MERKEL — Gene Stephens, 75, formerly of Merkel, died Thursday, Nov. 8, 2007, in a local hospital. Services will be at 10 a.m. Monday at Merkel First Baptist Church with the Revs. Jimmy Griffith and Art Switzer officiating. Burial will be in Rose Hill Cemetery, directed by Starbuck Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.

Gene was born Dec. 29, 1931, in Watt, McLennan County, the oldest son of Samuel Burl and Viola Nadine Lesley Stephens. He married Nadine Casey on Sept, 10, 1977, in Merkel. Gene served our country in the Army during World War II, then worked 48 years as a truck driver and carpenter. His passion in life was his music, playing his fiddle and giving lessons.

Survivors include his wife, Nadine Stephens of Brownwood; a daughter, Lisa Johnson and husband David of Eastland; a son, Warren “Bubba” Stephens and wife Leah of Hawley; a granddaughter, Tracee Blankinship and husband Paul of Norman, Okla.; two great-granddaughters, Angel and Dylan Blankinship of Norman, Okla.; a step-son, Larry Snell of Las Vegas, Nevada; a step-granddaughter, Alicia Logan, and a step-great grandson, Christopher Logan both of Merced, Calif.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Mildred Ann Stephens; and a brother, Robert Burl Stephens.