John R. Stevenson

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John R. Stevenson Died April 19, 2012 following a five year battle with ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 61. Born in South Dakota on August 15, 1950, he was raised in Iowa. He attended the University of Iowa for two years before "enlisting" in the Army in 1970. It was John's good fortune that the Army stationed him at Sandia in Albuquerque, where he discovered our Land of Enchantment. He fell in love with New Mexico and vowed to return. After the Army he lived in North Carolina selling cameras for Canon, becoming one of their top salesmen in the U.S. There he also learned to fly glider planes and became an elite glider pilot. He also began to invest in glider planes. This culminated in his buying a glider port in California north of Los Angeles in the mid-1980s. He owned and ran Crystal Soaring until 1991. That same year he retired to Santa Fe. He loved New Mexico but not retirement. He took a sales position at Leishman's of Santa Fe. In 1995 he purchased the store. Leishman's employees and customers were his second family and he loved them all. He was very pleased to know that his store would survive him, having been placed in the competent hands of managers John and Mary Hannon when diagnosed with ALS in 2007. ALS slowed John down physically, but not mentally. He used his last years to do all the reading and listen to all the music that time had not permitted him before. He read Aristotle and Rand, listened to Bach and Brahms, and discovered Verdi. He was a voracious reader of history. Vermeer was his favorite artist. And he never missed a Diamondbacks game. John was preceded in death by his father, George Stevenson. He is survived by his wife, Katie Stevenson; mother, June Stevenson; sisters Carole Turner-Record and Patricia Stevenson; mother-in-law, Marie Longfield; father-in-law, J. Mark Longfield; brother-in-law, Douglas Longfield; friend and intellectual companion, Jonathan Akin and two kitties. John's family would like to thank all of the caregivers who attended him during his illness, especially Lupe Padilla and Alfredo Garcia. Their care and kindness made a horrible disease bearable. Arrangements have been made through Berardinelli. There will be a Memorial Reception for friends and family at Las Campanas Country Club on Friday, April 27th from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the John R. Stevenson Memorial Scholarship Fund, which John established and funded last year. Please contact Kathy Cross at 732-242-9408 or kcross@aynrand.org for information on how to give. Berardinelli Family Funeral Service 1399 Luisa Street, Santa Fe, NM 87505 (505)984-8600 Please sign our guestbook online at www.berardinellifuneralhome.com

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