David Malcolm Stephens, 74, formerly of Vergennes


MANITOWOC, Wisc. — David Malcolm Stephens passed peacefully Nov. 10, 2018, at the age 74, at “The Bay” in the North Ridge Health and Rehabilitation Center, in Manitowoc, Wisc., after a long struggle with chronic illness and declining health.

Born Jan. 22, 1944, in Springfield, Vt., David grew up in Vergennes playing high school basketball, baseball, and soccer — and being a great dancer, especially when doing The Twist. After school and in summers he worked at his father’s pharmacy on Main Street and enjoyed time at the family camp on Potash Bay, Lake Champlain.

In 1967 he married M. Lucinda Reed, of Montpelier, Vt. They were divorced in 1983. He graduated from Huntington University in 1968 with a B.A. in History after which he taught 6th grade in Indiana. Military service in the U.S. Army began with Basic Training at Fort Bliss, Texas, followed by Advanced Individual Training (AIT) as a Medic-Specialist in San Antonio. David then enlisted in the Vermont National Guard where he served from November of 1969 through 1975. He reenlisted and served several more years into the 1980s.

David returned to school in 1970 at the Albany College of Pharmacy, where he earned a postgraduate degree in 1974 and was licensed to practice. His father passed in 1971 and David became owner and manager of the family store until 1984.

David is survived and lovingly remembered by his former wife, Luci; their devoted son, David Frederick Stephens, b. 1970; three grandsons, Mason, b. 2003, Mitchel, b. 2005, and Mathew, b. 2006; his elder brother, John A. Stephens (Carolyn); and his sister, Mary Sue “Mitzi” Stephens Wright. He is fondly remembered as “Uncle David” by his nephews and nieces, Allison, John W., and Matthew Stephens; Stephanie Stephens Sutton and Rebecca Catherine Wright.

After 1984, David left pharmacy and moved to Milwaukee Wisc., initially to enroll in Rogers’ Hospital Residential Treatment Program, followed by extensive outpatient care. He then enjoyed 20 years of independent life as a member of the guest services staff at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee. Always a sports lover, David enjoyed being on a first-name basis with the stars who stayed at the Pfister. He developed a standup comedy routine of puns and one-liners to exchange with guests. He was deeply moved by magic moments in the Pfister lobby, such as the night Bette Midler performed an after-hours concert, exclusively for the hotel staff.

In mid-life David thrived on the exercise and stimulation which his job provided. He became the grandpa of the Bell Staff and was elected Bell Captain by his younger peers. In 2009, he turned 65 and could no longer carry the weight of his duties. The HR department at the Pfister stood by him during his last year of ill health.

While David struggled with multiple health issues in his retirement, he found peace in his final days at “The Bay” in Manitowoc. Furthermore, he conducted himself with a sense of grace and poise that not only hid his pain and suffering but brought great comfort to his family, allowing time to make new memories, reminisce and just enjoy time together. He was able to see his grandsons and other family members and finally, was able to say goodbye to those he loved and who loved him.

A private memorial service is planned for summer, 2024 in Vermont. ◊


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