Obituary of Frank Abbott Stevenson
July 8, 1928 – July 26, 2019
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our father, grandad and great-grandad, Frank, on July 26, 2019 at the age of 91.
He is survived by his four children; Bruce (Diane) Stevenson, Lee (Margo) Stevenson, Duane (LaDine) Stevenson, Bonnie (Ken) Sorensen, nine grandchildren and many great-grandchildren who always brought a smile to his face.
Frank is also survived by his brother Robert (Jean) Stevenson, and his sisters Alice Hickson and Edna Linden. He was predeceased by his parents, Frank and Edna Stevenson, wife, Marie Stevenson (Hart) and second wife, Georgia Stevenson (DeBolt), brother Lloyd Stevenson and son Gordon.
Frank was born on July 8, 1928 in DeBolt, Alberta, making him the first child born to a pioneer in that area. He lived and worked on the family homestead for nearly 81 years, before moving to Campbell River in 2009 with his wife Georgia. After her passing in March of 2018, Frank returned to the Peace Country and resided at Wild Rose Manor until April of this year. Frank’s health took a turn early this spring and he was in excellent care with the staff at the QEII Hospital for the past few months. He passed away peacefully in his sleep at the Prairie Lake Hospice.
Growing up, Frank attended Mountain Springs School and helped on the family homestead with farming and his four younger siblings. At the age of 13, he started his own bee hive operations, being one of the first people to raise honey in DeBolt during WWII. As a young man, he enjoyed fishing and hunting, and worked hard to brush, break and develop land for his own farm. In 1952, he married Marie Hart and they built a home on the family farm. Frank and Marie had 5 children, two of which still live on the original homestead.
Frank was heavily involved in the North Goodwin Grazing Reserve for much of his life, which supported his passion for raising Black Angus cattle. For many years, he was on the Board of Directors for the Rural Electrification Association and the East Smoky Gas Co-op, helping bring electricity and natural gas to his small rural community. Frank had other roles in the community including 4-H, minor hockey, DeBolt Sports Day, National Farmers Union and the United Church.
Frank prided himself in his faith and work ethic and loved welcoming new people to the area. He was a friendly neighbour and could always be counted on to lend a helping hand. Frank enjoyed telling stories to anyone who would listen about the pioneers of DeBolt, and was very proud of the community he helped build. He had amazing stories of the first families who settled in DeBolt and his ties to these families remained strong throughout his life.
After Marie’s passing, Frank married Georgia in 1997 and they lived in DeBolt for 12 years before moving to join Georgia’s family in Campbell River for retirement. Frank spent much of his time fundraising for the church and World Vision, and enjoying the company of Georgia’s family.
Upon returning to the Peace Country last April, Frank spent time with his family and the pioneers at Wild Rose Manor. He was looking forward to the upcoming 100 year celebration for the Stevenson Farm in August, but will be there in spirit as the family carries out his tradition of making rope for Heritage Days at the DeBolt Museum.
A Funeral Service will be held on Friday, August 16 at 3:00pm at the Gospel Light Church in DeBolt. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Frank can be made to the Grande Prairie Palliative Care Society. 204, 10134 97 Avenue, Grande Prairie, AB T8V 7X6. www.gphospice.ca
Care entrusted to Bear Creek Funeral Home 780 830 7742 www.bearcreekfuneral.com