Roger Edward Boucher Stevens passed away consciously and peacefully at home with his wife Philomena and family at his side on Sunday February 7, 2021. Roger was a romantic and a true Renaissance man. He idolized heroes and worked to be one. A hero as comfortable in the courtroom as in rugged mountain terrain. He could reason with might or mind, preferring the greater skill of patience and intelligence. A hero who saw beyond differences and strove for the best, the highest, the most poetic and the most beautiful. Roger was born on November 7, 1929 in Chicago, Illinois to Dr. Edward B. Stevens II, a laureate and department head at the University Of Chicago, and Sophie Solow, a skilled and classically trained pianist. His parents divorced when Roger was 4 and Roger moved to the New York City area with his mother who taught music and mathematics. When his mother was diagnosed with cancer, she and Roger moved to Los Angeles to live with Sophie's brother, Sidney P. Solow and his wife Divida. Sophie died when Roger was 13 years old. As an only child, Roger was lonely but self-sufficient and loving. Not wanting to be a burden for his new family, Roger sought work at a variety of jobs--a turkey farm, baling hay, caddying, and many others--all while attending to his education. He graduated from Fairfax High School in Los Angeles. He was a competitive gymnast throughout high school and college. He mastered Judo with a fifth degree black belt and competed for a position on the 1964 US Olympic team. Roger loved stories and storytelling, and graduated with an English Major cum laude from UCLA in 1951. Before graduating college, Roger met and married Annlouise Rupert, who was taking violin lessons from Divida and studying child psychology at UCLA. With their young family in tow, they moved to Colorado in the early 1950's and together raised 5 children. Roger was a people person and a voracious learner who could hold his own with anyone. Roger loved words and communicating with people. He studied Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Spanish languages. While researching family lineage in Missouri, Roger discovered that his father's lineage included a well known pastor and abolitionist (Methodist Rev, Joshua Boucher), a newspaper owner in a small town in Wyoming, and a farmer in Missouri, or, as Roger would proudly say, "a man of the cloth, a man of the word, and a man of the earth." Roger valued an open and agile mind and admired a good strong work ethic. Inspired by his ancestor's passions for what is right and good he entered the legal profession. Roger put himself through CU Law School by serving as a Boulder County Justice of the Peace. After passing the bar he worked as a municipal judge and then hung his shingle in Boulder Canyon for 20 years where he honed his craft in all areas of the law. After years of solo practice, Andy Littman joined Roger to form the prominent Boulder firm of Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg where they practiced together for 40 years. Roger was fiercely independent and marched to the beat of his own drum. He was a pioneer in hiring female lawyers. He became a lawyer to help people and felt that "doing good shouldn't arise from hope of heaven or fear of hell; if I cheated I would know it and lose my respect for myself." He never turned people away for their inability to pay for his services. He believed that clients would take care of you if you did a good job. He got paid in kind with cords of wood, bales of hay and goose eggs (literally). He liked strong, educated women who didn't need to rely on him to create and give purpose to their lives. In 1976, Roger married Jane Ormsby Davis, who brought 3 adult children to the family. Jane was a college professor, dancer and pilot. Married for 26 years, they studied Sufism and belly dancing and lived in Mexico, California and Colorado. Through Jane, Roger became a pilot and fell in love with Tango. They traveled to Argentina and immersed themselves in learning "the dance of love." Jane passed away in 2002. An outdoor enthusiast, Roger hiked, biked, skied (downhill and backcountry), and paddled Colorado's waters. Once, while touring Colorado on a motorcycle with his father on an icy road, they were pulled over for swerving and the officer asked Roger to walk a straight line. Not wanting to miss the opportunity, Roger proceeded to walk a straight line on his hands, to which the officer replied, "All right then, go on our way!" Roger was an excellent pianist. He loved to warm-up a room with his playing and singing. Roger also loved to cook and cook he did! He used every pot in the house. He was a lover of garlic and once won the Mountainair Garlic Festival poetry contest. He loved world cuisine but Chinese food was his all-time favorite, especially noodles! After cardiac arrest and bypass surgery in his 50's, Roger embraced a healthy lifestyle and became a student of Tai Chi and Qi Gong. He became dear friends with his teacher, Dr. Laura Pan Ting, and helped found the Gu Feng Tai Chi Club, Boulder's non-profit Tai Chi school. Roger remained an avid member of the Boulder Tai Chi community. In 2004, Roger found love again and married Philomena Dooley, a nurse and world renowned master teacher and practitioner of the Japanese healing art of Jin Shin Jyutsu. Roger and Philomena were well matched in intellect, spirit, and devotion to one another. Roger learned and practiced Jin Shin Jyutsu, sharing it with family and friends. Roger loved visiting with Philomena's brothers in Ireland, where he relished putting a blush on a seasoned Irishman by singing songs, telling bawdy stories and jokes while sharing a pint or a dram of spirits. In retirement, Roger worked teaching Tai Chi on cruise ships traveling together with Philomena to South America, Antarctica, The Falkland Islands, Hawaii, the Mediterranean, Europe, Egypt, Southeast Asia, Africa, Australia, and Polynesia. Roger had very high standards and a deep sense of loyalty. He believed you could do anything if you set your mind to it. With his bright eyes and warm welcoming smile, he loved to share his life skills and those qualities made him an extraordinary mentor which he found truly rewarding. Roger is survived by his wife Philomena, his five children, Caroline Goff, Paul Stevens, Joshua Stevens, Wendy Welsh and Sydney Stevens, Jane's and Philomena's children and their families, six grandchildren, six great-grandsons, law partner and dear friend, Andy Littman and many other friends and colleagues. He was dearly beloved and will be greatly missed. A celebration of life will be held in the Fall. " Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" - MLK In Lieu of flowers and if you wish to make a donation, please support our community members by giving to the Emergency Family Assistance Association at www.EFAA.org.
Published in The Daily Camera on Mar. 14, 2021.