John Howard Stevens
December 2, 1939-June 24, 2019
John Howard Stevens was born December 2, 1939, in Broken Bow, Nebraska at his Grandfather Carothers hospital to Dr. “Steve” Howard Brooks Stevens and Maurine Carothers Stevens. As a young child, John often accompanied his mother to the Broken Bow Ladies Garden Club and served as the mascot for their activities. John attended the Broken Bow Presbyterian Church as a child. By age 15, he worked part-time in an auto parts store, which he would fondly remember as one of his favorite jobs. It was during this time that he also worked in the Sandhills and developed a life-long love of the area. While in high school, he participated in many activities including track, football and was named All-State Basketball in his senior year. He graduated from Broken Bow High School in 1957.
John attended Hastings College from 1957-1959 and readily stated he did not spend much time in the books during those years. In the summer of those first years of college, he worked for the National Park Service at Wild Basin near Estes Park, Colorado. John moved to California in 1959 and married Nancy Skelly. To this marriage, his son Scott Stevens was born in 1961. John returned to Omaha, Nebraska where he worked at a paper company and drove a forklift.
In 1962, John met and married Jolene Roth of Hartington, NE. To this marriage, two children were born. Tracy Jay (TJ) Stevens was born in 1963 and Stephanie Stevens was born in 1970.
After four and a half years of doing 22 different jobs, John returned to college at Kearney State College and began undergraduate school. He was on the Dean’s List four semesters and was admitted to the University of Nebraska Medical School in 1966. John graduated with the Medical School Class of 1970 and began a 1-year general medical internship followed by a neurology residency through 1972. During this residency, he also began to work as an Emergency Room physician at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska. From that point on, he continued to work and specialize in Emergency Medicine.
His work in Emergency Medicine took him from Texas to Colorado where he and a partner were the first Emergency Room providers at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, CO. He also worked in ER’s from Montana to Nebraska and spent many years in Sterling, CO as the Medical Director and provider for Spectrum Emergency Medicine Group. He taught numerous courses including ACLS, ATLS and was medical director for several ground and air ambulance services. For many years, work was his life. He worked long, hard 24- hour shifts and was an excellent physician with acute assessment and diagnostic skills. He took time to talk with his patients and their families and had high expectations of those he worked with to provide patient care.
In 1981, John married Diana Post Hruza. Soon after, they began life together on an acreage near Chimney Rock outside of Bayard, NE. John became a stepfather to Jennifer & Heidi Hruza and was involved in the community activities that go along with raising children. After the kids had all grown, John and Diana moved briefly to Colorado Springs, CO followed by Oshkosh, NE and finally returned to the farm outside Bayard. He retired from Emergency Medicine in 2002 but continued to work in various clinics throughout the panhandle of NE until 2012. He loved to talk medicine and had an acute mind that was constantly working and learning especially enjoying physics, cars and flying.
Over the years, he greatly enjoyed travels to South America, Greece, the Panama Canal, Scandinavia, Alaska, Cabo San Lucas Mexico and visiting friends and family throughout the United States. His precious times over the last few years included his journey with the Lord, Bible studies, and involvement in the Presbyterian Church of Bridgeport. He built a yellow Deuce Victoria hot rod, adored all his grandchildren, gardened, read, watched hot rod shows and puttered around his beloved farm. A highlight each year was the annual Broken Bow family reunion. He was able to attend this year with his children Scott, TJ and Stephanie, which he viewed as a final highlight of his life.
John’s life story is one of redemption, the grace of God and the love of friends and family. John never met a stranger and always made those around him know that they were important to him but also to God. He would be the first to say, his life was far from perfect. He lived life fully, he loved completely and he joyfully looked forward to spending eternity in Heaven. In his last days, he was surrounded by friends and family. He was able to see Jesus with his arms wide open and he passed from this life being held and loved by his wife Diana, son TJ and step daughters Jennifer and Heidi. His wish is that others would come to know the Lord and realize, it is never too late. “My life is full of God’s blessings. God bless you and may we all live for and serve the glory of God.”
John left this life on June 24, 2019. He was preceded in death by his parents Steve and Maurine Stevens. John is survived by his wife Diana; son Scott Stevens and his wife Harriet and grandson Alex of Salinas, CA; son Tracy Jay (TJ) Stevens and his wife Abbey of Fort Collins, CO; grandson Miles Andrews and his wife Tiffany and great- granddaughter Harper of Colorado Springs, CO; daughter Stephanie Stevens of San Diego, CA; stepdaughter Zoe, also of San Diego, CA; stepdaughter Jennifer Hays and her husband Tim and their children Spencer, Abbey and Mackinze of Eaton, CO; stepdaughter Heidi Ritchie and her husband Drew and their children Ethan and Zach of Enid, OK; and his brother Denny of Broken Bow, NE, brother Tom of Tucson, AZ and sister Martha of Granite Falls, WA. He is also survived by numerous cousins and very dear nephews and nieces as well as friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church, Bridgeport, building fund. Tributes of sympathy may be left atwww.bridgmandfuneralhome.com
Bridgman Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Scottsbluff is assisting the family with arrangements.
A memorial service and celebration of life will be Friday, July 12th at 10:30 am at the Presbyterian Church in Bridgeport, NE. John will be inurned over Memorial Day Weekend 2020 in Broken Bow, NE next to his parents. Rest in peace, John, and Godspeed until we meet again.