Sylvia Stephens

Sylvia Stephens

March 20, 1921 – September 4, 2022

Sylvia J. Stephens, 101, passed away September 4, 2022, in Garrison, ND.

Sylvia Stephens was born to parents, Victor and Enanda Sellberg in Norman County, Minnesota on March 20, 1921. She graduated from Fertile High School and went on to The New York Hairdressing Academy in Fargo, ND. She worked at Park Rapids, MN then in East Grand Forks ND, where she met and married Gordon Grina. They had one daughter, Diane, before Gordon died on Palm Sunday in 1947.

Sylvia married James Stephens in 1950 and they moved to Garrison where Jim joined his father in the lumber business.

For years, Sylvia did hairstyling out of her home, then after selling her equipment to McLean Manor she continued to do beauty work at the Manor and Nursing Home.

She was a life-long member of the American Legion Auxiliary and belonged to St. Paul Lutheran Church.

Sylvia loved music. She started singing at 5 years of age and later sang solos in choirs and musicals until a throat infection stopped her singing – this was devastating for Sylvia.

She loved yard work, her flowers, and feeding her squirrels and birds. She enjoyed coffee with friends and loved to read.

Cats held a special place in her heart and she was known to rescue those who told her they needed a good home!

Sylvia was preceded in death by her two husbands, her parents, and sister, June, from Washington DC who spent her final years residing at GMH with Sylvia.

She is survived by her wonderful ‘family’ at Garrison Memorial Hospital 3rd floor and her daughter, Diane, who added Sylvia’s two cats to her own menagerie and they reside in Rapid City, SD.

As so many of Sylvia’s friends and family have passed there will be no services. Her wishes included cremation and she will be inurned next to Jim at Garrison City Cemetery. Memorials may be sent to St. Paul Lutheran Church in Sylvia’s name.

She would want friends to take these words to heart:


When I come to the end of the road

And the sun has set for me

I want no rites in a gloom-filled room.

Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little – but not too long

And not with your head bowed low.

Remember the love that we once shared,

Miss me — but let me go.

For this is a journey that

we all must take and each must go alone.

It’s all part of the Master’s plan,

A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick of heart,

go to the friends we know

and bury your sorrows in doing good deeds.

Miss Me – But Let Me Go

Attributed to Edgar A. Guest

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