Kansas House honors Stephenson for his 100th birthday – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Kansas House honors Stephenson for his 100th birthday

Raymond “Lefty” Stephenson, of Scranton, center, was honored for his 100th birthday with a tribute from Kansas state representatives Ken Corbet, left, and Blaine Finch, not pictured; right is Raymond’s son, Terry.

An Osage County man achieved a major milestone in his life last week and was honored at the Kansas Statehouse for it. Raymond “Lefty” Stephenson, of Scranton, turned 100 years old on Sept. 22, 2019. As a tribute to Stephenson, two of Osage County’s state representatives, Ken Corbet and Blaine Finch, honored him with a tribute from the Kansas House on Thursday.

The official tribute document offered sincere congratulations to Stephenson from the representatives, Ron Ryckman, Kansas Speaker of the House, and the Chief Clerk of the House Susan W. Kannarr, and also summarized the World War II veteran’s service:

“’Lefty’ served 4 1/2 years in the Army 635th Tank Destroyer Unit, entering WWII during the Normandy invasion of Omaha Beach. He participated in 5 major battles, including the Battle of the Bulge, and mustered out with the rank of Buck Sergeant.

“Congratulations on this memorable achievement and best wishes for continued happiness,” the document reads.

When asked by spectators what he thought contributed to his long life, Stephenson said, “I didn’t smoke and I didn’t drink.”

Stephenson remains active politically as a member of the Republican Party, and he serves as a committeeman for the Scranton Precinct. He is known for his great sense of humor. He loves to go out to eat and tries to be as active as possible. He loves the Royals and Chiefs and teams of K-State and KU. He watches lots of sports, due in part to being a baseball player when he was younger. He played baseball for a farm team, as a left-handed pitcher and later as a center fielder, until he was 37, in Norton, Kan. He played baseball before, during and after his military career. He was recruited by the Brooklyn Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals after the war but wanted to stay home and continue to raise a family.

With Stephenson for the ceremony at the Kansas Statehouse on Sept. 26 were his daughter, Dana Webber, and son, Terry Stephenson, both of Scranton.

Photos by Jan Williams

Celebrating his 100th birthday at the Kansas Statehouse, Raymond Stephenson, center, with, from left, Dana Webber, state Rep. Ken Corbet, Raymond, Terry Stephenson, and state Rep. Blaine Finch.

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