Viola “Brownie” M. Stephens

Viola “Brownie” M. Stephens, age 88, a resident of Excelsior Springs, MO, passed away on Thursday, May 3, 2018, at Liberty Hospital in Liberty.

Brownie was born the daughter of Henry Thomas and Pearl Kathryn (Davis) Bailey on April 4, 1930, in Sabetha, KS, living there until she was 12 years old. She then moved to California, living in North Hollywood for two years. Brownie then moved to Raytown, where she was a 1948 graduate of Raytown High School.

Brownie was united in marriage to Eddie B. Stephens on July 3, 1949, in Raytown. He preceded her in death on June 8, 2015. She and Eddie moved to Breckenridge in April of 1950, before making their home back in Kansas City, where Eddie was employed as a mechanic. In Aug. of 1961, they moved back to Breckenridge, where Eddie owned and operated Ed’s Transmission and Motor Clinic, and she would go after auto parts for him.

In 1978, Brownie started the Let Us In Youth Center for the youth in the area, and continued this until 1993. Brownie also owned and operated a coffee shop from 1980 until 1990 and a Mini Mart, all under the name of Let Us In. In 2003, she started going with Russ and Carolyn Trout to the Watkins Mill Camp for Kids; a place for kids that have been through the court system for various reasons. She provided church for them every Friday evening and was the official grandma for nine years, until her health forced her to quit.

She was a member of the Breckenridge Baptist Church in Breckenridge, and most recently a member of the Rayville Christian Union Church. Brownie was also a member of the Pilots of Christ and the Braymer American Legion Murray-Tweedie Post #117 Women’s Auxiliary.

She is now with the love of her life, Eddie B., and the next time you hear thunder it will be Harleys in Heaven. To read more about their love story, see the published blog at

Survivors include five daughters, Katherine Howell (Bob) of Excelsior Springs, Nancy Stewart (Lawrence) of Lawson, Shirley Stephens of Lathrop, Donna Parker (Griff) of Smithville, and Brenda Bales (Stephen) of Lawson; ten grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and three great great-grandchildren. 

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Eddie; three brothers, Charles, John and Wilbur Bailey; and one sister, Edith Smith.

Funeral services will be held at the Rayville Christian Union Church in Rayville on Wednesday, May 9, at 1:00 p.m. A scheduled visitation will be held at the Lindley Pitts Funeral Home in Braymer on Tuesday, May 8, from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Friends may call at the funeral home on Tuesday, May 8, from noon until 8:00 p.m. Burial will be held at Trosper Cemetery in Breckenridge. Memorial contributions may be made to the Pilots for Christ (Kansas City Heartland Chapter) and/or Trosper Cemetery, and may be left at or mailed to Lindley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 47, Chillicothe, MO 64601. Online condolences may be made at

Arrangements are under the direction of Lindley Pitts Funeral Home in Braymer.

(paid obituary)

The Caldwell County News

101 South Davis
P.O. Box 218
Hamilton, MO 64644
Phone: 816-583-2116

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