Cover photo for Norval Blair Stephens, Jr.'s Obituary
Norval Blair Stephens, Jr. Profile Photo
1928 Norval 2023

Norval Blair Stephens, Jr.

November 20, 1928 — October 17, 2023

Davenport, Barrington

A Celebration of Life will take place on February 3, 2024 at the Barrington United Methodist Church (https://barringtonumc.com/) with a visitation starting at 10am and the Celebration at 11am with a light lunch to follow. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to one of the following organizations close to Norval’s heart (or to a charity of your choice): Barrington Area Community Foundation https://barringtonareacommunityfoundation.org/ or DePauw University https://www.depauw.edu/

Norval Blair Stephens, Jr. of Barrington, IL passed away peacefully on October 17, 2023.  Norval was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather who took great pride in passing along his passions. The family cottage, Takitezy, was a focal point of his family life, where he shared his love of the outdoors, hard work and sailing to generations of family. A strict grammarian, he never let a misplaced apostrophe go uncorrected.  He was a lifelong scholar, incorporating historical context into speeches and combining those interests with his travel bug. He took many trips to explore the sights and cultures of all the continents except Antarctica.  Norval graduated from Chicago’s Parker High School and DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana.  At DePauw he joined the Naval ROTC, and upon graduation he was commissioned in the US Marine Corps.  He served in combat in Korea and was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps as a Captain.  In 1959, he earned an MBA from the University of Chicago. Upon returning to the US, Norval joined Walgreen & Co as assistant to the Vice-President, Operations.  He worked three years at Walgreens before embarking on a long career in advertising, notably from 1956-1986 with Needham Harper Worldwide - now part of Omnicom.  Upon retirement from Needham, Norval started his own marketing consultancy, and also served as Executive Director of the International Federation of Advertising Agencies (IFAA) from 1988-1998.  Norval was a servant leader who had a remarkable philanthropic record. Admired for his gifted strategic planning, he provided leadership in numerous roles to a wide variety of service organizations, including:

President, Beta Beta Chapter of Delta Tau Delta fraternity at DePauw University

Member Village Board of Arlington Heights, Illinois

Chairman of the Plan Commission, Arlington Heights, Illinois

Trustee of the Library Board, Arlington Heights, Illinois

Member of the Health Services Board, Northwest Community Hospital, Arlington Heights, Illinois

Treasurer of the School Board, Pelham, New York

President of the William Rainey Harper Education Foundation, Palatine, Illinois

Director, Barrington Area Development Council (BADC), Barrington, Illinois

Vice-president, Barrington Area Arts Council, Barrington, Illinois

Member, Board of Visitors, DePauw University

President, Alumni Board, DePauw University

Member, Board of Trustees and subsequently Life Trustee, DePauw University

Chairman, Board of Directors of the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity Educational Foundation

International President, Delta Tau Delta Fraternity

Founder, Director, and President, Barrington Area Community Foundation (BACF), Barrington, Illinois

Rotary International, Barrington, Illinois and Vero Beach, Florida

Norval also accrued many honors and awards throughout his life, including:

Phi Beta Kappa, DePauw University

Jaycees Man of the Year, Arlington Heights, Illinois

Rector Scholar Achievement Award, DePauw University

Old Gold Goblet (Eminence in life’s work and service to alma mater), DePauw University

Citizen of the Year, Barrington Area Development Council, Barrington, Illinois

Distinguished Service Chapter (Highest award for outstanding service), Delta Tau Delta Fraternity

Gold Medal (Outstanding service to the fraternal movement), North-American Interfraternity Council

He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Diane (Forst), whom he married September 29, 1951.  They had five children:  daughter Jill (Peter Gloyne), son John (Margot), daughter Sandra (deceased), daughter Kathy (Bob Weidner), and son James (Tammy).  He is also survived by twelve grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.  Norval was born to Norval Blair Stephens, Sr. and Ethel Lewis Stephens on November 20, 1928 on the South Side of Chicago.  He was predeceased by a younger brother, John Lewis Stephens.

A Celebration of Life will take place on February 3, 2024 at the Barrington United Methodist Church (https://barringtonumc.com/) with a visitation starting at 10am and the Celebration at 11am with a light lunch to follow.  In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to one of the following organizations close to Norval’s heart (or to a charity of your choice):

Barrington Area Community Foundation https://barringtonareacommunityfoundation.org/

DePauw University https://www.depauw.edu/

Seneca said “Not how long, but how well you have lived is the main thing.”.  We are proud that he did both.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Norval Blair Stephens, Jr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, February 3, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Barrington United Methodist Church

98 Algonquin Road, Barrington, IL 60010

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Saturday, February 3, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Barrington United Methodist Church

98 Algonquin Road, Barrington, IL 60010

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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