Winslow B. “Steve” Stevens III, age 97, passed away peacefully on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, at Savannah Court in Bartow, Fla.
Steve was the son of H. Kirke and Ruth Stevens and was born May 17, 1916, Silvana, Wash., at his grandfather’s logging camp in the Cascade Mountains.
He graduated from high school in Everett, Wash., and was attending the University of Oregon at the onset of World War II. He left school to join the U.S. Army. As a second lieutenant, he volunteered for and served with gallantry in Merrill’s Marauders, a legendary infantry unit that fought behind enemy lines in Burma. He attained the rank of captain and was awarded the Silver Star for bravery under fire.
While recovering from wounds suffered in combat, Steve was sent to an Army convalescent hospital in Daytona Beach. There he met his bride of almost 65 years, Edna Earle Wilson from Bartow. They were married Nov. 6, 1946, and lived exclusively in Bartow.
Steve worked as a citrus broker and founded Eastern Marketing Service and Shamrock Watermelon Growers. He retired in 1980.
The second love of Steve’s life was golf. A fixture at the Bartow Golf Club and a regular participant in Southern Seniors Golf Association tournaments, he was proud of the fact that he “shot his age” from the age of 73 through the age of 92.
He was also active in the First United Methodist Church, Kiwanis Club, and the Boy Scouts of America.
Steve Stevens never met a stranger. He loved to travel, made acquaintances wherever he went, and enjoyed spending time with family and friends at Crooked Lake in Babson Park.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Edna Earle Wilson Stevens, and daughter, Bettie Carlyle Stevens Swiger.
He is survived by his son, Winslow B. “Win” Stevens IV and his wife, Judy; grandson, Bradley, his wife, Danica; great-granddaughter, Quinn; granddaughter, Chelsea. Other survivors include “adopted daughter” Candy Grubbs, her husband, Clarence, and a number of wonderful caregivers, most recently Teri Pelkey and BreAnna Steadman.
The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, at Whidden-McLean Funeral Home, 650 E. Main St., Bartow.
The funeral service is 10:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, at First United Methodist Church, 410 S. Broadway Ave., in Bartow.
Interment will follow at Wildwood Cemetery in Bartow.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.whiddenmclean funeralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675 or to the First United Methodist Church of Bartow.
Whidden-McLean Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.