In Memoriam: Vernon Stevens ’69

Vernon John Stevens ’69 died Feb. 27, 2022, at age 75. Stevens was born in Salem, Ore., to Allen and Mary Lou Stevens. He attended school in a two-room schoolhouse in Oak Grove, Ore., until the 8th grade. He worked on the family strawberry farm while he attended Central High School in Independence, Ore., where he graduated in 1964. He attended college at Pacific University in Forest Grove, where he worked part-time driving a school bus route. He graduated in 1969 with a bachelor of science degree. He met Gloria Vest in Portland, Ore., and after their courtship, they married on June 10, 1967. They enjoyed over 50 years of marriage.

Stevens was drafted into the Army in 1971 and moved the family to San Antonio, Texas for basic training. He accepted orders for medical research and was sent to Letterman General in San Francisco, Calif. After his release from the Army, the couple moved back to Klamath Falls, Ore., so that Stevens could pursue a degree in psychology to work at a juvenile center. In 1981, the couple and their two children moved to North Dakota as Stevens changed careers to work for an oil lubricant company. In 1983, the family moved with that company to Federal Way, Wash., where they lived for another year and a half before Stevens was promoted to the company headquarters in Dallas, Texas, and the family lived in Carrollton, Texas, for eight years. In 1992, Stevens retired from the oil company and moved his family back home to the Portland area to be close to family once again. In 2012, Vern contracted myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disorder that led him through a tumultuous journey for the next eight years, battling a sickness that was invisible and always changing. Throughout his painful journey, Stevens continued to always be one to crack a joke and was remembered by everyone who knew him.

Stevens was preceded in death by his parents, Allen & Mary Lou (Fowler) Stevens; and sister, Mary Stevens. He is survived by his wife, Gloria Stevens; Daughter Michelle (John) Aten; son Jonathan (Dani) Stevens; grandsons, Hunter, Hayden, and Jacob Stevens; granddaughter Dallas Stevens; great-granddaughter Quinley Stevens; brother, Ray Stevens, brother-in-law Gary Jablonski, sisters Margaret (Curt) Hansse and Ruth Stevens; as well as numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Friday, Jan. 20, 2023