Jessica “Jessie” Erin Stephens, was born on June 7, 1987 in Grand Rapids. She
lived her entire life at her family home on Murray Lake, north of Lowell. Jessie
was a cheerleader, band member and was very active in theater. She was a good
student and had many friends. After graduating from Lowell High School, she
completed her Associates Degree at Grand Rapids Community College. She
went on to Western Michigan University, graduating magna cum laude with a
degree in communications. She had started her Master’s Degree at WMU. Her
career goal was to work in human resources. Jessie’s personality was
exceptional. She was always fun, sunny and silly. She brightened every
gathering with her crazy antics and quick wit. Sadly, Jessie’s death was caused
by acute alcoholism. This is a disease that has plagued our whole family for
generations. Several of us have been in recovery for many years. But, like
cancer, we don’t all survive. Jessie had struggled for some time including
having treatment at two of the best treatment centers: Brighton and Hazelton,
involvement in AA, as well as private counselors. We need to look at
alcoholism like other diseases in the hope of gaining a better understanding.
Jessie was preceded in death by her mother, Cheryl Armstrong; grandparents,
Edward and Dorothy Stephens; grandfather Jay Miller; and uncle, Ed Stephens.
She is survived by her father, Michael A. Stephens and partner Karan
Chapman; grandmother Lee Miller; sister Neille (Matt) Buckland; niece Lily
Buckland; nephew Sawyer Buckland; stepfather Jack Armstrong; stepsisters
Lacey (Bryan) May, Janell (Jason) Krul; nieces Maya and Audrey Krul;
nephews Aidan and Flynn May; aunts and uncles, Jill and Tom Hoppes, Keith
and Cindy Miller, Pam Avery, Sue Stephens; along with many loving cousins.
A Memorial Gathering will be held Saturday, March 3, from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at
the Flat River VFW Post #8303, 3116 Alden Nash Ave. SE, Lowell MI 49331.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in remembrance of Jessie Stephens to
Brighton Center for Recovery, 12851 Grand River Rd., Brighton, MI 48116.