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Della BeeBee Stevens Jones


1918 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Della BeeBee Stevens Jones Obituary
DELLA BEEBEE STEVENS JONES Della was born Della Kathryn Beebee in Beebeetown, Iowa on June 24, 1918, the youngest child of eight to Frederic Hudson and Corrie Scripps Beebee. She attended school (where she was known as DKaty, Del and Piano Legs) in Logan, Iowa, graduating at age 16. Too young for college, she worked at her father's garage pumping 16 cent gas plus taking advanced business courses until she left for Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls. Her tuition was $30/semester. After a year, she was offered a job with Travelers Insurance in Des Moines where she initially lived at the YWCA. Five years later, her brother-in-law offered her a job at his pump and supply company in Louisville, KY, with a 35% increase in salary ($100/month) so she jumped on a train and relocated. This is where she met her husband, Steve (Robert Drake) Stevens who was in the Army Air Corp and on temporary duty at Bowman Field/Fort Knox. Their introduction was at the Officer's Club where she found him to be a superb dancer, but she was even better (her story). Steve flew "The Hump" in the China-Burma-India Theater; they married when he returned to Bowman. It was a spontaneous wedding at a justice of the peace with him in uniform and her in a housedress (not her choice of attire). During his military service they moved numerous times, ending up in Anchorage, Alaska. At Elmendorf AFB, Steve lost his leg in a plane collision on takeoff when a propeller sliced through the cockpit. That began a number of amputation surgeries to correct the initial loss and required relocation to Walter Reed Army Hospital and Della's residence in Tacoma Park, Maryland. Ultimately, the Stevens family moved to Riverside in the last days of 1949. There Steve located a $2000 lot on Granada Ave in Magnolia Center and the contractor, Rudy Hardman, built their home. Della was to live in this home for 64 years. Steve lost his fight with his disability and to heart disease in 1954. Della then brilliantly raised Barbara, age 8, Beverly, age 5 and Mike, age 2, alone. Della was an amazing clubwoman and contributor: Junior Women's Club; Women's Club (58 yr member); Good Sports Club, social club for physically handicapped (1950 until it's abandonment in the 2000s); Junior Indoor Sports Club (founder); Starcapades Talent Show (co-founder and chairman for 35 years); district board member of the Good Sports Club; numerous PTA boards with a stellar year of 1962-63 when she served on three PTA boards simultaneously (Palm Elementary, Sierra Junior High and Ramona High Schools); dedicated PEO member from 1982; Salvation Army Auxiliary Board; Salvation Army Advisory Board. Her church was of primary importance where she served in numerous positions at Wesley United Methodist Church for over 50 years. And she proudly claimed that she was home to be there for her children after school. During these years she was a seasonal tax consultant at Saunders Business Service and then worked for 20 years as the bookkeeper/ secretary at the Central Labor Council. 32 years after she lost Steve, she encountered an old high school boyfriend, Dean Jones, at a Logan HS reunion. They married and had 13 years until he passed from a brain tumor in the early 2000s. Della leaves her daughter Barbara, husband Fred, of Oceanside, daughter Beverly, husband Mike, of Baja del Sur and Canyon Lake, and son Mike, of Riverside. Her grandchildren are Robert Boggioni and wife Robyn of Hiram, Georgia, Robin Fisher and husband Chris of Jacksonville, Florida, Kay Cotter of Santa Ana, Cheryl Minardi and husband Mario of San Jose, Jennifer Mehaffie and husband Jim of Chino. There are lots of great grandchildren: Lauren, Michael, Andrew, Christopher, Kimberly, Ambrun, Alexis, Aiden, Adam, Madeline, Emily, Gian, and Chaz. Della was predeceased by just months by grandson, Gregory. At 96 she was the last of her eight Beebee siblings when she passed away on January 20th at Sunrise Senior Living of Alta Loma. Della conquered four cancer challenges over 60 years but lost ultimately to the last one. Services will be private for her family. She was a force to be reckoned with and leaves a loving and warm legacy to all.


Published in Press-Enterprise on Jan. 23, 2015
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