CHEBOYGAN, Mich. — James Reginald Stevens, Sr., Commander (Ret. USN), 82, set sail for his final voyage to Heaven to serve his most high commander Jesus Christ on April 9, at his winter home in Washington, while on hospice.
Stevens is survived by his wife of 58 years, Lois (Gehring) Stevens, whom he married following graduation from the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., in 1955; daughters Holly Stevens of Washington, and Heather Clymer of Cheboygan; son-in-law Ron Clymer; granddaughters Ashley, Brandy, and Valerie Clymer; and his faithful companion, Chloe, the French bassett hound. He is preceded in death by his mother, Leona Stevens, and son, James R. Stevens, Jr.
Stevens served in the United States Navy from 1949 through 1977, achieving the rank of commander. His duties included serving aboard many pre-nuclear submarines, teaching English at the German Naval Academy in Flensburg, Germany, and aiding the naval attache at the United States Embassy, Quito, Ecuador. Upon retirement, he served as NJROTC instructor along with Chief Sherby Hart and Chief Tom Tippery at Washington High School and North Daviess High School. After retiring from NJROTC, he taught physics and math at the local high school until retiring in 1986. He was known to play his trumpet with the WHS band at basketball games and he was an active member of Retired Officers Association, Navy League, Kiwanis and American Legion. His passions included sailing, serving as a BSA Scout Master, singing, and playing music. He was a member of the Westminster Presbyterian Church, singing in the church choir, and associate member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Washington.
Following retirement, he and his wife spent winters in Washington and the rest of the year in Cheboygan, across from Mullett Lake, where he loved to sail with family and friends. He played trumpet during summer concerts in the park in Mackinaw, Mich., as a member of the Straits Area Concert Band and as leader of his German “ompa” band, “Gemutlishkeit.”
Visitation will be Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Gill Funeral Home immediately followed by a Christian service officiated by Pastors George Qualley and Cheryl Thorne. Burial will be in Sugarland Memory Gardens with full military honors by the local American Legion.
The family requests that donations be made to Helping Hands Hospice, WHS NJROTC, or the WHS James R. Stevens, Jr., Scholarship Fund.