Cover photo for Bernard Rudolph Stephens's Obituary
Bernard Rudolph Stephens Profile Photo
1929 Bernard 2024

Bernard Rudolph Stephens

October 27, 1929 — April 13, 2024

A TIME TO BE BORN

 Bernard Rudolph Stephens was born in Quincy, Florida on October 27, 1929. He was the youngest of two children born to his parents, the Late Damon Stephens and Trudie Hankerson Stephens.


A TIME TO LIVE

Bernard’s early years were spent in Quincy, Florida, where he attended Stevens Elementary/High School. Relocating to Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania in 1942 with his family, Bernard graduated from Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, Pennsylvania, in the Class of 1947. He received a full scholarship from Florida A&M College, now Florida A &M University (FAMU) to play football and run track. In 1951, Bernard received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry minoring in mathematics and biology. After graduation he signed a contract with the Hamilton Tigers of the Canadian Football League. He never played for the Tigers because he was drafted into the U. S. Army in 1952. He played football while in the Army where he had an outstanding career. He accomplished a season record scoring 14 touchdowns, rushing for 815 yards on 82 carries earning an outstanding 9.9-yard per carry average. Following his football career in the Army, he garnered some interest from the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, Pittsburg Steelers, Green Bay Packers, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Canadian) and signed with the Los Angeles Rams in 1954. After football, Bernard began a lengthy professional career as a chemist in the Civil Service. He worked for the U. S. Department of Agriculture (1955), the Department of Navy (1956); and the DC Department of Public Health (1964 - 1978). He served as the Chief Chemist at the Drug Testing Laboratory for the Department of Human Services from 1978 until his retirement in 1991. He also served as associate professor at Federal City College, now University of the District of Columbia.


A TIME TO HONOR

He was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame at Lower Merion High School (2014) and FAMU (1990). He was also a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. Though modest, he was proud to say, “I was the first Black Chemist in Washington, D. C. and worked in the nation’s capital during the Civil Rights Era”.


A TIME TO LOVE

 On December 22, 1953, Bernard entered into Holy Matrimony with his college sweetheart, Margarita Hall, also a Floridian, from Lake City. To this union were born two children, Kenric Lamar and Bernardette Lynn.


 A TIME TO SERVE

Bernard was a member of Allen Chapel A.M.E church, where he served as a Trustee and member of the Men’s Choir. He was also a member of the Florida A & M University Alumni Association.


A TIME TO BE WITH THE LORD

On the 13th of April, 2024 at 5:19 pm, Bernard transitioned to the Heavenly Kingdom.


A TIME TO MOURN

Honoring the life and legacy of Bernard who was also affectionately called Papa-D are Kenric Stephens (son) and wife Elaine Stephens of Temple Hills, Maryland; Bernardette Stephens Storey (daughter) and husband Bruce Storey of Chesapeake, Virginia; Seven grandchildren: Te Cora, Kenberly, Kristina, Selena, Raynard, Murita, Kenric Jr.; Five great-grandchildren: Ameerah, Kyra, Zarra, Kharson, Syhre, Two first cousin: Margaret Stephens Miller of Atlanta, Georgia, Irma Stephens of Boston, Massachusetts; One sister in-law: Joyce Hall of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Two nieces: Eve Hall of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Monyca Hall of Glen Burnie, Maryland; One great-nephew: Gilbert Hall II; Second cousins: Stephanie Lowe (Ernest), Jacqueline Bailey (Barry), Michelle Brown (Russell) of Pennsylvania; Extended family: Carlette Smith and husband Richard of Birmingham, Alabama, Phyllis Grayson of Orlando, Florida, Richard Jerry of Orlando, Florida; and a host of lamenting nieces, nephews,, cousins and friends. Acknowledgements The family is deeply grateful for the prayers, comforting words, and the many acts of kindness shown during his illness and loss of our loved one. A special thanks to Excel Home Health Agency: Hospice of Chesapeake; Primary caregivers: Lorna White and Marva Binns for providing EXCELLENT & LOVING care to Bernard Stephens.

Acknowledgements

The family is deeply grateful for the prayers, comforting words, and the many acts of kindness shown during his illness and loss of our loved one. A special thanks to Excel Home Health Agency: Hospice of Chesapeake; Primary caregivers: Lorna White and Marva Binns for providing EXCELLENT & LOVING care to Bernard Stephens.




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