Doctor Dave, as he liked to be called, didn’t wake up June 7, 2013. His life on this earth ended peacefully as he would have chosen. David Van Buren Stephenson Jr. was born in Adrian, MO May 4, 1931. He felt called to the missions as a teen. While in high school he rode his horse to neighboring communities and preached in several churches. Dave attended a small church college in York, NE where he received his undergraduate degree and met his wife of over 60 years, Alberta. Together they raised five children, and have fifteen grandchildren, and at the time of his death six great-grandchildren.
Dave graduated from the University of NE Medical School and in time become a board certified surgeon. Dave taught surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical School and trained the first EMTs in Nebraska. Primarily, he utilized his medical knowledge and skills in a life of service as a missionary in Africa where he spent more than twenty years. After Dave retired from the missions, he practiced surgery in NE at Gordon, Valentine, Ainsworth, and surrounding communities. When he quit practicing medicine, he attended seminary and became a pastor for the Church of the Nazarene in Oklahoma. Upon retiring from the ministry, Dave and Alberta returned to their roots in Nebraska. In May of 2013, he and Alberta moved to The Craig in Amarillo, TX to be closer to more family.
While in Africa, Dave liked to hunt. Safaris were a frequent vacation. Dave enjoyed photography and took many rolls of 35 mm slides which were a vital part of his missionary talks. Dave utilized his story telling skills and held the attention of all ages. At his 60th Wedding Anniversary, held in Atkinson, NE in 2011, he autographed a book of short stories for each his children and grandchildren called African Tales.
Dave invented a surgical instrument which he had patented. He was an avid reader of Popular Science, Louis L’Amour’s western novels and enjoyed John Wayne movies. Dave completed a full life and we’ll see him next at the return of Christ.
If you would like to honor Dr. David V. Stephenson Jr., please support his grandson, Morgan Stephenson on his missionary journey to Papua New Guinea. Information at: web.nazarene.org/goto/stephensonfamily Morgan and his wife Danielle and their son are the only family members currently active in missionary service, one of Dave’s lifelong passions.
Alberta may be contacted at The Craig, 5500 West 9th Ave. #541B, Amarillo, TX 79106.