Beverly F. Steveson

05/17/1922 - 05/09/2014 Obituary
Beverly F. Steveson Obituary
Beverly was born to Frank and Hazel (Butts) Goetz on May 17, 1922, in Grants Pass, Oregon. Her mother owned a restaurant/ bakery in town, and her father operated a lumber mill in the mountains of SW Oregon. Her love of nature and the outdoors began at an early age with hiking, swimming, and biking. While still in high school, she joined a group that pedaled single geared bicycles across the USA from Oregon to New York for the 1939 World's Fair.  
Bev earned a teaching credential from the University of Oregon. Always a strong swimmer, she worked as a lifeguard during high school and college summer vacations. She taught at the University before taking a high school teaching and coaching job in Pendleton Oregon.
After moving to Bakersfield, CA in 1960, Bev honed her photography skills. She had an adventurous spirit and was a lifelong world traveler, documenting her adventures in the Americas, Africa, Australia, the Arctic and the Antarctic with award winning photographs. One dramatic winter adventure involved camping out in the barn of homesteaders at Lonesome Lake, Canada at 30° below zero to photograph Trumpeter Swans. She shared her adventures with friends, community groups and students through slide programs and displays of photos that she printed herself. Bev also used her photographic skills to promote conservation efforts including designating wilderness areas in the Sierras, establishing the Desert Tortoise Natural Area in California and protecting Mono Lake. She won the Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography in 1972, and she provided the cover photos for the Sierra Club Kern Kaweah Chapter's monthly newsletter for many years.
In the mid 70's Bev leased a cabin in the Inyo National Forest near Mammoth Lakes. For a number of years her cabin served as the Eastern Sierra base for hiking and riding adventures and for the conservation efforts of Bev and her friends. Her photos of the area were used in several editions of the guidebook,
Mammoth Lakes Sierra.
Her next adventure was getting her pilot's license at the age of 56. She flew, often taking friends, over the desert and mountains of California and even up to see Mt. Saint Helens after it erupted.
In 1991 Bev moved to Livingston, Montana where she could pursue her passion for wildlife photography in her own back yard. Inspired by the enthusiasm of her Montana friends, Bev took up horseback riding at nearly 75 years of age and enjoyed exploring the surrounding mountains from this new vantage point. Bev's involvement with her new endeavor quickly became all consuming, as was typical. She even built an indoor arena for use during the months when outdoor riding was difficult. "I'm too old to wait for good weather!" was her pronouncement. Bev's Barn, as the arena is known, remains a well-used community resource. Bev herself learned to barrel race in the arena and celebrated her 80th birthday by competing in a barrel race on her mule.
In quieter moments, reading was prominent in Bev's life, and she shared the importance of books with her daughter, Linda. Bev taught herself to transcribe books for the blind into Braille and also volunteered as a program coordinator for Braille Center in Bakersfield California. In Livingston, the Livingston-Park County Public Library expansion project became an important cause for Bev.
During her final weeks, Bev was most appreciative of her dedicated caregiver team, daughter and friends. She is survived by her daughter Linda Keir (Sandy, Oregon) and all the friends who shared her many adventures with her. Donations may be made in her memory to Friends of the Livingston-Park County Library or to the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee (tortoise-tracks.org)
Don't weep at my grave, for I am not there.
I've a date with a butterfly to dance in the air....
Published in Bakersfield Californian on June 8, 2014
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