Ollie Mae Stevenson was born on February 14, 1926 in Starkville, Mississippi where shealso completed school. As the only child to the union of Lonnie B. (Crigler) Duncan and Noba Duncan, Ollie's childhood was filled with fun times with her three sisters and two brothers, all who preceded her in death.
She accepted Christ as her savior at a young age and was baptized at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Starkville, Mississippi where she became a member. It was in Mississippi that she met a young man named Joe A. Stevenson who attended the same school and church. They married April 13, 1942 on Easter Sunday and moved to East St. Louis, Illinois to begin a life together. To their union, six children were born. Their daughter Carol Ann Stevenson, preceded them in death, and their marriage lasted for 69 years, seven months and sixteen days until death did them part when Pastor Emeritus Joe A. Stevenson preceded her in death in November of 2011. They had been residents of St. Louis, MO since 1943 and were blessed by God to unconditionally love and to be unconditionally loved by each other, their children, various families and church members from a multitude of churches in St. Louis as the founding Pastor and First Lady for 42 years of St. Joseph M.B. Church.
As one of the original founding members of St. Joseph, Ollie Mae was the first treasurer, first Sunday School Teacher, and first usher. She also served as a choir member, as the Bible Training Unit Coordinator and as a member of the Saint Louis Chapter of the Progressive Baptist Minister Wives Organization. During her youth, and long before she knew she would be a wife and a first lady, she loved going to church, singing, and wearing pretty dresses. Throughout her life, Ollie Mae or “Honey” as her husband called her, was known for her fashionable 2-piece suits, dresses, purses and hats. Even for her 90th birthday, she displayed elegance as she wore a custom-fitted gown with Swarovski crystals.
Beyond cooking meals for holidays that included baking sweet potato pies, egg pies, apple pies, and cupcakes and making sure that all of her children graduated from school, she worked in several upscale neighborhoods and was an equal partner in her husband’s entrepreneurial pursuits and real estate accomplishments. Before her vision decreased, she could be seen watching “The Young & The Restless” and “The Bold & The Beautiful” in addition to reading her Bible, daily. Ollie was always a good listener, a nurturer, a provider, and would answer calls at any time of the night. She’d travel to any state to see her kids graduate from the military and college or to see them get well during an illness. She’d even assist neighbors and strangers. She was the epitome of the woman described in Proverbs 31.
To cherish her memories are five children: Lydia (Luther) Hilliard of Crystal Springs, MS; Willie (Mary) Stevenson of Bellefontaine Neighbors, MO; Naomi Stevenson of University City, MO; Valerie Stevenson of Silver Spring, MD; Pastor A. D. (Donna) Stevenson of Blackjack, MO. She also leaves behind, Valon L. Beasley, her first grand daughter, who was raised by Ollie Mae Stevenson and the late Pastor Emeritus Joe A. Stevenson along with Valerie, her mother; six grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, four great- great-grandchildren and a host of other relatives and friends.