Stephen Jeffrey Poythress
Stephen Jeffrey Poythress
  • January 8, 1955 - December 22, 2016
  • Texas

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Stephen Jeffrey Poythress was born on January 8, 1955 in Houston, Texas to Sam Jefferson Poythress, Jr., and Mary Jones Poythress, the fourth of four children. Stephen was born with a rare birth defect, called Cri du Chat, due to a deletion in the Chromosome 5. He is believed to be the longest living person to date with this condition.

Steve was a beautiful child, loved deeply by his family.

At the age of 6, when children traditionally head off to school to learn to read, Steve went to school to learn to dress himself, feed himself, walk, and swim. Although, he never learned to talk, he did express himself; clearly communicating what he liked and didn't like, and his affection for staff and fellow residents. These skills he learned at the Austin State School, now the Austin State Supported Living Center, which was his home for most of his life.

We would like to thank the staff at Austin State Supported Living Center and Seton Hospital for the dedicated care of our dear brother.

Stephen passed away on December 22, 2016 at the age of 61 from pneumonia with respiratory failure. He was preceded in death by his parents and survived by his brother Paul (and wife Judy), sisters, Debbie and Marianne, and nieces and nephews.

In Matthew 19:14, Jesus said: "Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them! For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Steve, "PoPo," was born with the childlike quality to which Jesus was referring. And because of this rare birth defect, he maintained this quality, that essential humanity; the divinity to which the Hindu greeting Namaste refers. Without the layers of status, position, wealth and power that many of us get trapped in, Steve allowed us to see this essence of humanity: tender concern, laughter, joy; all the while expressing his unique personality and his likes and dislikes.

Thank you Steve for teaching us this lesson.

A visitation and Celebration of Life service were in Austin on Thursday, December 22 and 23 respectively. A graveside service was held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 in section 2-A of Memorial Oaks Cemetery, 13001 Katy Freeway in Houston.