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February 12, 2019 • Obituaries
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Brenda D. Whitaker

Brenda D. Whitaker, 67, of Lafayette, passed away on Saturday, February 9, 2019 at her home. She was born May 9, 1951, in Batesville to the late William Glenn and Delcene Lucille Morris.

Brenda graduated from South Ripley High School in 1969. On September 14, 1974, she married Douglas Whitaker in Versailles and he survives.

Brenda chose to clean homes in the Lafayette area for many years, so she could be home when her children came home from school. She was a member of Good Shepherd Baptist Church and enjoyed shopping, cooking, lighthouses, and traveling.

Surviving with her husband are her children Chad J. (Shanda) Whitaker of Rossville, Matthew D. (Jamie Merrick) Whitaker of Indianapolis and her granddaughter Ellie L. Whitaker of Lafayette. Also surviving is her sister Connie J. Morris of Versailles.

Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday at Soller-Baker Lafayette Chapel, 400 Twyckenham Blvd. Service will be at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 13, at the Chapel with Pastor Terry Chase officiating. Entombment will be at be at Rest Haven Memorial Park in Lafayette. Memorial contributions may be made to Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Brenda’s memory. You may sign the guest book, leave memories and photos at

Dr. Marion T. Jackson

Dr. Marion T. Jackson, 85, of Terre Haute passed away at Brookdale of Ft. Wayne on Thursday, February 7, 2019. He was born near Versailles on August 19, 1933, the son of Marshall and Estelle Fox Jackson. He was married to Jaleh Jorjani on June 1, 1985 and she preceded him in death in June of 2016.

Survivors include two daughters Arshia Myers of Dayton, Ohio,and Grousha (Jason) Birkenbeul of Ft. Wayne; four granddaughters Elise and Libby Myers, and Mia and Claire Birkenbeul; also his sister-in-law Eva Fern Jackson of Versailles. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Willard, Kenneth, and Hubert Jackson, and his sisters Naomi Ruth Carter, Margaret Jobst, and Neva Rea.

Mr. Jackson was a 1951 graduate of Versailles High School and began his working career at Coca-Cola in Ft. Wayne in June of 1951. He served with the US Naval Reserve from 1953 to 1955 aboard the USS Currituck, a seaplane tender based at Norfolk, Virginia. In 1955 he was employed in Ft. Wayne as a Technical Writer in the Talos ground-to-air missile program at the Farnsworth Electronics Company. He received his B.S. degree in Conservation of Natural Resources from Purdue University in 1961 and received his PhD degree in Plant Ecology from Purdue in 1964.

He was a former professor at Moorhead State University and in September of 1964 began a 37 year career at Indiana State University in Terre Haute as a professor in the Life Science department, also teaching part time at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College near Terre Haute. Mr. Jackson authored two books including The Natural Heritage of Indiana and also Indiana Trees, in an effort to protect the state’s natural heritage and biodiversity. He also spent many summers working for the US Forest Service in Idaho, the National Park Service in Oregon, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska.

Other accomplishments in Mr. Jackson’s career included being editor and president for the Indiana Academy of Science, president of the Indiana Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, president of the Wabash Valley Audubon Society, and serving on the Board of Trustees of the Natural Areas Association. His awards consisted of the Oak Leaf Award from the Nature Conservancy, the Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award, the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor Award, the Indiana State College of Arts and Sciences Medallion, and also having his life story featured in the Indiana State University Magazine. He was also named Conservationist of the Year in 2017 by the Ouabache Land Conservancy.

Funeral services for Mr. Jackson will be held on Friday, February 15 at 2 p.m. at the Stratton-Karsteter Funeral Home in Versailles with Rev. Jeff Stratton officiating. Burial will be in the Tanglewood Cemetery. Visitation will also be on Friday beginning at 1 p.m.. Memorial contributions may be given to ACRES Land Trust or the Tanglewood Cemetery in care of the funeral home. A memorial service for Mr. Jackson will also be held on Saturday, February 16 at 1 p.m. at the Debaun Funeral Home, 85 East Springhill Drive in Terre Haute.

Lee Allen Stephen, Sr.

Lee Allen “Bird” Stephen, Sr., age 55, of Madison, entered this life on December 19, 1963 in Greensburg. He was the loving son of James and Jean Redmon Stephen.

He was raised in Ripley County and was a 1981 graduate of South Ripley High School. He attended electrical trade schools to become an electrician. He resided in Atlanta, Georgia for 28 years and worked in the electrical trade there. He opened his own business in 1995 called Stephen’s Electrical Contractors and operated it until his sudden death. He moved back to Versailles in 2009 and had resided in the Canaan community for the past four years.

Bird as he was known enjoyed his time with the Buckeye Tree Club, proud to have been baptized in Otter Creek and was a true “cowboy”. He loved every minute spent horseback riding, four wheeling, hunting, being outdoors and being with his grandchildren. On October 8, 2016 he married his soul mate Tammy Lyon Adams at their home in Canaan. They enjoyed their farm and life together and he will be greatly missed.

Lee died on Wednesday, February 6, at 10:37 a.m. at the Carroll County Memorial Hospital in Carrollton, Kentucky.

Lee will be missed by his loving wife, Tamara D. “Tammy” Lyon Stephen of Madison, Indiana; his loving parents, James and Jean Redmon Stephen of Versailles, Indiana; his loving sons, Lee Allen Stephen, Jr. and his wife, Jania of Bear Branch, Indiana, Kenneth James “K.J.” Stephen and his companion, Paula; his loving daughter, Kayla Stephen of Atlanta, Georgia; his loving step daughter, Hannah Adams of Canaan, Indiana; his adoring grandchildren, Ben, Wayne, Jana, Malachia, Rose, Zamira, Lily, Gabriel, Abram, Isabelle, Abigail, Brianna, Emma, Dylan, and Lincoln; his loving brothers, James R. “J.R.” Stephen and his wife, Debbie of Versailles, Indiana, Joe Stephen and his companion, Kelly of Versailles, Indiana; his sister in law and brother in law, Kim and Doug Partin of Madison, Indiana; his brother in law and sister in law, Kyle and Cheryl Lyon of Madison, Indiana; numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Paul and Lela Stephen and Joseph and Freida Redmon, his father in law, Denny Lyon, his step grandchildren, Mylee Jo Stitzel and Mason Stitzel.

Funeral services were conducted Monday, February 11, by Pastor Rod Asher at the Indian-Kentuck Baptist Church, 4413 East, 925 North in Canaan. Interment followed in the Canaan Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Lee Stephen Remembrance Fund. Cards are available at the funeral homes. Online condolences,

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