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Rhona “Toby” Stephenson

Sunrise: 1st December 1924

Sunset: 20th October 2023

In the warm embrace of her home, on the 20th of October, 2023, Rhona Stephenson, fondly known as Toby, bid a peaceful farewell to the world she graced for nearly a century. Today, we gather not to mourn her passing but to celebrate the vibrant tapestry of her life.

Rhona’s journey, spanning from her birth in Tobago to her final breath, was a testament to love, resilience, and the power of family bonds. Her life was marked by countless moments that will be cherished and remembered with a smile.

Toby was the loving wife of Errol Stephenson, who may have departed ahead of her but whose love continues to resonate in her heart.

Born to George Toby and Christiana Toby (née Roberts) in Moriah, Tobago, Toby carried her family’s legacy of strength and unity throughout her life. She nurtured and guided her own family with the same unwavering dedication.

Toby was the cherished mother of Denise Stuempfle and Heather Benjamin, and a loving mother-in-law to Stephen Stuempfle and David C. Benjamin. Beyond her immediate family, she was a ‘Foster Mother’ to Anthony Mason, a testament to her boundless capacity for love and care.

In her journey, Toby was accompanied by her dear sister, Ira Kitson (John, dec.), creating a bond that withstood the test of time.

She was predeceased by siblings who shared her journey—Louise Sprang (Rev. Frederick Sprang), Nita Franklin-Fonrose (Henry Franklin, Cornelius Fonrose), Minella Eze (Bar Emmanuel Eze), Ilan Toby, Insp. C. Royson Toby (Iona), Richard A. Toby (Molly), Dr. Gordon A. Toby (Pamly), and Dr. Leslie Toby (dec.). Their stories, interwoven with hers, continue to be told through the lives they touched.

Rhona was not just a beloved mother; she was an aunt to many, extending her wisdom, love, and guidance to multiple generations. Her influence rippled far and wide, touching hearts in ways only she could.

As we celebrate her extraordinary life, we are reminded of the vast network of family ties that Toby belonged to—relatives of the Toby, Roberts, Warner, Carrington, Stoute, Tobias, Gomez, and numerous other families. Her legacy lives on in the stories and traditions she shared with them.

On Tuesday, the 31st of October, 2023, we invite you to join us in celebrating Rhona’s life at the All-Saints Anglican Church, 13 Queen’s Park (Marli Street), Port-of-Spain, at 9:00 a.m. Her journey will be completed with cremation at St James Crematorium.

Today, we remember not the sunset, but the sunrise of a life well-lived, the laughter shared, and the love that continues to warm our hearts.

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