Danny Ray Stephenson, 58, of Lehigh Acres, died Friday, June 15, 2012. He was born in Batesville, Ind.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 30, 2012, at Veterans Park on the main stage in Lehigh Acres. Immediately following the service, there will be a celebration of his life, a benefit that will include music, food and an auction, and children's activities.
He was a Lehigh Acres resident since 1970. Family members and friends who knew him as a musician and the long-time emcee at the Lehigh Spring Festival have experienced a huge loss when he died at Gulf Coast Hospital in Fort Myers.
Danny Ray Stephenson
He was known throughout Southwest Florida for his unique guitar playing ability. He was the other half of the Danny and MeloDee duo that played at the Club Coach in Lehigh for more than 26 years.
His well-rounded style included folk, rock, zydeco, gospel, country, and bluegrass. He was most recently the lead guitar and bass vocal for Bill Gouley's Golden Road Quartet, and he was lead guitar for the Moccasin River Band.
He had settled into his niche as a single act and was last performing on Sanibel-Captiva Island. As a second generation piano technician, he supplemented his music by tuning pianos.
He was also a youth advocate. Throughout his early Lehigh life, he was active in coaching youth soccer. He also served for many years as athletic director on the Lehigh Youth Soccer Association board of directors.
He coached both recreational and competitive soccer teams, and was certified to referee both league and high school soccer. During the past three years, he was deejay for the monthly Veterans Park teen dances, and he was deejay for the Lehigh Middle School dances.
He served as the treasurer and entertainment director on the Lehigh Spring Festival board of directors. Most of Lehigh will remember him as the "voice" of the annual Lehigh Spring Festival. He emceed every day of the nine-day festival from the main stage, as well as being co-emcee of the festival parade.
He is survived by wife, Judy Carter Stephenson; father, John Stephenson; brother, Jeffrey Stephenson; son, Chris Stephenson; daughter, Mistee Licari; four grandsons; and a niece.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Dorothy Townsend.
In lieu of flowers, the family is working on establishing a special account at a local bank where donations can be made to cover medical expenses.