Obituary of Rupert Stephens
Rupert Stephens passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 21, 2023 in Viera, Florida. He was born on April 22, 1940 and grew up in Russell Springs, Kentucky. He lived in Brevard County, Florida for 56 years. He was an amazing person, husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, coach and friend who touched so many throughout a life of inspiration.
A scholar-athlete at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), he is a member of EKU’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni graduating with bachelor’s and master’s degrees. “Mr. Hustle” was also inducted into the EKU Athletic Hall of Fame for his accomplished Basketball career, which included Team MVP and All Ohio Valley Conference his Senior Year. When his collegiate playing time ended, he coached EKU’s Freshman Basketball Team while working on his master’s degree.
After graduation he entered the United States Army and served in Korea. He then went on to spend the next 37 years of his career on the Space Program at Kennedy Space Center in Florida contributing to the Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle missions. He helped launch all the astronauts to the Moon.
Rupert was passionate about everything he did in life and was especially loving of his family. He is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years, Mary Rose Stephens, Viera, FL; his son and daughter-in-law, Joel and Janet Stephens; his granddaughters, Jordan and Janelle, Tampa, FL; his sister Edith Ann Jessee, Lawrenceburg, KY; his niece Sharon (Ivan) Gant, Corbin, KY; nephew Edwin (Phyllis) Jessee, Springhill, FL; brother-in-law, Don (Jo) Feltner, KY; sister-in-law, Ruth Feltner, VA; nephew Derek (Laura) Feltner, OH; niece Loree (Bruce) Brown, VA; nephew Christopher Feltner, NY; and many other family members and friends whom he loved.
He was predeceased by parents, Winford and Zella Stephens of Russell Springs, KY; sister, Nina Francis Stephens of Russell Springs, KY; daughter, Jill Kelly Stephens of Viera, FL; brothers-in-law, Elvin Feltner of NY and Gene Feltner of VA.
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The date of his service will be announced to honor his legacy.