Watercolor by Anita Stephens

Watercolor by Anita Stephens


Anita Lee Stephens 1950 - 2017

Anita was born in Los Angeles in 1950, a fourth generation Californian, and so from the moment of her birth, a rarity.  Her ancestors arrived in California from Wisconsin by covered wagon.  She was the eldest of four children and her mother taught elementary school.  She is survived by her brother, Richard Stephens and her sister, Claire Kleffel.  Her younger brother, John passed away in 2011.

Anita married Jim Foster in May of 1983.  They settled in Topanga and had two children, Lauren and Ryan.  Anita was president of Lauren's Co-Op Preschool and served on the Booster Club at Topanga Elementary while writing for the local newspaper, the Topanga Messenger.  

Anita believed in the power of education. When she was in her forties, she returned to UCLA to complete her BA.  She began teaching English at Taft High School shortly after and then returned to UCLA to get her MA when she was in her fifties.  Anita joined the English Department at Palisades Charter High School where she taught English until three weeks before her death.  

Her commitment to her fellow teachers was conscientious.  She organized several teacher retreats for their continued education and departmental organization.  Her commitment to her students was unwavering.  As long as Ms Stephens taught you, you were one of her kids.