Louis Lee Stevens was born Sept. 3, 1935, to Louis Lorraine Stevens and Johanna Vandermuelen Stevens in Indianapolis, Ind., where he spent the first six years of his life.
Louis traveled to every state in the lower 48 before he started school because his father worked for the railroads. A planned move to the West Coast was interrupted in Denver with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the family lived in Denver until Louis was graduated from South High School.
After graduation Louis joined the United States Army with three friends who decided that the group would join on the buddy system and all become paratroopers. Louis was the only one of the four who ended up serving in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.
After his Army service, he returned to Colorado and enrolled at Western State College in Gunnison, where he received his bachelor’s degree in education and treated himself to a graduation present of a blue and white 1966 Ford pickup, which became his signature.
He taught for four years in Silverton, where he met and married his wife, Patricia Kay Willis. To this union was born five children, Andrea Nicole, Eric Michael, Erin Leane, David Andrew and Lindsey Renae.
The family lived in Meeker, Colo., for 35 years as Louis worked for Texaco.
Louis Lee was a dedicated backyard farmer and his children remember the marathon weeding sessions with wry fondness. Family pictures always included the blue and white 66 Ford pickup and the family always joked that he would ask to be buried in it. That Ford pickup traveled many miles to away games in wrestling, volleyball and basketball.
Louis loved to fish the Gunnison River. He loved traveling through the southwest to the Grand Canyon, through Monument Valley and Arches. He loved the mountains of Colorado but, most of all, loved his family.
Louis never met a stranger. His stories of life and his sense of humor were well known.
He is greatly missed and fondly remembered by his family, which included four beloved grandchildren, Madison and Dylan MacKenzie and Jack and Malin Teater He went from being the only member of his family to being a member of the huge Willis family, and he learned to navigate those turbulent waters with humor and ease.
The last few years of his life were spent back in Denver, where he completed his life journey on Dec. 23, 2014.
The family is requesting that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Brookshire House Activities Fund at 4660 Asbury Cir., Denver, CO, 80222 in memory of Louis Stevens. Memorial services will be held at Highland Cemetery in Meeker at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 24, 2015, followed by a barbecue lunch at Circle Park.