The family and many friends of Janie Pate Stephenson mourn her loss on March 11 following a sudden illness. A resident of Daphne, Alabama since 1985, Janie was born in Dothan on Aug. 3, 1941. A life-long social worker, Janie eventually became a much-loved and highly respected therapist in private practice in Daphne, having served that community since 1998. After graduating from Dothan High in 1959, Janie earned a BA in social work from the University of Montevello in 1963. Two years later she received a master's degree in religious education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Her final degree was a masters in social work earned in 1977 at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. She began her professional career in 1965 as a caseworker with the Jefferson County Department of Pension and Security in Birmingham. She retired in 1994 as a training coordinator with the Alabama Department of Human Resources in Mobile. After retirement from the state, she served as adjunct professor of social work at Faulkner State Community College. She launched a private therapy consultancy in Fairhope in 2000 and continued her work there until her death. Janie's legacy among her family and her multitude of close friends will forever remain a truly remarkable portrait of love, caring, compassion and grace. Her effervescent personality made her every visit to friends' homes, to family reunions and to social gatherings a memorable joy that will be keenly missed by many. She is survived by her only sibling, Frank ("Frankie") H. Stephenson of Carrabelle, Fla.; a beloved niece, Kate Stephenson DeCosmo of Tallahassee, Fla.; her devoted companion and partner for many years John Bartels of Fairhope; many cousins in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Virginia and elsewhere; life-long friends Mary Goynes of Destrehan, La. and Dona Seidel of Kansas City, Mo. and a godchild, Dothan native Bruce Gaines Hall (Thomas) now of Berlin, Germany.
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