Published December 31st, 2014
Donald Harrison Stephens
Donald Harrison Stephens, 71, died Dec 17, 2014, at 6:24 p.m. with his wife Mary Kaye by his side at their Moraga home.
Don was born Aug. 9, 1943, in Los Angeles, Calif., to Harrison and Doris Stephens. His father was a journalist, his mother raised in Merced, Calif. Doris Landram was an airplane pilot - a very uncommon vocation for beautiful female in 1939. Harrison met Doris as a journalist while writing a story about her. They moved to La Verne, Calif., in November 1947.
As a boy Don spent summers sailing and surfing on the Southern California coast and hiking in remote areas of the mountain wilderness. He graduated from Bonita High School in 1961. He attended college at Cal Poly, Pomona. He met Mary Kaye Ripley through a mutual friend, Howard Wolff. After getting married, Don and Mary Kaye had four children while living in Pomona. Don's career spun into high gear as a creator and toy engineer, where he developed well known toys such as Barbie, Care Bears, Strawberry Short Cake, Fisher Price Tape Player and Record Player, to name a few, with many more to his credit. In his retirement from the toy industry Don ran a very successful handyman business "The Other Handyman." Many would say his success was due to his honesty and creative thinking. He was an active member of the Moraga Valley Presbyterian Church, Assistant Scout Master to the Boy Scouts of America Troop 212 and worked with various charities like Joni and Friends.
His interests included, most importantly, family where there was a foundational pillar, sailing, donating his time to missions and charities.
He is survived by his father, Harrison Stephens, Claremont, Calif.; sister, Sally Reeder, brother, David Hulse-Stephens; his wife, "the love of his life" Mary Kaye Ripley Stephens, and his four children and their spouses: Jess of Windermere, Fla.; Michael of Newberg, Ore.; Jody Wenglin of Westwood, Mass.; and EriK Stephens of Rockton, Ill.; 14 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Don was preceded in death by his mother, Doris Stephens and his sister Susan Collins.
A Celebration of Life service is scheduled Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, at Moraga Valley Presbyterian Church, Moraga, Calif.
In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to the Boy Scouts of America Troop 212, care of Moraga Valley Presbyterian Church, Moraga, Calif.

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