Robert R. Stephens
1922 - 2001
Robert Stephens was born in 1922 in Rosedale, Oklahoma. He moved to Purcell at an early age and spent the rest of his life in the quaint little town. Upon graduating high school, he served in the U.S. Navy from 1942-1945.
Stephens spent much of his life working for the Chickasaw people, serving on the original committee that wrote the bylaws for the Chickasaw Nation in 1978. He was director of cultural resources and served as chairman of the cultural committee for the Chickasaw Nation.
He was also the first chairman of the Chickasaw Tribal Legislature and the first commissioner for the Chickasaw Nation Gaming Commission, as well as chairman and vice chairman of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association.
Stephens was very active with his tribe, but that didn’t keep him from being involved with the community of Purcell. He was a volunteer firefighter for more than 20 years. He was very active in his parish, serving on the council of Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church. Even in the last years of his life, he was a part of the Kiwanis Meals on Wheels program in Purcell.
For his efforts, Stephens was honored as an “Outstanding Older Oklahoman” in May 1986 at the State Conference on Aging. He died in 2001.