Bennie Biram Stephenson was born Wednesday, June 17, 1936, in Weleetka to Billie Lois (Keen) Stephenson and William Irish Stephenson. He had one older brother, Wendell Irish who he thought the world of. He spent his youth at his grandmother’s farm in Weleetka where he attended The Alabama Church. He was a proud member of The Muscogee Nation and was always very proud of his Native American Heritage. His family later moved to Okmulgee, where he graduated high school. He loved playing basketball and football for the Bulldogs. He enlisted in the U.S. Army where he proudly served his country and was honorably discharged as a Combat Veteran having served in Korea. He spent time working with his family overseas in the oil fields, returning to the states to attend college at OSUIT here in Okmulgee where he graduated as a draftsman. He met his first wife Beverly and had two children, Bennie (Roger) and Pamela Lynn. They relocated to Ft. Smith, Ark. where he began his career at Riverside Furniture Co. and later retired as the director of Quality Control.
He loved spending time with his parents and kids camping, fishing, and boating. He was a devoted husband and father. He married his second wife, Carolyn and had two more children, Tara Lynn and Carrie Elizabeth. They made their home on a farm in Roland. The farm was his passion. He loved raising Angus cows and bailing hay. He loved taking his bass boat out for fishing tournaments and camping with his parents at Okmulgee Lake. He eventually returned to Okmulgee to be closer to his mother and brother. He would remain here with his companion Marilyn who he enjoyed spending his later years of life June 17, 1936 – January 1, 2024
with traveling and visiting friends. He enjoyed competing in pool tournaments with his buddies at the V.F.W. He was also a lifetime member of The Elks Lodge where he loved to visit with friends. You could usually find him sitting on his porch or in his building enjoying the weather and having a beer. He was ornery, funny, and wise beyond his years. He was the strongest and smartest man we’ve ever known. We’ve always said, “There’s a right way, a wrong way, and Bennie’s way.” And he was always right.
Ben passed away peacefully at his daughter’s home in Okmulgee on Monday, January 1, 2024. He was preceded in death by his son, Roger; father, Irish; mother, Billie; companion, Marilyn; and brother, Wendell.
He is survived by his three daughters, Pamela Lynn, Tara Lynn, and Carrie Elizabeth; four grandchildren, Kenleigh, Taylor, Amari and Ava Jean; as well as a host of extended family and dear friends.
Visitation was held Tuesday, January 9, 2024, at The Refuge Church, 1206 W. 5th St. in Okmulgee.
Funeral service was held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, January 10, 2024, at The Refuge Church, with Pastor Jake Brill officiating. Burial followed at Okmulgee Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Kevin Reed, Charles Braiser, David Brewer, Mike Clevenger, Brandon Turner and Amari Nichols. Honorary Pallbearers were Jimmy Gainor, Eddy Evans and Bill Stange.