Tallahassee’s Main Post Office Named for Community Advocate D. Edwina Stephens

June 15, 2023
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Tallahassee’s Main Post Office Named for Community Advocate D. Edwina Stephens

Stephens was a longtime FAMU employee

The Main Tallahassee Post Office on South Adams Street has been named for Mrs. D. Edwina Gibbons Stephens, who was called “the mother of the Southside.”

Former U.S. Rep. Al Lawson Jr. sponsored the federal legislation to adopt the name change, while the event was hosted by Rep. Neal Dunn, who praised Stephens’ activism and community service.

“Her commitment to doing what was right made her an unstoppable force,” Dunn said. “We should all aspire to be as driven as Mrs. Stephens. This renaming is a good way to honor her.”

During the program, her son and other family members described the Screven County, Georgia native as a “doer, a leader, a compassionate human being, and a tireless advocate.”

imageFAMU President Larry Robinson and Rep. Neal Dunn joined about 100 people gathered for the renaming of the S. Adams Street Post Office in Tallahassee on Saturday June 10, 2023. (Credit: Glenn Beil)

According to the tribute, on occasion, Stephens took extraordinary steps to get her point across. “She once crawled into a ditch deeper than she was tall to emphasize certain roadside conditions in the Southside and was unrelenting in her speeches to the Tallahassee City Commission to put in a drainage system and sidewalks in the Bond community. She led neighborhood cleanups to remove broken down cars, discarded furniture, tires, and litter from streets and vacant lots.” 

During her long nursing career, Stephens worked at Laura Bell Memorial Hospital, the Florida A&M University Hospital, Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, and the FAMU Health Center. She retired after 40 years of service. Stephens died on June 7, 2011, at age 86.

During the Saturday, June 10 ceremony, Dunn and family members unveiled a plaque that will be installed at the Post Office.