in Guam. In July of 1955, he transferred to the Air Force where he served as a jet engine technician. Johnny mostly served in the Pacific, including a memorable stint in Okinawa where his wife Liz and daughter Rhonda were able to join him. He retired in 1973 with an honorable discharge. On his days off in Guam, he learned to sail. Sailing became a lifelong passion and Johnny owned and sailed various boats over the years. He frequently sailed in the Gulf, including an epic trip to Mexico. Johnny could build or fix anything and everything. He spent considerable time building out several of his sailboats himself. One boat, Elizabeth II, was finished out on the hard near the main road in his community. Passersby stopped and checked on his progress regularly. Johnny could carry on a conversation with anyone about almost anything. He knew all about wind, currents, and navigation. He loved history and was well-read, particularly when it came to WWI & WWII. He could talk politics like nobody’s business, right up until the week before he died. Johnny had a keen wit and sense of humor and he loved talking about old times. Johnny remained fiercely independent and self-sufficient until the end. He was felling trees, chopping and spitting firewood with Rhonda, using his tractor, and working on his truck this spring and summer. Johnny was born in the community he loved and died on his land that he loved, but there was a lot of living in between. He was an integral part of his community, always lending a hand and caring for his neighbors. Johnny loved his family. Liz and Rhonda were everything to him. Then he was blessed with a wonderful son-in-law and two grandchildren who will always remember their Granddaddy. More recently, he became a great granddaddy. Greyson gave him great joy during the last years of his life. Johnny is survived by his wife of sixty years, Elizabeth Stevens; his daughter and son-in-law, Rhonda and Bruce Corkern; his grandchildren Beth (Eric) Rodgers and Brad Corkern; and his great grandson, Greyson James Rodgers. He is also survived by two sisters, Mary Day and Martha Davis, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Otto Stevens and Sadie Ryan Mills; his sisters Polly Talge and Virginia Tolstoy; and his brother Robert Stevens. Due to COVID-19 concerns, there will be no visitation. Chancellor Funeral Home in Florence is handling the arrangements. A private graveside service will be held at the Wesleyanna Cemetery.
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