Mary Juanita “Flap” Culipher Stephens, 73, passed away quietly and peacefully Sunday, June 22, 2003, with her family at her bedside at her home on Horseshoe Acres Farm in Clinton, Miss.

“Flap” was born in Bolton, Miss., to Dallas and Lena Mae Culipher October 30, 1929. Her parents and her only sibling, Wallace Culipher, preceded her in death. She was always known as Flap throughout her life at school, church and in the business world. Many people over the years have asked, “Flap, where did you get that name?” She always proudly explained that the day she was born, which was in the days of Flappers, her father picked her up in his arms and said, “Daddy now has him a little Flapper.” This quickly got shortened to Flap and the name became permanent.

She attended Bolton Public Schools and graduated from Hinds Community College in 1949, at which time she started a 42 year career with the Telephone Company in Jackson. As a telephone company employee she attained several positions as the first female, to hold such positions with the company and retired in 1991 with the title of Engineer, where she managed the Bell South Capital Expenditures Budget for Mississippi. She was very dedicated and loyal company employee to the extent that many said she almost developed a “Bell shaped head.”

She and her husband of 53 years, Lowell F. Stephens became the proud parents of two sons, Bruce and Craig Stephens, both of whom live on a portion of Horseshoe Acres. Along with raising her children and her active career she also found time to assist her family in all aspects of managing their family business of raising, selling and showing Tennessee Walking Horses, which she enjoyed so much. Her husband, her sons, her grandchildren and children of many friends have always showed their horses competitively in the show ring. She was often the chauffeur, usually the camcorder and always the main cheerleader for the riders and horses.

She is survived by her husband, Lowell; her son Bruce, his wife Kathy and their four children, Raymond, Latoyia, Chance and Paige; her son Craig; sister-in-law Gwendolyn Culipher of Bolton; sisters-in-law Ruby Sue Cameron, Maurice Thompson and Miriam Brackin of Purvis; and many nieces and nephews.

She deeply loved her family, the Lord and the Bolton United Methodist Church, which she joined at an early age, their Horseshoe Acres Farm, doing yard work and spending time with her grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, 1380 Livingston Lane, Jackson, MS 39213.