Howard L Stevens, 72, of Derby, Vermont passed away suddenly on Oct. 7 at the home he shared with his Love and Life partner, June Lussier.
He was born in Barton, Vermont on July 22, 1948 to Howard R and Claire L Stevens, the eldest of six children.
Howard received his elementary education at a two-room schoolhouse in West Glover. He would regale family and friends for years with stories of the escapades that he and his friends enjoyed while students there at a time that would seem to be so carefree and fun. He laughed louder and longer than everyone else as the stories of their many antics unfolded. His laugh was contagious, though. Howard attended the newly built Glover Village School for his eighth grade and graduated from Barton Academy in 1967.
When Howard was 13, the family moved from West Glover Village to a farm one mile up the road just past Lake Parker. So began his love of farming. He was his father’s “right-hand man” on the farm and quickly learned every aspect of farming from milking cows to baling hay. There was never a chore too big or difficult for him and he became very skilled and strong.
He went from farming for his father to farming for himself and found that he loved being his own boss! He spent his life farming and was also sole proprietor of Hanson Livestock for many years. Howard enjoyed going from farm to farm and the opportunity this gave him to visit with fellow farmers who were not just customers, but friends.
Howard was a good and loyal friend, but he was in his element when he was with his family, especially the two daughters that were born to him and his former wife, Gloriann (Doherty) Stevens. Always an avid Red Sox fan, he passed his love of baseball to his older daughter, Donna, who at the age of 10 would amaze most people with her knowledge of the game, team players, their numbers, and stats! It was surprising when Howard welcomed Donna’s husband, Joe into the family with open arms considering Joe was a Yankee’s fan! He loved him like a son.
Howard enjoyed playing cards and younger daughter, Erika, was just like him. They were both happiest when there was a crowd around and cards were played as stories were swapped and laughter was abundant! Erika was not a morning person, and Howard would pick on her until she was laughing—he always knew what to do or say to lift people’s spirits! It pained Howard to give his “baby” away, but he welcomed his second son into the family when Erika married Brian.
Howard loved the ocean and looked forward to the family vacations to Old Orchard Beach, Maine every summer. He also loved going to fairs, especially Fryeburg Fair. He liked to go to Antique Car Shows and was knowledgeable about most models, having pored over the many books on cars and tractors in his extensive collection. He owned several books on the local towns’ history and was fascinated with Vermont’s past.
Howard was a proud father and grandfather, and he relished the time they spent together. It is not surprising that he got a speeding ticket driving to New York to meet his first grandchild, Madelyn. Grandsons Joey and Reid had a special place in his heart, too, and he had many pictures of all three grandchildren proudly displayed in his home.
Howard is survived by June Lussier and her family whom Howard thought the world of. Little Jaiden and he had a special bond and she misses her Grandpa so much! June will be taking care of Howard’s special furry friend, Two, the cat formerly known as Salem.
He is also survived by his daughters, Donna Veres and her husband Joe of Horseheads, New York and Erika Callahan and her husband, Brian of Atkinson, N.H. Also, by his grandchildren, Madelyn and Joey Veres and Reid Callahan, his siblings, Avon Stevens of Barton, Cedric Stevens and his wife, Allyssa of Burlington, Wanita Thompson and her husband, David of Derby, and Alan Stevens and his wife, Carol of St. Johnsbury. He also leaves many cousins, nieces and nephews whom he adored.
He was predeceased by his parents, Howard and Claire Stevens, and a brother, Michael.
If you would like to make a donation in Howard’s memory, please consider The Arthritis Foundation, Northern NE Branch, 6 Chenell Drive, Suite 260, Concord, NH 03301 or the Future Farmers of America (FFA), 16 Campground Road, New Haven, VT 05472 ATTN: VT FFA. Online condolences may be made at curtis-britch.com. Arrangements are entrusted to the care of Curtis-Britch & Bouffard Funeral Home, & Cremation Service, locally family owned and operated.