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James "Herb" Stevenson

January 23, 2021

Obituary


James Herbert 'Herb' Stevenson, 93, passed away unexpectedly with loved ones at his bedside on the morning of Jan 23, 2021 at Palm Bay Hospital in Palm Bay, FL.  He was mentally sharp and active till the end.  Playing his best 18 hole round of golf in years just 2 weeks prior to his passing.  He always said he would live till 100, and very likely could have.
 
Born in Weedsport on Sep 16, 1927 to lifelong Weedsport area residents, Otto M Stevenson(1978) and Velva Leaman Stevenson(1983), he graduated from Weedsport High School in 1945 where he played both baseball and basketball. He also played both baseball and fast-pitch softball on the Weedsport town teams well into the 1950s.  He served in the U.S. Navy, post WWII (1945-1946), and was assigned to the Main Navy Building on the National Mall in Washington, DC.  He was a proud member of the Clark-Heck American Legion Post 568 in Weedsport for nearly 75 years.  And was Post Commander in the late '50's thru early '60's and regularly participated in the annual Memorial Day parade.
 
On Sept. 9, 1950, he married his partner in life Marilyn Ann Dare from Auburn. Together they raised four children living at times in Weedsport, Geneva, Apalachin, Vestal and Camillus. Since 1986 they have resided in Weedsport and wintered in Palm Bay, FL.
 
Herb worked on NY Central Railroad (1946-1953) both helping family with their railway express and mail duties and was hired, c 1950, as a fill-in operator for Tower Operations (Syracuse Division), responsible for both signaling and switching on their 4 track line.  He then was hired in 1953 by Mobil Oil, then named Socony-Vacuum now ExxonMobil, in Terminal Operations as a truck driver.  He rapidly ascended to terminal supervisor working in Weedsport(1953-1963), Geneva(1963-1965), Vestal(1965-1974) and Syracuse(1974-1986).  Retiring in 1986.  Post retirement he briefly drove school bus in Weedsport and enjoyed, with his wife, volunteering with Auburn SCAT Van driving the elderly and disabled to appointments.
 
Herb was amazingly consistent in his daily routine; Up early, Bed made, Breakfast 7-8am, Lunch 1-2pm, Cocktail hour at 5pm, Dinner 7-8pm and Bed before 10pm.  He thrived on routine and was very organized with his finances and with the maintenance of his homes, landscapes and vehicles.  He loved his morning newspaper, crossword puzzles, sudoku, vegetable gardens, TV (news, sports, history, Family Feud, Dr Pol, how-its-made shows, and others), dining out on Friday's, Sunday morning breakfast and cocktail hours.  But his biggest passions in life were; his family, his family's welfare and genealogical history, WWII history (especially USAAF 457th BG where his brother Sgt Robert L Stevenson was assigned and KIA aboard a B17 on Feb 6, 1945),  flying in late '40s(pilot training), everything golf including Tiger Woods , Syracuse Orange sports, Yankees baseball, and Magic basketball. We hope he's still active and enjoying all his loves and passions including his nightly Manhattan/Rob Roy with cherry juice.
 
All who knew Herb would say that he was an easy man to like. To our family, he was our steady rock.  An adored husband, father and grandfather.  On a personal note, he was my father, coach, mentor, role model, best friend, biggest critic and often my right-hand man.  He will be sorely missed by all.
 
In addition to his parents, Herb was predeceased by his wife Marilyn Dare Stevenson(2018); daughter Diane Marie Corey(2015) of Boulder CO; son Richard Dare Stevenson(2018) of Vestal; sister Avis Stevenson Ball(2016) of Weedsport; brother Sgt Robert L Stevenson(1945) KIA in Europe; grandson Damon Scott Corey(2008) of Johnson City and nephew Robert Stevenson Ball(2008) of Weedsport.  Also brother-in-law Robert Edwin Dare(1991); niece Cathy Dare Mancini(2007) and nephew Kenneth E Dare(1998), all of Auburn.
 
He is survived by son James Curtis Stevenson of Palm Bay, FL; daughter Cheryl Lynn Files (Philip) of Weedsport/Palm Bay, FL; son-in-law William 'Bill' Corey (Janis) of Apalachin; daughter-in-law Debra Ackert Stevenson of Vestal; grandchildren Chad Derek Corey of Rossville, GA., Justin Steven and Jeslyn Dare Files of Weedsport, and James Robert and Jaclyn Patsy Stevenson of Vestal; great-granddaughter Elizabeth 'Liz' Corey Buciu (Steven) of Apalachin; great-great-granddaughter Zoey Marie Trafzert of Apalachin; and nephews George F 'Ted' Ball (Claudia) of Weedsport, Charles E 'Chuck' Ball (Irma) of Central Square, Stephen R Dare (Mary) of Auburn and John M Dare (Marsha) of Port Byron.
 
It was Herb's wish that any memorial tributes be made in the form of charitable donations to the Clark-Heck American Legion Post 568 ( 8844 S Seneca St, Weedsport, NY 13166) and/or the Old Brutus Historical Society (8943 N Seneca St, Weedsport, NY 13166).
A graveside service will be planned for the spring at the family plot in Weedsport Rural Cemetery. Arrangements are with White Chapel Funeral Home, Weedsport. 
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