Marjorie Maxine Stephens, grandmother of John Legend, will be remembered for her love

The grandmother of Springfield native and award-winning musician John Legend will be remembered for her love, encouragement, support and influence.

Marjorie Maxine Stephens died Feb. 2, just a few days after her 91st birthday. The family will hold private funeral services for her.

“She was a profound and loving mother by whom we all felt loved, wanted and safe with at all times,” according to her obituary written by her son, Bishop H. Anthony Stephens. “She taught us how to celebrate family and one another... above all, mother taught us how to love and take care of ourselves with powerful independence and dignity.”

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Stephens was “noticeably and profoundly loyal,” a dedicated Christian and philosophical, her obituary stated. She loved sports, served in two church choirs, helped with a card-mailing ministry in the church for more than 50 years, and supported her church, Mt. Zion Baptist, with offerings and presence ministry over 60 years.

Her son wrote that she “was sought out and revered by her friends, neighbors, neighborhood children for whom she hosted Girl Scouts, PTA events, yard gatherings, talent shows, and games, all to the point, even the police wanted to know what all the specialness was about!”

She also loved doing things with her family and was a big fan of the Cincinnati Reds and Ohio State football.

Stephens traveled with Legend “and other family members to the Super Bowl and Grammy Awards at a ripe old age’' her obituary stated.

“In a very real sense, her voice, influence, love and teachings will neither die nor be in vain,” her obit stated. “We loved our loving mother so very much in life and will never love her less in her departure.”

Legend shared the news of his grandmother’s death last week on social media.

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“We are so grateful for the life she lived, for the love she shared with her many children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and beyond,” he wrote on Instagram. “She was the most caring and conscientious grandmother you could imagine.”

Legend, who was born John Stephens, said his grandmother still sent birthday cards with cash and hosted yearly Christmas celebrations until the family couldn’t fit “in her little pink house on Heard Avenue in Springfield.”

“We are the family we are, the individuals we are because of the love she poured into us,” Legend wrote. “We are sad to lose her but most of all so appreciative of the full, blessed life she lived.”

Stephens was married to Arthur Benjamin Stephens and was the mother of five children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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