Mary Elizabeth ‘Bobbie’ Stephens Winfree
May 3, 2019


Bobbie Winfree, 92, of Mountain Brook, Alabama, and Lake Placid, New York, passed away unexpectedly of natural causes on Tuesday, April 2, 2019.

She was the daughter of the late John Allen Stephens and Mary Lathrop Stephens of Sewickley, Pennsylvania. She grew up in Chicago and then Pittsburgh, where her father was a vice president of U.S. Steel and a special advisor to President Dwight Eisenhower on labor relations.

Bobbie was born on Feb. 2, 1927 in Newton, Massachusetts, the second of three sisters (Marcia and Nancy). She was educated at Stuart Hall School in Staunton, Virginia, Smith College, and the Garland School in Boston. She was married to William "Bill" Wilbur Winfree for 42 years, until his death in 1993.

She is predeceased by her parents, sister Marcia, her husband Bill, and her grandson William Peyton Thompson. She is survived by her four daughters (Robin/Mark Andrew, Betsy, Meg/John Ripley, and Mary Raine), 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

She loved her big family and was always up for a celebration, dancing at her grandchildren's weddings and excited to welcome each new great-grandchild, as well as traveling all over the country to spend time with each one.

Bobbie was a civic leader and staunch supporter of the arts in Birmingham, serving on the Metropolitan Opera Committee, at the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Junior League, PTA in schools and as a Girl Scout leader, and active in the Travelers' Aid Society for many years. She was a founding member of St. Luke's Church in Mountain Brook, a member of the 59 Forever tennis group, the Music and Art Club, Canterbury Club, in the Gaieties and the Progressive Study Club.

In Lake Placid, she was a big supporter of the Lake Placid Sinfonietta from back in the days when it was performed at the Lake Placid Club while she was growing up.

Her "can do" attitude served her well in her various capacities. She is legendary for her many adventures: hitchhiking through Sweden in her 20s, taking her grandchildren on trips (even when her luggage never caught up with her!), singing and dancing onstage for charity, her avid year-round tennis game (played into her 90s), her beloved dogs, and many hiking and camping trips in her beloved Adirondack Mountains.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 3736 Montrose Road, Mountain Brook, on Friday, May 17 at 11 a.m. A reception in the fellowship hall will follow the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lake Placid Sinfonietta, P.O. Box 1303, Lake Placid, NY 12946.


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