FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots are deeply saddened to learn of the loss of former Patriots defensive back and tight end Tom Stephens, one of the original members of the Boston Patriots. Stephens passed away peacefully while surrounded by loved ones at his home in Naples, Fla. on July 12 at the age of 82.
Born August 29, 1935, Stephens was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in the 11th round (132nd overall) of the 1959 NFL Draft, but signed with the Boston Patriots in 1960 as an original member in the franchise’s inaugural season. For five seasons from 1960-1964, Stephens appeared in 49 games playing both tight end and defensive back, and finished with 41 career receptions for 506 yards receiving and five touchdowns, while also handling punt and kick return duties over his final three seasons.
Prior to playing for the Patriots, Stephens starred at halfback for Syracuse University, where he wore the historic No. 44 for the Orange between the tenures of future Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown and future Heisman Trophy winner Ernie Davis. Stephens was a member Syracuse’s 1958 Orange Bowl squad.
Following his playing days, Stephens continued his passion of athletics as a football coach at Harvard University, followed by a coaching stint at Curry College, where he would spend 23 years as the Athletic Director. In 1995, he was inducted into the Curry College Hall of Fame.
Stephens is survived by his wife, Lonnie, and his two children – Lynda and Thomas. A visitation is scheduled on Thursday, July 19, from 4-8 p.m. at Solimine Funeral Home in Lynne, Mass. The funeral service is scheduled for Friday, July 20 at 11:00 a.m. in the Nahant Village Church in Nahant, Mass. For further details please see the following link: http://www.solimine.com/obituary/Thomas-J.-Stephens/Naples-Florida/1805968