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Elwin W. Stevens

Elwin W. Stevens TROY - Elwin W. Stevens (Steve), of Troy, N.Y.,  died in Tulsa, Oklahoma on April 3, 2014. Elwin was born in Hoosick Falls, N.Y. on February 21, 1923, and was a graduate of Hoosick Falls High School and Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute, Class of 1945. He served as Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy on the U.S.S. Sampson during WWII and was in charge of damage control. Elwin taught at R.P.I. until 1952 when he became the University Architect for the State University of New York System until his retirement in 1990. Elwin was predeceased by his wife of 51 years, Margaret J. Allen, his parents Frank and Ethel Stevens, his sister Camilla Cottrell, brother Leslie Stevens, and sister Minnie Stevens.   He is survived by his four children, Dennis J. Stevens and wife Fran of Delmar, NY, Jan Stevens of Tulsa, OK, Elin Stevens-Webb and husband Jeffrey Webb of Tulsa, OK, and Annie Stevens and partner Kim Howard of South Burlington, VT. He is also survived by three amazing grandchildren: Megan Ann Stevens, Ani Stevens Webb, and Steven Elison Webb. Also surviving are niece Natalie Gleason, and nephew Steven Cottrell. Elwin was inducted into R.P.I.’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 1997 for baseball, basketball and football and remembered as a “tough, single-minded, hard-nosed player on and off the eld.” In 1989, he received the Charles Evans Hughes award for outstanding service to the State University of New York. The Association of University Architects, in 1988, honored Elwin with the Distinguished Service Award, recognizing him as a national gure in public higher education. Elwin was a third generation brick mason by trade, architect by profession, and skilled chef and wood worker by hobby. In 1949 on the outskirts of Troy, he designed and built the family home, doing all of his own construction. Over the next 65 years he would continue to design and build: outbuildings, a clay tennis court, an arboretum, and outdoor art. In 1976, Elwin built the Poestenkill Power Corporation hydroelectric project, which generated electricity on the property for many years. In his 70’s and 80’s he became a prolic furniture maker for his family. A renaissance man and conservationist, Elwin was ahead of his time. It was in the Navy where he learned to play the game of cribbage, which later in life became the basis of raucous family tournaments. He was an avid Red Sox fan, loathed the Yankees, and loved watching women’s and men’s college basketball. He was a skilled tennis and squash player, and his booming voice could be heard among friends who were “compelled” to wear their tennis whites. Elwin had a sharp mind, quick wit, and was a man of deep family tradition; none of his children or grandchildren have ever missed a Christmas at the family home. A big-hearted man, generous friend, and devoted husband and father, he will be deeply missed. A private family memorial will be held later in the spring.
Published in The Record on Apr. 9, 2014
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