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1936 - 2011 Obituary Condolences

Robert "Bob" Steveson, age 75, of Hutchinson, Minnesota, passed away Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at the Bethesda Heritage Center in Willmar, Minnesota.

A Celebration of Life is planned for 11:00 a.m. Saturday, December 10, 2011 at the Chico Masonic Family Center, 1110 West East Avenue, Chico, CA.

Robert Hale Steveson was born on August 25, 1936, in Oakland, California. He was the son of Eugene and Irene (Burrows) Steveson. He received his education in Oakland graduating from Claremont Junior High School and Oakland Technical High School. Bob attended the University of California at Davis and graduated in 1958 with a degree in Agricultural Management. He completed ROTC and entered the United States Army Reserves in 1959. Bob attended Infantry Officer Leadership School in Fort Benning, GA and earned the rank of Captain before being honorably discharged in 1969.

Bob was employed at First Western Bank, which became United California Bank, in San Francisco, Chico, Salinas and Bakersfield, California from 1959 to 1972, completing his employment as Branch Manager. Bob was Vice President of Community National Bank in Bakersfield from 1972 to 1975. He became President and CEO of Tri Counties Bank in Chico, California in 1975 and worked there until his retirement in August 2001. Bob was President of the Western Independent Bankers Association, Vice President of the California Bankers Association and a member of the American Bankers Association. He was voted "Outstanding Young Man of the Year" by the Chico Jr. Chamber of Commerce in 1966 and Chico "Business Person of the Year" in 1990.

From 1958 to 1969 Bob was married to Rebecca Joy Bunnell and was blessed with 2 children, Rich and Becki. On July 3, 1981 he married Patricia Dunn Duncan, blending families with Pat's 2 children, Jenny and Andrew. Bob and Pat completed their family with the addition of Rob and Katie. They shared 30 years of marriage.

Bob Steveson lived his life with passion. After 16 years with two banks, he was offered the opportunity to run a start up bank. Tri Counties Bank was a career passion for 26 years. He loved working with his employees, shareholders and directors to bring a first class commercial and agricultural lending institution to Northern California. Integrity, honesty and fairness were key in every area of Bob's life. In his work he always said that everyone had to win and strived to make that happen. Bob often joked that he was really more of a teacher than a banker. Seeing people succeed brought him great joy. He loved the outdoors and always enjoyed physical activity and fresh air. He worked hard and played hard. His greatest joy and passion however, was his family. Even though his career kept him very busy he always made time for his family and friends. He loved to go on outings and trips or just spend time at home, in the garden or watching a football game. He was a "people person" who enjoyed and appreciated the diversity of people. His incredible generosity and kindness were a trademark and he always took the opportunity to let a person know how important they were. When Bob retired in 2001 he and Pat began to spend more time in Minnesota. The city of Hutchinson, where their daughter and her family live, reminded him of how his hometown of Chico, California used to be. By 2002, they had bought a house in Hutchinson, spending half the year in Minnesota and eventually moving there in 2006. The four seasons and Midwest traditions provided him a comfort and hominess that warmed his heart.

Bob had many activities that he enjoyed; golf, walking his dogs, boating, camping, bicycling, skiing, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, water sports and scuba diving. He became a private pilot and flew for many years. Bob loved to travel and often said, "I love to see what's around the bend."

Bob is survived by his wife, Pat Steveson of Hutchinson, Minnesota; children, Rich Steveson of Chico, CA, Becki (Rick) Smith of Chico, CA, Jenny (Scott) Wicklund of Hutchinson, MN, Andrew Duncan (LeEtte) of Hutchinson, MN, Rob (Sylvanna) Steveson of Chico, CA and Katie (Clint) McConnell of Chico, CA; grandchildren, Andie Smith, Hayley Alice Wicklund, Delaney Smith, Brendan Wicklund, Aly Steveson and Ben Steveson; nieces, Joanne Messick of Richardson, TX, Marge (Bill) George of Canton, TX, Cheryl (Curtis) Vincent of Quinlan, TX; step brother, Don (Karen) Chaquette of Green Valley, AZ; brothers-in-law, Harry Dunn of San Francisco, CA, John (Gayle) Dunn of Chico, CA; sisters-in-law, Jeanne (Mike) Carlomagno of Magalia, CA, Liz (Ryan) Hiner of Chico, CA; 11 nieces and nephews and many other relatives and friends.

Bob is preceded in death by his mother, Irene Chaquette; father, Eugene Steveson; sisters, Della Deacon and Marge Pink, and step-brother, Dale Chaquette.

The family requests, in lieu of flowers, that Aura Imports Sponsorship Project, 621 East Catherine Avenue, Oak View, CA 93022, be remembered. AISP is a dedicated volunteer group that primarily matches sponsors with impoverished students in the Himalayan world. They are currently providing basic education at "Rochelle's School" in Tintale Village, Nepal. This was Bob's favorite charity.

You may share your thoughts and memories of Bob, in care of Newton-Bracewell Chico Funeral Home at www.nbcfh.com.
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on Dec. 6, 2011
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