Judy Ann Locklear Stephens passed away on Aug. 28 from complications after contracting the COVID-19 virus.
Stephens, age 53, of Rainsville, was a nurse for more than 14 years. She was working at Crowne Healthcare in Fort Payne before her passing last month. Her daughter, Haley Stephens, described her mother as someone who went the extra mile for others and whose life was lost from taking care of other people.
“She went above and beyond to serve her residents and fellow nurses and CNAs,” Haley Stephens said. “She was one of the most caring and giving people, who literally laid her life down for others.”
Stephens said Judy made an impact on an abundance of people through her caring nature and just “being herself”.
“She might not have been aware of how far her reach was over the people that were lucky enough to be a part of her life or to work alongside her, but if she could only see how much she was loved and is missed now she would have realized how much of a difference she made just by being herself.”
Judy’s sister, Susan Locklear Glassco, began posting updates on Facebook regarding her sister’s condition and struggle with coronavirus in early August. Throughout the next few weeks, Judy fought through the virus, accompanied by pneumonia and blood clots in her leg and lungs, and was placed on a ventilator. Glassco asked for thoughts and prayers from family friends as Stephens was transferred as far as Nashville, Tennessee for treatment. After nearly a month of illness, Judy passed away at Centennial Medical Center.
“My sister was truly a compassionate person,” Glassco said. “She loved her family, coworkers and her residents that she took care of. She will be remembered by her kind and caring ways and her beautiful smile.”
Judy was survived by her:
Son, Trent Stephens of Rainsville
Daughter, Haley Brooke Stephens and fiancé Jacob of Rainsville
Mother, Mildred Locklear of Rainsville
Brother, Billy Locklear of Rainsville
Sister, Susan Glassco and husband Jeremy of Sylvania
Several nieces and nephews
She was preceded in death by her father, Bobby Locklear, and brother, Randy Ray Locklear.
A photograph quickly began circulating on Facebook of her fellow nurses from Crowne Healthcare and Crossville Health and Rehab serving as the pallbearers at her service on Aug. 30. The nurses who worked with Stephens and Glassco, who is also a nurse at Crowne, came to honor their lost friend as she was remembered by loved ones. Ten nurses, donning their scrubs, carried Stephens to her resting place in Burnt Church Cemetery. Captions and comments on the photograph from friends and family urged the public to remember the threat of COVID-19 and people will “continue to be selfish until it’s you or your friend/loved one”.
Judy Stephens will be greatly missed as her loved ones cling to the memories of her loving, caring nature and her support of others.
Editor’s Note: Times-Journal Publisher Tricia Dunne contributed to this article.