Death – A&M News Director Lane Stephenson passes away | KWKT

Death – Obituary

Colleagues remember the long and distinguished career of the Aggie newsman

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Longtime Texas A&M University News Director Lane Stephenson has passed away at the age of 86.

University staff, past and present, say Stephenson is fondly remembered for his love of Texas A&M and his nation, for his ethics and professionalism, and for his friendly and jovial nature.

Stephenson earned his master’s degree in English at Texas A&M in 1977, and was hired by University President Gen. James Earl Rudder in 1966 to direct news and information services for what was then the Department of Marketing and Communications.

He spent just over 50 years in the position, starting when there were less than 10,000 students – and served under 16 university presidents. He served throughout many changes on campus – including the integration of women and African-American students during the 1960s and the subsequent growth of the student population to become one of the largest in the nation.

“Lane Stephenson was a unique and valued member of our team, he was a campus fixture for decades and loved the university through and through,” said Marilyn Martell, Texas A&M vice president and chief marketing and communications officer. “Lane was here during some of our university’s most transformative times, he was hired by Earl Rudder himself. It was a treat and an honor to be able to tap into Lane’s extraordinary knowledge of and love for Texas A&M. He will definitely be missed by the many people on our staff who had the privilege of knowing him.” 

Sherylon Carroll, Texas A&M’s former associate vice president for communications, worked with Stephenson for 27 years and said he had a profoundly positive effect on her life and those of countless others.

“He was my dear friend, mentor, colleague, coach and confidant,” Carroll said. “His heart of gold and dry sense of humor kept me laughing all the time. For 50-plus years, he gave his all to Texas A&M and enjoyed every minute of it. He was known and well-respected by journalists around the country. His work ethic was second to none and he was truly a man of faith, integrity and high moral standards.”

Upon his retirement from A&M in 2017, Stephenson reminisced over his lengthy career with The Bryan-College Station Eagle newspaper, jokingly saying he probably knows half the people whose names are on the buildings and who have statues on campus. And he did know many, like Rudder, whose names campus members see often – such as 17th University President Jack K. Williams and founding director of the Memorial Student Center J. Wayne Stark – for whom the Stark Galleries is named.

Stephenson earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1957 from the University of North Texas and joined the U.S. Marine Corps, serving three years active duty and 20 years as a member of the reserves. In the early ’60s, before joining A&M, he was a journalist at the Tyler Morning Telegraph and Braniff International Airlines.

Following his retirement from the university, Stephenson continued his affiliation with A&M, attending football games and other campus events, including Ring Day in April 2017, when he handed his grandson, Tyler Stephenson ’18, his Aggie ring. He and his wife, Mickie, have three children, all of whom graduated from Texas A&M.

Funeral services are pending.

Source: Texas A&M University

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What Is An Obituary

In national newspapers an obituary (obit for short) is a news article that reports the recent death of a prominent person. Although it tends to focus on positive aspects of the subject’s life this is not always the case. According to Nigel Farndale, the Obituaries Editor of The Times: “Obits should be life affirming rather than gloomy, but they should also be opinionated, leaving the reader with a strong sense of whether the subject lived a good life or bad; whether they were right or wrong in the handling of their public affairs.”

In local newspapers, an obituary may be published for any local resident upon death. A necrology is a register or list of records of the deaths of people related to a particular organization, group or field, which may only contain the sparsest details, or small obituaries. Historical necrologies can be important sources of information.