Dr. Victor J. Stepka Jr.

Photo of Dr. Victor J. Stepka Jr.
Dr. Victor J. Stepka Jr., 79 of Jonesboro passed away at St. Vincent's Hospital in Little Rock on Jan. 22, 2014. Vic was born and raised in Jonesboro and was a well-known and respected member of the community as both a dentist and the first permanently ordained deacon in the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock. He served as a deacon for Blessed Sacrament Church for over 25 years. Vic was instrumental in beginning a now flourishing deaconate program for the Catholic community statewide. Vic attended both Notre Dame University as well as his beloved Arkansas State University. He was an avid fan of all ASU athletics. Upon graduating dental school in St. Louis, Mo. and serving two years in the Navy Vic returned to Jonesboro with his wife Jane and their young family where he practiced dentistry for over 32 years. Vic's love of the Lord and his desire to serve his faith set him on the path to become a permanent deacon in the Catholic Church. At the time of this journey there was not a deaconate program in Arkansas so he traveled to Memphis to study for a three year period. He was ordained in 1978 as the first permanent deacon for the Diocese of Little Rock. He set the path for many others to achieve this honor while staying in the state and becoming ordained deacons to serve Catholics in Arkansas as well as their own personal parishes. Vic loved gardening and enjoyed designing and implementing gardens for all of his family and friends. He was always willing to help plant or bring you his latest bargain find for your garden. He also enjoyed traveling the world for pleasure or on mission trips with the church. He found great joy in helping others see the world or better the lives of others in faraway places. Vic is preceded in death by his parents Victor and Francis Stepka; as well as his son, Steve Stepka. He is survived by his loving wife, Jane; daughter, Cindi Walker and her husband Doug; son, Andy Stepka and his wife Lee Ellen; a daughter-in-law, Kim Stepka; as well as four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. There will be visitation Monday Jan. 27, 2014 at Emerson Funeral Home from 6-7 p.m. followed by a wake service at 7 p.m. A funeral mass will be held at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church on Tuesday, Jan. 28,2014, at 1 p.m. with burial at Holy Cross Cemetery to follow immediately. Pallbearers will be Jim Burton, Robert Cowles, Carter Dryer, Nelson Gotay, Bill Kraus, Perry Osborn and Gary Wells. The family request in lieu of flowers memorials be made to Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 614 S. Church, Jonesboro, Ark. 72401, or the charity of the donor's choice in Vic's honor. Online registry at

Published January 26, 2014

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