A Sad Farewell to Paul Stephens

Paul Stephens at his recent wedding to fellow volunteer Yvonne Gardner


BRLSI are saddened to announce the passing of Paul Stephens, a  treasured volunteer to this institution over many years. For those wishing to make their remembrances of Paul; we include an obituary with funeral details written by long-time friend and fellow volunteer Marie-Louise Luxemburg:

Paul Stephens was an affable gentle giant and stalwart member of the Institution. He was introduced by founder member Rodney Tye, who first met him in the Lower Weston environs at quiz competitions and as a member of MENSA. He started his career in computer programming before moving into technical computer journalism. He was the editor of PC Plus, which was the top selling computer magazine in the UK under his leadership. He also contributed to other specialist magazines, publishing at the same time his popular self-help books, The Sudoku Addict’s Workbook and Mastering Sudoku.

Joining the Finance sub-Committee at the invitation of Rodney Tye, his insightful mind and sensible, practical views helped boost BRLSI’s financial stability, and he remained a valuable member of the FsC until the Covid epidemic.

His skills as a photographer, journalist and computer wizard were quickly harnessed. From 2007-2011 he oversaw and revamped BRLSI’s website, which he regularly updated with news items, most of which he wrote himself. He became BRLSI’s ‘official photographer’ and used his perceptive brain to summarise complex lectures for the website. At the same time he redesigned and edited the quarterly Members’ Newsletter, writing articles in a friendly disarming style. With this ‘hat’ he joined the Programme sub-Committee to keep abreast of events at the Institution, and for a while was Budget Holder and an engaging co-Chair. He served several terms as an elected Trustee, where he continued to support sensible and practical financial decisions.

Latterly, although devoting more of his time to writing detective fiction (Bodies in the Beach and Death in the Deauville), he was on the rota for the Members’ Library and continued to produced Institution advertisements for local periodicals.

In his last few years, Paul found true happiness when he met and married fellow member and volunteer Yvonne Gardner. Although increasingly blighted by ill health, Paul was determined to finish his satire on rural life: Edith the Farmeress, a comic novel of which he was justly proud. In his distinctive yellow jacket, he would regularly cycle from Weston to Queen Square to attend the Saturday coffee mornings, amusing those present with his sharp wit and quirky sense of humour.

We send our deepest sympathy to Yvonne, his daughter Lucy, and family. Paul will be sorely missed.

Paul’s funeral will take place on Friday 25 August at Haycombe Crematorium, Bath, at 12.15pm. A reception afterwards will be held at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16 Queen Square, Bath.

Marie-Louise Luxemburg with helpful suggestions from Ken Cookes