Howard R. Stevens, 78, passed away Friday,
Dec. 14, 2012, in Dallas Texas.
Mr. Stevens was born Oct. 4, 1934, in Bartow, Fla. He was the fourth son born to Joseph and Grace Stephens.
Mr. Stevens attended Union Academy from elementary through high school, graduating in 1952.
Mr. Stevens accepted Christ at an early age and was instrumental in starting the Sunday School Department at the 5th Avenue Church of Christ in Bartow.
He attended Florida A&M College for two years before enlisting in the United States Air Force in 1955 and served until 1963.
Upon completion of his enlistment, Mr. Stevens began fulltime ministry working with Churches of Christ in West Texas and Colorado. In 1969 he secured employment with Mountain Bell Telephone Company in Colorado Springs, Colo., as an installation service person. By 1970 Mr. Stevens was promoted to the Public Relations Department of Mountain Bell and transferred to Denver, Colo., thereby becoming the first African American in that department.
When Mountain Bell became U.S. West Communications, Mr. Stevens served as Facilitator/Trainer at the management training center. He completed 21 years of service retiring in 1990 as a second- level manager. While working with the Bell system Mr. Stevens continued his involvement in the ministry on a part-time basis.
Retirement provided the opportunity for him to return to fulltime ministry, from which he retired in 2001.
Mr. Stevens expanded his community service participation which started in 1972 with Optimist International, “Friend of Youth,” and continued this effort for 40 years. He served multiple times as club president and Lt. Governor. He completed several terms as district chair for various committees. In 1997 Mr. Stevens became the first African American to serve as District Governor of the Colorado-Wyoming District which comprised 105 clubs and 3,600 members. Most recently, Mr. Stevens was a volunteer on the “Green Team” for Senior Source of Dallas and a participated in the annual Memory Walk of the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Dallas.
Along with his parents, Mr. Stevens was preceded in death by three brothers Clarence Vickers, Joe Jr. and Willis Stephens.
He is survived by a loving family that includes his wife of 51 years, Dorothy (Anthony) Stevens, of Desoto, Texas; two daughters, Erika Stevens, Cedar Hill, Texas, Jody Stevens, Lancaster, Texas, Craig (Alesia) Stevens, Newport News, Va., two granddaughters, Cresia and Jamila Stevens, Newport News Va.; three sisters, Marian Montague, Tampa; Sylvia McRae, Lake Wales; Althea Holmes, Lakeland; four brothers, Clyde Stephens Sr. (Doristene), Miami, Edward Stephens (Lillie), Williamsville, NY., James Stephens, Tallahassee, Ernest Stephens (Margery), Jacksonville. In-laws include Eucille Steven-Scott (Noel), Haines City, Carrie Vickers, and Parthenia Stephens-Brown, Bartow, and a host of other relatives and friends.
Memorial Service is Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, 1 p.m. at the West Orlando Church of Christ, 1825 Mercy Road, Orlando.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the Union Academy Reunion Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 1092, Bartow, FL 33831. Attention: Mr. Harry Williams.
Messages of Condolences may be made to the Guest Book at Legacy.com, Howard Stevens, (past six months).