Fitchburg vaccine clinic devoted to longtime well being skilled Jeffrey Stephens

Jeffrey Stephens

FITCHBURG — A vaccine clinic in Fitchburg will honor a Leominster resident who labored within the well being departments in each cities and unexpectedly died final month.

Be PAWsitive Remedy Pets, Mates of Fitchburg DOGS Inc. and Second Probability Animal Companies are sponsoring the low-cost clinic from 9 am to midday Oct. 1 on the Fitchburg Fireplace Division headquarters, 33 North St.

The clinic is devoted to Jeffrey Stephens, 50, who died Aug. 11 after struggling an aneurysm in his spleen.

“He fought long and hard however his physique was simply too drained,” Stephens’ spouse, Deana, wrote on a GoFundMe web page elevating cash for his hospital payments. “He was surrounded by his household. He touched so many lives and helped so many individuals. Your assist has proven simply how a lot. Thanks from the underside of my coronary heart. Till we meet once more my love, you’ll be in my coronary heart perpetually.”

“Jeff organized the primary clinic in 2011 with our volunteers,” mentioned Sally Cragin, director of Be PAWsitive and a Fitchburg metropolis councilor. “He had wished a pet vaccine clinic in Fitchburg for a few years, and put all of the personnel collectively.”

Vaccines for DA2PP (canines) and FVRCP (cats) can be found at no cost, whereas rabies vaccines can be found for $18 every and microchips for $22 every. Advance registration and prepayment, if wanted, are required by visiting the Second Probability Animal Companies web site, secondchanceanimals.org.

In response to Cragin, a donation basket shall be accessible on the Oct. 1 vaccine clinic to offer monetary help for the training of Stephens’ kids, Peter and Bridget.

Donations to the Stephens Kids Schooling Fund can be made by mailing a test payable to Deana Stephens to c/o Vinny Miola, 1 Amber Highway, Westminster, Mass., 01473.

An ‘incomparable’ man

When he died, Stephens was about to wrap up his first yr as Leominster’s director of public well being. That adopted 4 years as well being director in Westford, two years because the city’s director of environmental providers and 15 years because the code enforcement agent in Fitchburg.

“He didn’t work for town of Leominster for all that lengthy … however his affect right here was felt by many,” Metropolis Council President David Cormier mentioned on the first council assembly after Stephens’ loss of life. “In that quick period of time he was very, very, very proud to work for town of Leominster. As quickly as he set to work right here, he instructed everybody that this, this was the place for him. This was the place he wished to most likely finish his profession.

“He was very pleased right here, he was proud to work right here and that pleasure was seen by many who he labored with each day,” Cormier continued. “I actually had just a few dealings with him since he is been with town, and (he) was very fantastic to work with. And he will be an ideal loss to town of Leominster.”

Cragin referred to as Stephens, “incomparable, relentlessly succesful, completely hilarious and reliable … I realized quite a bit from him about public well being, additionally geology. I by no means had a dialog with him the place I wasn’t in some unspecified time in the future or one other weak with laughter. He was pal, a exceptional public servant and a pleasure to spend time with.”

For the love of hockey

Leominster Councilor Pauline Cormier mentioned she knew about each Stephens’ work in Fitchburg and his love of hockey, on the ice and on the street.

“He was the consummate skilled,” Cormier mentioned. “He cherished his work. He was very devoted to his work. Town goes to overlook out on having an ideal chief right here within the metropolis, however I can inform you the best way he was together with his work was the best way he was with each side of his life. Nice household man, devoted to his youngsters, devoted to the game.”

Jeffrey Stephens, right, stands with, from left, his daughter, Bridget, wife, Deana, and son, Peter.

Jeffrey Stephens, proper, stands with, from left, his daughter, Bridget, spouse, Deana, and son, Peter.

Stephens performed and coached at each Leominster’s deck hockey middle, which sits alongside Route 2, and the Fitchburg Avenue Hockey league. In Leominster, he was additionally a prepared mentor for youthful coaches.

“He did all the things we ever requested of him to do,” Cormier mentioned. “He would take youthful coaches beneath his wing and information them up. The best way he lived his on a regular basis life outdoors of labor, and together with his work, I believe town itself goes to overlook it. I do know I can converse for myself and lots of people from hockey that already miss him dearly.”

‘Palms-on’ method

Stephens graduated from Fitchburg Excessive College in 1990, the place he ran monitor and area and was inducted into the FHS Athletic Corridor of Fame. He earned his bachelor’s diploma in biology and environmental science from Fitchburg State College in 1996.

Councilor Susan Chalifoux Zephir, who stepped down within the spring as government director of Ginny’s Serving to Hand and Meals Pantry in Leominster, concurred that Stephens was each useful {and professional}, particularly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“He was very a lot hands-on, on the market speaking to companies, serving to individuals, offering COVID check kits once we could not get any — and we had individuals lined up at our door across the holidays — check kits, KN-95 masks ,” Chalifoux Zephir mentioned. “He was an actual huge assist. And he supplied that type of assist. I did not must chase him.

“After we ran out of the preliminary provide of check kits, we nonetheless had individuals who actually wanted them,” she added. “Any time I referred to as him up, he was very, very responsive, very responsive, and instantly supplied help. And if he did not have what we would have liked, he went elsewhere to search for it.”

Invoice Brady, Ward 1 councilor and proprietor of Brady’s Restaurant in downtown Leominster, mentioned Stephens left huge footwear to fill.

“We’re going to miss him,” Brady mentioned, “and hopefully the folks that are available his footsteps can have the foresight to accomplice with individuals,” like Stephens did.

This text initially appeared on Telegram & Gazette: Vaccine clinic to honor longtime well being skilled Jeffrey Stephens