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John Charles Stevens

Posted 2008-06-08 by Sharon
The Wickenburg Sun, Wickenburg, Az
October 5, 2005

John Charles Stevens, 75, devoted father and husband, successful contractor and talented artist, passed away peacefully on Sept. 27, 2005 at his home in Wickenburg Ariz., surrounded by his wife, Virginia Edwards and his three sons.

John was born on December 6, 1929 in Geneva, Ill.

He enlisted in the army during the Korean War, serving in Frankfurt, Germany.

In 1960 he moved with his family to San Diego, Calif., and became a master carpenter, quickly becoming a leading general superintendent in his field while working for some of the largest commercial general contractors in San Diego. In the late 1960s John started John Stevens Inc. General Contractor. During the next twenty years he constructed numerous buildings throughout the San Diego area, commercial and residential, specializing in school construction. A trademark of John's was that he personally supervised every project from start to finish.

Retiring in 1984, he moved to Shingle Springs, Calif., then to Oakland, Ore., and eventually settled in Wickenburg, Ariz.

During the 1980s he discovered a passion for decorating gourds and became an accomplished artisan and designer of gourd art. His gourds, including colorful decorated masks, dolls, bowls, and various vessels, are collected and admired throughout the United States. John also enjoyed camping and traveling. One of his favorite destinations was Kauai, Hawaii, where he would spend part of the winter relaxing with his wife and family.

John became infamous for the pencil that would always find its way behind his ear. He was always ready to draw something or do a calculation at a moment's notice. John was also a member of the Elks Lodge 2160 in Wickenburg, Ariz.

He was predeceased by Libbie Lou Stevens, the mother of his three sons.

John is survived by his wife Virginia Edwards; sons Craig Scott Stevens of La Mesa, Calif., Kevin Mark Stevens and daughter-in-law Karen Laramore of Reno, Nev., and Barry Reid Stevens of San Diego, Calif. He is also survived by sisters Charlotte Carlson, Phyllis Meier and Marion Scott, and brother Ronald Stevens, all of whom live in Illinois and Wisconsin.

The family requests donations are made to the American Cancer Society. A Memorial Service will be held at the Wickenburg Elks Lodge on Oct. 29. Luncheon to follow.

You were one-of-a-kind, John. Everyone who knew you well would routinely comment how you were the hardest working man they had ever met. You were also a man of deep sensitivity. Blessed with an inquiring mind and wonderful sense of humor, you would light up any room with your personality and gift for conversation. You will be greatly missed and always loved.

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