Steve's Sundry founder passes away

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Reported by: Sharon Phillips
Updated: 11/23/2011 6:00 pm Published: 11/23/2011 3:34 pm

Tulsa ---

The founder of a landmark Tulsa store loses his fight with Alzheimer’s this week.
Family, friends and customers are remembering 93-year-old Steve Stephenson, who founded Steve’s Sundry more than 60 years ago.

The mood inside Steve’s Sundry is solemn as many stop to leave their condolences.
It’s long been known as a place where the customer comes first.

"We have authors signing every Saturday, at least one and sometimes two. We special order books for people and the soda fountain is a huge draw,” says owner Joanie Stephenson.

Joanie Stephenson is Steve’s daughter-in-law, and the proud owner of a place known for promoting the local author.

"The authors came naturally and it was just a wonderful fit, and we've seen authors inch their way up the ranks of New York Times bestselling authors,” says Stephenson.

"I always feel at home here and I've sat at that table next to you signing books many, many times,” says local author, Michael Wallis.

Wallis is the voice of the Sheriff in the movie, Cars, and a well-known local author with three Pulitzer price nominations and 17 published books.

"You will not see his like again in the literary world here in Tulsa. He was a true, true legend,” says Wallis.

Steve not only made a lasting impression on his career, but also on him personally.

"I will never forget seeing Steve up at the cash register helping some school kid find a book, or helping a senior citizen find something,” Wallis says.

Despite Steve’s passing, customers can rest assured, this longtime Tulsa tradition will continue.

"You don't mess with something that's been around and has a proven track record,” says Stephenson.

The memorial service for Steve Stephenson will be held this Saturday at 10AM.
It will be held at the Aldersgate United Methodist Church at 3702 S. 90th E. Ave.
It will be open to the public.

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