Mary Helen Of Stan Stephens Charters In Valdez

Mary Helen Stephens  1936-2024  Mary Helen Stephens, 87, of Valdez, Alaska, died on Jan. 28 at home. She was surrounded for days and at her ...


Mary Helen Stephens 
1936-2024 

Mary Helen Stephens, 87, of Valdez, Alaska, died on Jan. 28 at home. She was surrounded for days and at her passing by friends, family, music that was close to her heart, and shared stories told with love.

Mary Helen was born Oct. 4, 1936. She was raised in Denver and earned a physical therapy degree which brought her to St. Paul, where she met a patient named Stan. 

They both came up to Alaska and were married in 1964. Mary Helen and Stan built a log home in North Pole on the banks of Badger Slough and started their family which included three girls: Carrie, Jenna and Colleen. Mary Helen had a long career as an itinerant physical therapist for the Fairbanks schools.

However, Mary Helen had two careers. 

Beginning in 1971 she and Stan started a charter boat service in Valdez which still exists today as Stan Stephens Glacier and Wildlife Cruises. Mary Helen and Stan welcomed countless beloved crew members into their family as the business grew. Many past crew members have stated that their lives were changed by their time on board.

She will forever be remembered for all-encompassing love of everything Alaska. She delighted in Dall porpoises, humpbacks, orcas, eagles, waterfalls and calving ice today as much as she did on her first boat trip with Stan back in 1965. 

Her family hopes you will remember her when you drive her beloved Richardson Highway, when you hear a John Denver song or Irish tune, and when you breathe in the intoxicating smell of the bays and waterways of the Sound that she loved so much. Have a caramel or cookie dough or a good cup of chai in her memory.

In lieu of flowers donations in her name may be made to Prince William Sound Science Center bit.ly/49aaBiQ or ACCA bit.ly/3Olr63E.

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