Richard Loyd Stevens (90) passed away at the VA Hospital on December 15, 2013. A graduate of East High School, who immediately enlisted in the Navy after Pearl Harbor, and eventually made his way to serve aboard the USS ONSLOW (AVP-48) as a Torpedomans Mate during WWII.
After returning from service he went to watchmaking school in Kansas City and repaired watches and learned how to do jewelry repair. He worked for Daniels, Younkers and Ardans before starting his own business, Stevens Mfg. Jewelers, where for a time he had both his sons working with him at the height of his business, and did repairs for many of the jewelry stores in the Des Moines area.
He had many hobbies throughout the years, from photography to wood carving. Married in 1948, he and his wife Billie had recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on November 18th. At the age of 70 he started carving carousel horses, from 12" tall to 6' tall. He submitted photos of his horses to the Carousel Trader and News Magazine where they published a small article in the March 1997 issue, and from that he was contacted by the Merry-go-Round Museum in Sandusky, OH, and they displayed his horse Excalibur in a featured display for an entire year. And at the age of 89 he received a patent on a lift chair designed to help those that cannot get up from a fall, and displayed it at the inventors' convention INPEX in 2012 with his friend Vincent Basille, who constructed the prototypes.
He was preceded in death by his father Arthur Stevens, his mother Hattie (Ponte) Stevens, his sisters Viola Paulous and Elsie Courrier and his brothers Ernest, George, Clarence, and Arthur who passed away just 2 weeks prior.
He is survived by his wife Billie (Norman) Stevens, sons Norman and Larry, their spouses Melinda (Butler) Stevens and Michelle (LaPole) Bales, grandchildren Melissa Stevens-Guthrie, Marcus Stevens and his spouse Sarah (McCulley) Stevens, and Aleisha Stevens and great-grandchildren Lance and Anna, as well as his sister Norma Wilson of Summerfield, FL.
No services will be held. The family is asking that no flowers be sent, but if you wish, a contribution to the Native American Heritage Association would be encouraged.
Published in Des Moines Register on Dec. 22, 2013