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Georgia mourns the loss of Savannah state Rep. Mickey Stephens, 77

Published: Aug. 15, 2021 at 12:07 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 15, 2021 at 11:17 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Georgia state and local leaders are sending their condolences after the death of Savannah state Rep. Edward “Mickey” Stephens (D-GA 165). District 165 stretches from downtown Savannah, across East Savannah, Chatham County and Thunderbolt to Vernonburg.

Stephens was “a native of Savannah, Georgia,” according to his Georgia House of Representatives biography. He was an alumni of Savannah State College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Arts Education in 1971. He received a Master of Education degree from Cambridge College in Boston.

Stephens worked as a technology instructor at Savannah High School and Shuman Middle School and as the Instructor of Industrial Arts Education at John W. Hubert Middle School.

Stephens was first elected to the Georgia House of Representatives for one term in 2002-2003. He was reelected in 2009 and served on the Health & Human Services, Insurance, Legislative & Congressional Reapportionment, Regulated Industries and Ways & Means committees. He also previously served on the Savannah-Chatham County Board of Public Education and the Savannah Zoning Board of Appeals.

Stephens was married to his wife Gloria for 47 years. They had two children, Edward Jr. and Karlis, and three grandchildren, Kyrin, Lauren and Raven.

Georgia House of Representatives Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) released the following statement Saturday night:

“The passing of Mickey Stephens takes from us one of Georgia’s most solid leaders. A man of quiet strength, Mickey was a pillar in the Georgia House and he was my dear friend. Mickey’s utmost priority was the well-being of his constituents and no one fought harder for their community. Our prayers are with Gloria and his family during this time.”

Georgia State Rep. Carl Gilliard (D-Garden City) released the following statement Sunday afternoon:

“This this morning we mourn the loss of a giant legislator. The Honorable Representative Mickey Stephens welcomed me into the Georgia House of Representatives and would hold my feet to the fire. He was an outspoken champion in meetings when no one would say what they felt. He wouldn’t talk about you, he would say as a man whatever he thought to your face. He often reminded to stay focused and “Trust no one.”

“He once said to me, “When I run for re-election I already have my theme. “Thanks Mickey!” The last time I saw him earlier this year in the Georgia House of Representative. I leaned over to him with great emotion and echoed what he said would be his campaign theme,

“Thanks Mickey!”

Savannah State University President Kimberly Ballard-Washington released the following statement Sunday night:

“The Savannah State University family is saddened by the passing of Georgia House Representative and Savannah State University alumnus Mickey Stephens (’71). Although Representative Stephens had been ill recently, he remained a strong advocate, ensuring the university’s needs were addressed by the general assembly. He was a friend and mentor, ably guiding me through the legislative process.

“We have lost a great man who worked tirelessly for his constituents and his community. Serving faithfully for over a decade, Representative Stephens embodied Savannah State University’s motto, “Lux et Veritas” (Light and Truth). His passing leaves a void in our hearts and of all who knew him. We extend our deepest sympathy to his family.”

Other leaders posted statements on Facebook and Twitter. You can read their full statements below:

Savannah Mayor Van Johnson:

Savannah District Two Alderman Detric Leggett:

SCCPSS Superintendent Dr. Ann Levett:

Georgia State Rep. Derek Mallow (D-GA 163)

Georgia State Rep. Jesse Petrea (R-GA 166)

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp:

Stacey Abrams, Founder of Fair Fight:

Democratic Party of Georgia:

This is a developing story. WTOC will provide updates as they become available.

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