Janet W. Stephens

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 1:45pm

Janet W. Stephens, 78, of Naples, Florida, and West Boothbay Harbor, died Aug. 25, 2014 at her cottage on Juniper Point, surrounded by music and family.

Jan was born in Boston, Massachusetts on Oct. 29, 1935, the daughter of Henry and Janet (Clarke) Ward. She had one brother, Robert, with whom she shared a love of music. Jan remembered fondly her childhood in Lincoln, Massachusetts, and made lifelong friends while attending Concord Academy in Concord, Massachusetts.

On Sept. 17, 1955 she married Alexander Stephens of Yonkers, New York. She met “Bud” Stephens at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, where they were both students. Janet and Bud spent the first four years of their marriage in Laguna Beach, California. Bud was stationed with the U.S. Marines at El Toro.

Daughters Lee and Jennifer were born during the family’s time there. During the blizzard of 1960 they traveled east and settled in Sudbury, Massachusetts, where Bud’s sister Mimi and her family lived. Son, Panos, was born soon afterward. Once they lived in Massachusetts, summer retreats on Juniper Point began.

Jan worked as the children’s librarian at Peter Noyes Elementary School in Sudbury, Massachusetts. While working, she finished her bachelor’s degree at Framingham State College and then earned her master’s degree in library science at Boston University. A career highlight was arranging author visits for her students. Guest authors included Patricia MacLachlan, Natalie Babbit and David McCord.

Jan was predeceased by her husband, Alexander Stephens. Five years after his death, she met Bill Graham and the next chapter of her life began. They settled in Naples, Florida. As a guest reader in the Naples Public schools, she continued to share her love of children’s books. Jan also continued to pursue her passion for choral music. She had sung with the Salisbury Singers in Massachusetts and the Lincoln Arts Festival Chorus in Maine. In Florida, Jan sang with the Naples Philharmonic Chorale, the Bach Ensemble, Voices of Naples and her beloved First Presbyterian Church choir. Highlights of her musical adventures included singing Verdi’s “Requiem” in New York City and Washington, D.C., and a choral trip to Estonia and Russia.

Jan is survived by her daughters, Lee Kauders and husband Chris of Newton, Massachusetts, and Jennifer Stephens of Cambridge, Massachusetts; and her son, Panos Stephens and wife Natalie of Louisville, Kentucky. She is also survived by her five beloved granddaughters, Hannah Kauders of Newton, Massachusetts, and Emma, Sophie, Kali and Tessa Stephens of Louisville, Kentucky.

A memorial service will take place next summer at the Congregational Church in Boothbay Harbor.

Donations in Jan’s name can be made to: Ovarian Cancer National Allliane, P.O. Box 62885, Baltimore, MD 21264-2885 (, or Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library, 4 Oak Street, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538-1811

The family wishes to thank Molly, Kirsten and Dee Dee of Miles and St. Andrews Home Health and Hospice for their kindness and loving care for Jan during the last weeks of her life.

You are invited to share your condolences, stories and photos with the family by visiting their Book of Memories at

Arrangements are entrusted to Hall’s of Boothbay, 975 Wiscasset Road, Boothbay.