Obit: James Stephenson

Obit: James Stephenson

March 22nd, 2012 in Obituaries
Location: Georgia

Jr.RINGGOLD James B. Stephenson Jr., 75, died Tuesday, March 20, 2012, in a local health care facility.He was a graduate of Summerville High School, Chattooga County, Georgia, and attended Alabama Polytechnic Institute (API) in Auburn, Alabama. He began land surveying in his youth with his father, a civil engineer. From 1956 to 1967, he worked as a maintenance engineer with Battey State Hospital in Rome, Ga. Mr. Stephenson volunteered with the Floyd County Civil Defense Rescue Squad, where he was founder and Chief of the first cave rescue unit in the Southeast. He worked in the construction industry during the 1970s and 1980s and was founder and President of James Stephenson Business Broker Inc. from 1989 through 2008. Mr. Stephenson was active in Chattanooga-area Chambers of Commerce, serving as President of the Southside Chamber, where he was selected as 1996 Man of the Year.A lifelong caver, and member of the National Speleological Society for more than 50 years, he was a past President of the Chattanooga Grotto and a member of the Pigeon Mountain Grotto.He was a patriotic citizen who always carried a copy of the Constitution with him. Mr. Stephenson was a member of First-Centenary United Methodist Church and the Morgan Sunday School Class. Mr. Stephenson was preceded in death by his father, James Boyd Stephenson Sr.; and mother, Ethel Baker Stephenson.Survivors are his wife of 31 years, Betty-Jo Ozmer Stephenson; sons, J. Brad Stephenson (Seaira), of Oak Ridge, Tenn., and Randall B. Hebert, of Chattanooga; daughters, Elizabeth M. Day (Andy) of Dalton, Georgia, and Margaret E. UpDyke (Dan) of Liberty Township, Ohio.Funeral services will be 3 p.m. Saturday in the First-Centenary United Methodist Church with Dr. David Harr and Dr. Dwight Kilbourne officiating.Interment will be in Pine Grove Cemetery.Memorial contributions may be made to Southeastern Cave Conservancy, P.O. Box 71857, Chattanooga, TN 37407 (http://www.scci.org/Support/support.html), Salvation Army, P.O. Box 3359, Chattanooga, TN 37404 (donate.salvationarmyusa.org), Chattanooga Area Food Bank, 2009 Curtain Pole Rd., Chattanooga, TN 37406 (http://www.chattfoodbank.org/donate).Visit www.heritagefh.com to share words of comfort with the family and view the memorial tribute.The family will receive friends from 1-3 p.m. Saturday at the church.Arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Home and Crematory, Battlefield Parkway.