Margaret L. Stephens was born on July 12, 1939 in Autaugaville Alabama to Frank and Ovetta Saffold. At the age of 10, she moved to Boston where she enjoyed singing with church choirs and learned to play the piano. She attended Charles Street AME Church and later was a member of the historic Twelfth Baptist Church.
While in Boston she met and married Emery Stephens, Sr., of Macon Georgia. Margaret L. Stephens affectionately known as “Phyllis” was a longtime resident and community activist from Dorchester. She recognized as a youth that she had an obligation and responsibility to ensure that all people shared equally in society’s benefits. She was a founding member of the Greater Four Corners Action Coalition and a member of the Design Committee that created the plan for the renovation of Mothers’ Rest Park. She was active in the campaign to bring new commuter rail stops to Dorchester, was a member of the Four Corners Community Celebration Planning Team and was very active in the “Good Jobs, Strong Communities” initiative. She was also a member of the Greater Glenway Neighborhood Association. Margaret enjoyed volunteering, whether she was gathering signatures for public elections, participating in neighborhood clean-ups or helping those in need, she wanted to make a difference in her community. Someone told her, “you may be small but you carry a big stick.”
In 2013, she received the Civic Leadership Award which recognizes community members who identified a community need and helped to impact public policy and improve the community at Codman Square Health Center’s 2013 Hidden Heroes and Sheroes Celebration.
Margaret was mainly a private person but she engaged with people and wanted to offer help when needed. She enjoyed domestic and international travel and loved to laugh and engage in spiritual devotion and political action.
Margaret is survived by Emery Stephens Sr. of Dorchester, MA, and her son Emery Stephens Jr. of Northfield, Minnesota; two aunts, Minnie Reed (Nathaniel) of Nashville, TN and Alberta Lamar of New York; Veronica (Renee) Penn of Boston, Lamont (Stacey) Penn of El Paso, Texas, Anthony (Geriene) Reed of Texas, Dana Reed (Glennis) of Nashville, TN; Vanessa Hendricks, Duane Hendricks, Gregory Hendricks, Lorraine Simmons, Deborah Mack, Roberta Dennis, Henry (Shirley) Bodie, all of New York. Betty Broadnax and Mozella Wilson, both of Florida; and a host of other relatives and friends.
In lieu of flowers Memorial Donations in Margaret’s honor can be made to: Codman Square Health Center, 637 Washington Street, Dorchester, MA 02124, Attn: John Galluzzo or donate online at: https://www.codman.org/donate/
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