Elna Waful Obituary, Death Cause – The death of Irma Dawn Derderian Stepp, better known as “Miss Irma,” has devastated the Alice Lloyd College community. After a short battle with illness, Irma passed away on Sunday, February 21, 2021. After losing her husband, Joseph Stepp, in 1999, Miss Irma decided to start a new chapter of her life in Pippa Passes. She volunteered her time at the Alice Lloyd College bookstore and quickly grew close to the school’s professors, TAs, and students. Students looked forward to stopping by the bookstore every day because they knew they would be greeted with open arms, a friendly smile, and encouraging words from Miss Irma.
She displayed the capacity to remember the names of every kid. She then embraced everyone and said, “I have affection for you, but the love of God surpasses mine!” She worked at the College for 22 years, acting as a mentor, friend, and surrogate granny to many students. Miss Irma had a deep and abiding trust in the Lord her entire life, and she attended Caney Baptist Church regularly for 22 years. Miss Irma provided significant support to practically all campus organizations throughout the many fundraising events. In addition, she widened her involvement to include activities at her church and in the wider neighborhood.
She felt compelled to help those in need, and she did it whenever and wherever she could. However, she insisted from the start that her writings be kept secret. Miss Irma’s mantra, repeated again and over when faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges, was God is in Control. I have affection for you, but God has a greater love for you! There has been widespread mourning across the ALC family following the passing of a beloved member. Amidst her short illness, the college community, alumni, and other friends presented a spectacular display of affection, acting as a monument to the significant impact her life has had and still has in the Appalachian region.
Miss Irma’s legacy of love and kindness will live on in our hearts forever, and may it motivate us all to act kindly and generously toward one another. In every way, she personified the infinite love that God has for our group. My entire educational experience was at JBS and ALC. While working at JBS, I got to know numerous of Miss Irma’s grandchildren.