It is with profound sorrow we are announcing the passing of Sunny Courington Stephens Stout on June 19, 2019. Sunny was born on March 13, 1943 in Abilene to Samuel Delmar and Delta Kniffen Courington, who predeceased her. Also preceding her in death were her first husband, Kenneth Stephens, to whom she was married for 41 years and her son Lane Bradley Stephens. She is survived by her husband, Gene Stout, her granddaughters Alanna and Savanah Stephens who lived with her for 13 years, her siblings Becky Westmoreland and husband Gene of Abilene, Jerry Courington and wife Susan of The Woodlands, Sammie Courington and wife Leslie of Brownwood, as well as stepsons Mike Stout and wife Melanie (Matt, Mitch and Ashley) of St. Louis, Missouri and Chris Stout and wife Tami (Justin, Lauren and Brady) of Sugar Land, four great-grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Sunny graduated from Abilene High School in 1961, and received her B.S. from Abilene Christian College in 1965, her Master’s Degree from Our Lady of the Lake University in 1977, and her Ph.D. from Texas Woman’s University in 1983. She was a dedicated teacher and teacher educator, having taught public school at every level and/ or served as a central office administrator in a total of 3 school districts during her career. She spent 20 years as faculty at the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio. She was promoted to full professor in 1989 and was the Director of Teacher Education for several years.
The recipient of several awards for teaching excellence and humanitarian efforts, Sunny was selected “Texas Professor of the Year” in 1987. She authored several books and articles addressing the educational and psychosocial development of children, especially the young and those with unique needs. Her biography appears in “Outstanding Young Women of America,” “Notable Women in Texas,” and “Who’s Who in American Education.”
In 2009, a little more than a year after the death of her husband Kenneth Stephens, she married Gene Stout, a childhood friend from Houston. They had 10 happy and blessed years as husband and wife.
She was a lifelong member of the Church of Christ and was baptized in 1955 by S.L. Edwards at the Spring Branch congregation in Houston. At various times in her life she was associated with congregations in Houston, Abilene, Lubbock, San Antonio, Poteet and Pleasanton.
Sunny was a natural musician playing numerous instruments including the piano, saxophone and bassoon. However, her first love was singing and she was a charter member of the Harmony Belles Barbershop Chorus in San Antonio. In addition, she sang with several women’s barbershop quartets. Not only was she an excellent singer but she was also a song writer. Even as a 9th grader she wrote the alma mater and fight song for the new Landrum Junior High School in Houston. These songs continue to be used at that school today.
A gifted seamstress, she sewed and made quilts, often to give to other people and for charity fund raisers. She was particular with her quilting, her quilts all had to be hand quilted rather than machine quilted. In 2009 she created a Christmas stocking made from her husband’s neck ties that won Best of Show at the State Fair of Texas.
As early as high school Sunny learned the art of flower arrangement as she worked after school for a florist. Many people over the years have enjoyed her beautiful bouquets. She loved cooking and was a proficient baker who was well known for her delicious homemade desserts. During her career she traveled extensively both in the United States and internationally but in later years there was no place she would rather be than in her home in Northern Atascosa County.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Pleasanton Church of Christ Youth Ministry, The Spina Bifida Society of San Antonio, or the Leukemia Lymphoma Society of Houston.
Visitation was conducted at the Pleasanton Church of Christ on Saturday, June 22, from 10-11 a.m., followed by funeral service, led by Pastor Ray Bean at 11 a.m.
A private interment followed at the Rutledge Cemetery in Poteet.