About Carolyn Stephens

Carolyn M. StephensCarolyn Miller Stephens was born on January 22, 1937 in Russellville, Alabama.  She was the oldest of four children of Ada Elizabeth Bowen Miller and Glasco A. Miller.

Carolyn was a girl that had to grow up quick.  Her father, Glasco, died in 1949 when she was only twelve years old. At that time, her mother had to go back to work and with three siblings, Carolyn had to step in and help out with her sisters (Gemma and Ann) and brother (Harold).  Her mother, Ada, worked full-time but always made sure that her family was well cared for and comfortable.  She instilled in Carolyn, as well as her siblings, a strong work ethic, a caring heart for others, and the ability to laugh even in the face of adversity.

She graduated from Russellville High School (Class of '55) and began her career at the Franklin Citizen Times.  She held several positions there and left the paper in 1957 to relocate to Decatur, Alabama and marry her husband of 50 years, John.

Upon moving to Decatur, she took a job with what was then Alabama Flour Mills.  She stayed with the company through "thick and thin" and several mergers and acquisitions.  In the early 70's, the company was acquired by ConAgra.  After several years of working in Decatur, her division was relocated to Athens, Alabama.  In 2002, the division was sold to Pilgrim's Pride Corporation.  She completed 50 years of service with the company during the summer of 2007.

In December of 2004, Carolyn was diagnosed with breast cancer.  During the workup for surgery in January of 2005, doctors discovered that she also had leukemia (CML - Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia).  Throughout her entire cancer journey she maintained a positive attitude, encouraged others, and lived life with zest and vigor.  When asked why she wanted to try experimental drugs and therapies, she would reply "Hopefully, it will work for me, but, even if it doesn't, don't waste our pain. Do something to help others on this same journey".  Carolyn lost her life to CML in July of 2007.

It is in that same spirit that this work has been created.  She was an unselfish and caring person who always saw the best in people.  It was her desire to see CML eliminated through new therapies and research.  We continue in that vein.

She has two sons and daughters in law, John Gregory Stephens and Dawn of Birmingham, Alabama, and Todd Miller Stephens and Monica of Decatur, Alabama.  She was also a sassy, loving "Mema" to three grandsons, Tyler, Cameron, and Carter.