We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Hart's on Cherry Street
Bill Stephens was born in Shreveport, LA, and educated in Louisiana schools but relished educating his Macon friends on the finer points of Louisiana Low Country cuisine. Never did he return from a trip to his home state without coolers packed with delicacies from the Delta, including crawdads harvested right out of the creeks. Bill was a great chef with a critical eye for what made a kitchen functionally efficient, an asset for a man who spent his adult life as an architect, designing houses and commercial buildings for clients throughout the South.
After graduating high school, Bill attended Southwestern Louisiana State [later University of Louisiana at Lafayette] in Lafayette, LA, where he earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree. Working first in New Orleans, Bill later moved to Georgia and was hired by William P. Thompson, Jr.’s architectural firm. While working for the Thompson firm, he was involved in the design of The Omni in Atlanta, the Macon Coliseum, and numerous large scale commercial projects throughout the Southeast.
Bill also worked for the Sides and Pope architectural firm before striking out on his own, and ultimately launching the firm, Stephens, Smith & Associates, in the early 1980s. Initially located on Orange Street, Bill and his partner Daly Smith became part of the revival of downtown Macon when they renovated and repurposed an old Gulf Oil station near the intersection of Mulberry St. and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. The distinct Art Deco architecture of the building adapted well to offices for a thriving architectural firm. Among the many projects awarded to the firm during its period as a signature renovation in the business district were the Williams & Associates building (now Regency Hospital), 1842 Inn, and countless public and commercial buildings and residences across the Southeast.
Although Bill designed many contemporary buildings, he was equally comfortable working in traditional architecture, especially in the restoration of historical properties. Bill and his wife Barbara lived in the Vineville Historic District, where Bill was part of the initiative to have the district recognized officially by the Georgia and National Trusts. He worked tirelessly with the Vineville Neighborhood Association to protect its boundaries and ensure neighbors were good stewards of their historic homes.
Bill also served on the Historic Review Board of the Planning and Zoning Commission and was deeply committed to the preservation of history at the Harriet Tubman Museum, where he served on the board of directors.
His parents, Travis D. Stephens and Helena Guice Stephens, in addition to his brother Robert, predeceased Bill. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, his son David (Betsy) of Roswell, GA, daughter Helen (John) Stergius of Colorado Springs, CO, granddaughters Caden and Erin Stergius of Colorado Springs, granddaughter Maren Stephens and grandson Montgomery Stephens of Roswell, and his sister, Martha Eppinger, plus several nieces and nephews.
Although flowers are appreciated, please consider donations to your favorite local hospice or to Vineville Neighborhood Association, P. O. Box 22704, Macon, GA 31203. Services for Bill Stephens are private but will be available through Harts online. Please visit the website for Hart’s Mortuary to view the memorial service and, in memory of Bill, enjoy the trip down memory lane with your favorite snacks and beverages.
Hart’s on Cherry Street, Hart's Mortuary and Cremation Center, 765 Cherry Street, Macon, GA 31201 has charge of the arrangements.
Vineville Neighborhood Association
P. O. Box 22704, Macon GA 31203