Our beloved Vincent Stephens passed away on March 21, 2023, at the age of 60. Though his life was shorter than we wanted, his life was nothing small. It was bigger than life, loving, generous, and could fill up an entire room.
Vince was born on March 25, 1962, in Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from Glenville High School, where he excelled in football and track. He attended Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island where he continued his football and track career ultimately leading him to a brief stint in the NFL. Upon his return to Cleveland, he began his work as an engineer. During that time, he also received what he would say was one of the greatest gifts of his life, meeting his wife of 37 years,Veronica.
Vince LOVED Veronica. He knew from the moment they met that he wanted to be with her forever. Even up until his last moments on earth, it was so evident that he adored her. She was his #1, and he couldn’t go more than five minutes without talking about her or calling her if he wasn’t right beside her. He loved spending time with her, whether it was going for long walks, cooking together or just watching a good movie. He loved to make her laugh. He was her biggest encourager.
While his love and devotion to his wife was so obvious, Vince’s love and devotion to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was even more important to him. Vince was a faithful servant of the Lord, telling everyone he encountered about the hope that could be found in Jesus, and he did that consistently through the blessing of his business, Axiom. He would build relationships and love others to Jesus. If you spent time with him, you’d hear him share the good news; you’d hear how much God had changed his life. Vince didn’t let his hard times or suffering bring him down. He would glorify God through them. He didn’t let his past failures or mistakes define him. He was defined as a child of God, and he boldly proclaimed that to all who would listen. Countless lives have been changed because the gospel was always on his lips.
Vince was everything to his four boys. He fought for relationships with his sons, with love and constant support. You could find him on his knees praying for them. He loved them and was so proud of them. He was so open and transparent with them. He taught them everything he could: the good, the bad, the ugly. He coached them and was their biggest fan in all the many sports they played, but would remind them even in their successes, “Jesus is better than any NFL contract you could ever sign.” They are all a reflection of their dad that will live on as they honor him with their lives. They hope to become even more like him, and to love as deeply as he did.
Vince was known for his generous spirit and his ability to make everyone around him feel loved and valued. He had a contagious smile and a great sense of humor that could light up a room. He brought joy and laughter into the lives of everyone he met, and his kindness and compassion touched the hearts of so many. In the words of his son Vince Junior, “any story anyone has about my dad is going to be a funny story ‘cause that is who my dad was.”
He will be remembered as a Christ-follower, a loving husband, a dedicated dad, an adoring Pop Pop, a devoted brother, and a true friend to all who knew him. Though we are deeply saddened by his passing, we know exactly where Vince is: in his favorite place, worshipping his Savior with arms lifted high. He now sees with perfect clarity what we see dimly. He sees his Jesus face to face. Vince didn’t fear the future because he trusted the One who holds the future. We look forward to the day that we can worship beside him again. Until then, his memory will live on in our hearts forever.
Vince is survived by his wife, Veronica. His son Vincent Stephens Jr. and his wife Tracy. Grandchildren Adrian Stephens, Maya Stephens, and Camille Stephens. Grandchildren Tyrell Kidd and Davon Kidd. His son Brandon Stephens and his wife Brittany. Grandchildren Bryson Stephens and Avianna Stephens. Grandchildren Paris Whyte and Roman Whyte. His son Justin Stephens. His son Dorian Stephens. His sister Loretta Johnson and her husband Charles. His sister Jeanette Phillips and her husband Emery. His brother Rodney Stephens and his wife Katrina. His sister Yvette Stephens. He was blessed with his bonus brother of forty-eight years, Derrick Fellows and his wife Donna. He has a host of nieces and nephews.
We invite you to celebrate Vince’s life with us on Thursday, March 30th at 2pm in the afternoon at Grace Church North Overland Park 10300 Antioch Road, Overland Park, KS 66212.
In lieu of flowers, consider donating to Freedom Fire Church a Christian missions organization dedicated to the advancement of God’s Kingdom and love in the urban core of Kansas City. You can donate using this following link: https://rock.visitgracechurch.com/page/470?GroupId=174107