Margaret Lou Dehart Stephens
Margaret Lou Dehart Stephens, of Shooting Creek, passed away on Sunday, June 3, 2018 at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, Tenn., after a brief illness. She was born 68 years ago this week in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Clay County, the only place she ever wanted to live. She was the third of four children of the late William “Earl” and Mary Lou Dailey Dehart. Margaret was raised mostly by her maternal grandmother, Zoah Hogsed Dailey in the Shooting Creek community. Times were tough for most folks in Clay County then and she would often tell stories about those lean times. She would talk about how as a little girl, the red clay stained the soles of her bare feet as she ran through the green woods and splashed through clear creeks and as she walked along the dirt road with her grandmother to the little community store.
In her 30's and while working full-time as a teaching assistant, she enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program in teaching at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C. She was fiercely dedicated to achieving this goal and graduated with honors.
She took great pride in her work as an educator at Hayesville High School and especially enjoyed working with struggling learners.
Margaret had many passions. She was an avid Civil War buff who collected dozens of books on Civil War history. She adored Elvis Presley and his music. She was an animal lover. Any stray cat that wandered by her home could always find food and shelter there. She loved Dodge Chargers and could often be seen driving on US 64 between Shooting Creek and Hayesville in her own silver Charger.
Margaret was married to Kineth Stephens for 26 years until he passed away. Together they raised two daughters, Kim Kirkland and Tammy Stephens. Kim married Salim Cherif. They have one young son, Cooper, and live in Naples, Fla. Tammy married Laura Wood. They live in Englewood, Fla.
In addition to her daughters and grandson, Margaret is survived by her sister, Shirley Maney, of Shooting Creek, who became her close companion and friend in her later years and Shirley’s husband, Cecil; her uncle, Bill Dailey, of Shooting Creek; her sisters-in-law, Lynn and Nancy Dehart, and Louise Reid; and her many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her brothers, Jimmy and Jackie Dehart. Margaret will be missed by all.
A celebration of life will be held at the Townson- Rose Funeral Home Chapel of Hayesville from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, June 9. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Valley River Humane Society at 7450 US- 19, Marble, N.C. 28905 or by phone at (828) 837-2304.
Townson-Rose Funeral Home: www.townson-rose. com is in charge of all arrangements.