Monona County

Robert Louis Stevenson




His Obituary: Onawa Democrat, 26 April 2017

Bob Stevenson passed away peacefully on Saturday April 15th at Simpson Nursing Home in West Liberty,Iowa.
Bob will be sadly missed by his five children, five grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren, all of whom loved him dearly.

His wife of 71 yrs, Bonnie (nee Hime), passed away last year.

Born at Blue Lake in Onawa, Iowa Bob was the 5th of 9 children to Fred and Myrna (Beigel)Stevenson. His early years were spent in and around Onawa, Iowa until aged 19 when he and 3 friends made the journey to California and worked for the McDonnel Douglas Aircraft Corporation. With the coming of WW2 he signed on with the Army Air Corps. He was shipped to Foggia in southern Italy and flew 35 missions as waist gunner over Germany, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and northern Italy. USAAC casualties over Europe for 1944 and 45 numbered some 27000. His heroism earned him 5 bronze Bob must have seen some terrible things and lost many close friends. He was always reluctant to talk about his war experiences, and only towards the end of his life seemed to want to share these experiences.

During his time in Italy he kept up a correspondence with Bonnie Hime from Blencoe, Iowa, and when he returned to Iowa they were married in June 1945. Initially they farmed, but were twice flooded out by the Missouri River. Bob then took a job with Blue Cross of Iowa for whom he worked until his retirement. With their growing brood of five children they lived in several places in Iowa, finally settling for 38 years in Washington Iowa. After spending many years living a retired lifestyle they chose to pack up and start a new chapter of their life back in their hometown area of Blencoe/ Onawa. This was a very happy time, back around Blue Lake and the countryside that they loved and back amongst family and old friends.

The kindest and most gentle of men, Bob was a true humanitarian. He was a great comfort and support to his family and friends in later years and was still doing meals on wheels at the age of 85.

A gifted fisherman, Bob held the Iowa state record for Crappie. One could imagine a cartoon image across the ponds and lakes of Iowa, the fish breathing a collective sigh of relief at the news of his passing.

His other great passion was for gardening and that wonderful connection with the earth and the seasons of the garden has been passed on strongly to all five of his children. Bob and Bonnie grew, canned and preserved huge quantities of fruit and vegetables right up until the ends of their lives. A great but secretive forager, he absolutely would not divulge the whereabouts of his most productive mushroom patches.

But it was his love and knowledge of nature and the outdoors that will surely be remembered by those who knew him. There cannot have been a better companion for a walk in the woods, a fishing trip or bird watching expedition. His knowledge of the animals, birds and flowers of his native Iowa was encyclopedic, and he had the hunters eye for seeing and recognizing anything that moved in the outdoors.
All in all he was a most delightful man and his passing has left his friends and family with a store of wonderful memories, but a hole in our lives that will be difficult to fill.

Bob’s family would like to pass on their thanks to the wonderful staff at Simpson Nursing Home who made Bob and Bonnie’s last years so rich and enjoyable.

He was predeceased by his wife Bonnie, 7 brothers and sisters, one grandchild and 35 in-laws. He is survived by 5 children: Larry (Nancy), Ft Scott, Kansas, Beth (Phil) Ham, Lancaster England, David LaCrosse, Wisconsin, Mark ,Iowa City, Mary, Iowa City, 5 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren, one brother Jack and his wife Norma, and one sister in law Evelyn Purchase, as well as many
nieces and nephews.

Source: Monona County IAGenWeb Obituaries (photo included)