Beverly Carnes Stephenson

Beverly Carnes Stephenson


Beverly Carnes Stephenson, age 91, of Flora, Mississippi, passed away on August 13, 2021 peacefully at home with her two daughters at her side. Mrs. Stephenson was born December 23, 1929 in Shelby, Mississippi to parents Homer and Addie Shamburger Carnes. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, John; and her sisters, Jean Carnes Rutherford of Andalusia, Alabama and Dorothy Carnes Stephenson of Jackson, Mississippi.

Beverly was born and raised in Shelby, Mississippi. She was the third in line of four sisters. After graduation from Shelby High School she attended Mississippi University for Women (known as MSCW then as they coined it “Mississippi’s Sweetest Collection of Women”) and enjoyed being a part of many social clubs on campus. The summer after MUW, one of her fondest memories was when she won the Lady of the Lake contest and went on to the Miss Mississippi Pageant enjoying all the trips and acquaintances it provided.

She then attended Milsaps College where she was awarded campus beauty, and she met the love of her life, John Blount Stephenson, of Flora, Mississippi. She then entered Ole Miss, where she graduated with a B. S. in elementary education. She was a member of Chi Omega sorority. 

After graduation, John and Beverly were married. The Korean War broke out and John became a marine and they served as a military family until the end of the war.

After the war, Beverly became a first grade school teacher in Flora, Mississippi. Over many decades, Beverly taught and watched her first graders matriculate and mature into the leaders of our society. It was one of her greatest joys watching them become doctors, lawyers, engineers, nurses, farmers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, bankers, business men, teachers, ministers, missionaries, coaches, social workers, and good citizens of our country. She remembered them all and loved them all.

Beverly had a deep passion for painting on canvas, sewing and horses. She especially enjoyed drawing silhouettes of the children in her neighborhood in Flora. She loved giving showers for newlyweds and babies to be born. She was a lifetime member and active volunteer at the Flora Baptist Church (FBC). 

She is survived by her younger sister, Tommye Carnes Street of Memphis, Tennessee; her sister-in-law, Rebecca Stephenson Kirkpatrick of Birmingham, Alabama; her brother-in-law, Captain Ralph Ballie Rutherford USN (Retired); and two loving daughters, Rebecca Stephenson Sharpe (Marc Sharpe) of Madison, Mississippi and Jamie Stephenson (David Shelby) of Birmingham, Alabama.

In addition, she leaves behind an extended family of nieces and nephews who affectionately knew her as Aunt Bev. She will be remembered as the most vain of the beautiful sisters, and she always encouraged her daughters to hold their shoulders up and chin up when going in the Post Office.

A graveside service will be held at Flora Cemetery, 291 1st Street, Flora, Mississippi 39071 on Wednesday, August 18 at 11:00 am.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: 

Beverly Stephenson Children’s Ministry

Flora Baptist Church (FBC), 

P. O. Box 163

Flora, Mississippi 39071.

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