Mary Virginia Stevenson passed away on Tuesday (Oct. 22nd) at the Austinburg Nursing Home. She was 97. Mary was born in Jefferson, Ohio in 1922. Her parents were Robert H. Stowers and Addie Love (Utterback) Stowers. Her sister was Dorothy Winona Webb. Her brother was George Robert (“Bob”) Stowers. While Mary was growing up, the family lived next to the humpback bridge on Topper Avenue in Ashtabula. Mary graduated from Ashtabula High School in 1940 and went on to Dyke Business School in Cleveland.
Mary did well in school and got every job for which she applied, be it legal secretary, airline stewardess, or credit union manager. During World War II, Mary worked in an office in New York City. Because her father was a railroad engineer, Mary had a free pass on the New York Central Railroad. This enabled her to come home often on holidays and weekends.
Mary was working in the Ashtabula County Courthouse in 1945 when she met John J. (“Joe”) Stevenson who had come in to record his army discharge papers. The meeting was probably arranged by a mutual friend who thought they would enjoy each other. The friend was right. Joe and Mary were married on December 24, 1948 in her parents’ home on Austinburg Road. They lived with Joe’s parents on Howard Road while Joe was building a house for Mary and himself next door. Joe and Mary moved into the basement of their new home with their sons Bill and Roger in 1953. The upper part of the house was (mostly) finished in time for daughter Kathy’s arrival in 1957. Joe kept on improving the house and gardens until his death in 2004. After Joe died, Mary continued to live there as long as she was able. She moved to the Austinburg Nursing Home after suffering a stroke in 2015. She was happy in Austinburg, but she always longed to be back home on Howard Road.
Mary leaves behind her son Bill, Bill’s wife Laura, their son Brandon Stevenson, their daughter Carrie Schlegel, and Carrie’s daughters Ashlynn Schlegel and Stella Schlegel. Mary also leaves behind her son Roger, Roger’s wife Erin McCafferty, and their children, Ryan Stevenson, Lauren Wilford, Rachel (“Ray”) Stevenson, Regan McNamara, and Madelyn McNamara. Mary also leaves behind her daughter Kathy, Kathy’s husband Brian Davis, and their sons Keith Davis and John Davis. Mary also leaves behind many nephews, nieces, cousins, army reunion friends, IBEW friends, art club friends, and neighbor friends. Many of those people have one or more of Mary’s beautiful watercolor paintings hanging in their homes. Mary worked hard, loved much, cared deeply, and laughed often.
Mary’s body will be buried beside Joe’s body in the Ridgeview Cemetery, near the graves of both of their parents. Mary requested a simple graveside ceremony at 1:00 PM Saturday (Oct. 26th) at Ridgeview Cemetery with Rev. Joe Woods of the Ashtabula First Baptist Church officiating and no calling hours.
The family appreciates the loving care and attention provided by the fine people at the Austinburg Rehabilitation and Nursing Center and Bella Care Hospice Center.
The Ashtabula Home of Fleming & Billman Funeral Directors and Crematory, 526 W. Prospect Rd. Ashtabula is honored to serve the Mary Stevenson family. Condolences, obituary or light a candle at fleming-billman.com.
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