Charismatic, compassionate, caring, infectious laugh, beautiful smile, loving mother.
Stephanie came into this world loud and feisty. Stephanie’s energy, courage, and fearless ambition developed into beautiful and impactful qualities. She possessed a keen wit, a great sense of humor, and compassion for all; especially pets, babies, and family. It was with this lust for life that she built a strong group of friends and a life filled with love and adventure.
Early on in life, Stephanie decided that anything her big sister could do, she would do, like following her sister onto the school bus and refusing to get off and throwing herself into the pool at age four so that she could be on the swim team just like her sister. The girls didn’t have birthdays, they had birthday weeks and celebrated in special ways, culminating in a bang of a birthday. Stephanie’s parents are grateful for the wonderful memories they have of these early days.
Stephanie loved, above all else, spending time with her son. Stephanie fell naturally and passionately into the role of motherhood. Her son became her everything. She protected, nurtured, and surrounded her son with the same vigor that she did everything in life, yet this was different. His birth was a game-changer for her. They were bonded, inseparable, a team. Stephanie’s son was blessed with a loving father, who has embraced the role of single parenthood.
Stephanie’s mother, Theresa, shared an example: As her son entered kindergarten, Stephanie noticed that when the bus picked up the kids in the morning, cars continued to speed by, ignoring the flashing lights without regard for the children. Stephanie decided this was unacceptable and immediately tried to find a solution. Within weeks, she rallied the neighborhood moms, two state representatives, a state senator, a state trooper, and the school superintendent to come observe the situation. While Stephanie didn’t live to see the outcome of her advocacy, Delaware House Bill 111 was passed in 2020; allowing cameras on school buses to catch motorists that illegally pass a school bus. Just one more example of how Stephanie’s love and legacy live on.
Stephanie was not afraid to take chances which made her life exciting to watch and participate in, while it often also meant that she would live on the edge. She believed that a life well-lived was worth bending the rules for. Sometimes she was right and sometimes chaos ensued. But whatever happened, her love was pure.
Stephanie’s friends shared their memories and grief with the following statements:
Stephanie offered comfort in just a smile. She could make anyone laugh and would do anything for her friends. This was Stephanie’s personality; to make you feel as if you were her family as if anything you said to her was the most important thing that she had heard all day. No one could have predicted the immense power addiction would have over her life. Although it is hard for us to imagine life without her, our hearts truly break for her son. Her son will never get to hear his mother’s infectious laugh or get to know one of the most loving, thoughtful, and selfless people we have ever known.
Stephanie’s mother Theresa Brown Rann, founder of Serenity Stones for Stephanie, provided the information for this narrative.
February 22, 1988-January 7, 2019-Age 30
Portrait Artist: Jeremy Hebbel
Narrative Writer: Lynn McKnight