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Vivian Pauline (Austin) Stephenson

July 10, 2017
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Vivian “Pauline” Austin Stephenson Vivian “Pauline” Austin Stephenson, age 96, passed from this life on July 10, 2017. She was born October 15, 1920 at Hale Center in Hale County, Texas to Walter Trousdale Austin and Alice Gertrude Fort, homesteaders and dry land farmers of West Texas. As times were difficult and their farm was lost during the Great Depression, the family moved on to New Mexico to seek a new start. Arriving in the Portales area, she later met her intended husband, Leonard Adam Stephenson. They were married October 17, 1936. Living on the John R. Stephenson farm/ ranch near Arch, New Mexico, Pauline learned from her widowed mother-in-law, Rachel, to be a wonderful cook and ranch hand. Hard times continued and Leonard and Pauline moved to Bay City, Texas where Leonard worked in the oil fields and Pauline was a waitress. Their daughter Annitta was born in 1941. They moved back to New Mexico when Leonard was hired with the Santa Fe Railroad Co. in Clovis, and later moved again to Carlsbad where their son John Raymond was born in 1943. Pauline answered the call as needed when Leonard was seriously injured in a fall from an engine, by returning to work as a city bus driver in Clovis. Later, in Dora, New Mexico, Pauline was the rural telephone switchboard operator. The “good times” started when they moved back to Carlsbad and Pauline worked for the Lakeview Christian Home in the kitchen, becoming a licensed dietitian/ supervisor. Her following years were spent caring for her family, her pets, her garden, and her pecan trees. She was well known for her wonderful pecan pies and her great hospitality. She was a faithful Christian and member of the Church of Christ. Pauline is survived by one daughter, Annitta Robertson and her husband Richard, of Silver City, New Mexico. Grandchildren: Jon Robertson (Cheryl), Stephen Robertson (Lori), Calvin Derkson (Gillian), and Keith Stephenson (MaryChris). She has 17 great grandchildren, 6 great- great grandchildren, and one brother-in law, Noel Owen of Portales, New Mexico. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Leonard, her son John, her four sisters, Beulah Mae Benson (Fitz), Gladys Hazel Smith (Dale), Ruby Estelle Smith (O.B. “Nig”), Evelyn Owen, her two brothers, Homer Ray Austin (Hazel) and Henry Mires Austin, her granddaughters, Kimberly Diann Williams, and Kristin Denise King, and her great grandson Shawn Williams, as well as nephews, nieces, and friends she loved dearly. Her wonderful sense of humor and faith in Christ always sustained her. Pauline will be laid to rest beside her husband and son in the family plot at the Portales, New Mexico Cemetery on Monday, July 17, 2017 at 11:00 a.m.. In lieu of flowers,. donations may be made to NM Christian Children's Home, 1356 NM 236, Portales, NM 88130.. Bright Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements, “Traditional Services and Care for your family and friends”, 210 W. College Ave., Silver City, NM, 88061.  575-388-1911.  Remembrances can be made at

 Service Information

Funeral Service
July 17, 2017

Time: TBD
Portales Cemetery

Portales, New Mexico

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