Photo/Story Gallery 2004

Oldest Retiree Passes

Retired Captain Bill surrounded by friends and co-workersOn Wednesday, July 28, 2004, Retired Captain Bill Stephens passed away at the age of 99. Captain Stephens had been FHP’s oldest living retiree. He was honored on October 24th, 2002, when Troop A of the Florida Highway Patrol celebrated his 98th birthday with a celebration that was held at the First United Methodist Church of Pace, Florida. Approximately forty family and friends enjoyed the refreshments and festivities.

District Commander Lt. Bill Stephens at his deskIn 1925, Bill began his lifetime of public service by joining the Florida Forest Service. The forestry property was later turned over to the U.S. Air Force and Bill began a career in law enforcement by joining the County Road Patrol in 1938 and then continuing further with the Florida Highway Patrol in 1940.

Pictured right, District Commander Lt. Bill Stephens

Trooper Stephens served in numerous cities including Quincy, DeFuniak Springs, Brooksville, Panama City and Pensacola, where he retired in 1960 as the Pensacola District Commander with the rank of Lieutenant. He then went to the Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office and became a deputy and worked for Sheriff Wade Cobb from 1961 to 1965. Lt. Stephens is the oldest living retired Florida Highway Patrol Officer.

Captain William “Bill” Thomas Stephens, Sr. was born October 24th, 1904, in Holly Navarre, Florida. The Florida Highway Patrol’s Oldest Living Retiree passed away July 28, 2004, just three months from celebrating his 100th birthday. Lewis Funeral Home in Milton will be handling the arrangements. They are located at 6405 W. Hwy. 90 Milton, FL 32570. For more information call (850) 623-2243 after 1:00 p.m. Friday, July 30, 2004.