Robert “Bob” Louis “Turtle” Stevens, age 67, of Lake Vermilion, Tower, and Virginia, passed away with his family by his side on December 21, 2018. He died after a long, hard 3 ½ year battle with neuroendocrine cancer.
Bob was born in Minneapolis on February 28, 1951 to Ray and Bernice (Hennum) Stevens. While still a toddler, the family moved to Biwabik, where Bob graduated with the class of 1969. After high school, Bob attended college in Menominee, WI but left in 1973 to work in the mines and electrical construction.
In June 1976, Bob met his soulmate and the love of his life, Elizabeth Padgett of Cloquet, at the Tower Root Beer Stand. After a six month whirlwind romance, Bob and Liz were married in Cloquet on December 18, 1976. They just celebrated 42 years of marriage. Bob and Liz had three children, Zebulon, Sarah and Hannah, and are currently raising two of their grandchildren, Luna and Anish.
They made their first home in Soudan, built a basement home in Pike Sandy Township, moved to Hudson, Wisconsin and eventually relocated back to the Iron Range settling in Virginia in 1993. After spending the summers of his youth growing up on Lake Vermilion, it was his dream to have his kids and grandkids love The Lake as much as he did, so in 1987, they bought their first cabin on The Lake. The Lake was his sanctuary and his happy place that he loved the most all of his life.
Bob was an instructor in Electrical Controls and Maintenance at Mesabi Range College since the fall of 1993. After being hired to teach, Bob completed his degree and the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menominee on what he referred to as the 25 year plan. He holds a BS in Vocational Education from Stout, an MS in Electronics and Computer Technology from Indiana State University, and an Automated Systems Diploma from the Eveleth Area Vocational Technical Institute. He was very proud of the fact that he was able to return to the Range teaching in the program he graduated from in the early 80’s. He enjoyed going to his job every day, and never considered it work. He got great satisfaction out of teaching; always leaving his students with a story relating to the lesson at hand.
He was a jack-of-all trades who could do anything – from building and remodeling homes to car repairs to painting beautiful oils. It was Bob’s Grandpa Hennum, his father Ray, and teacher Dan Saarela from high school shop class who gave him his love of woodworking. Bob was a rock collector; everywhere he went he took home rocks to add to his collection or to use in some building project he had going. He loved to deer hunt at the shack, duck hunt the Vermilion River, fish wherever they were biting on Lake Vermilion, sail on his sailboat, and enjoy campfires by the Lake. Bob was first and foremost a family man always placing his family above all else, whether it was taking them on numerous adventures or just being there for them. Some of his happiest times were spent playing games with or telling folktales stories to his kids or grandkids.
He will be missed and cherished by his wife: Liz; son Zebulon and his children Luna and Anish of Virginia; daughter Sarah (Keith) Knudson and their children Bo, Alden, Chase, Everett, Liam, Cash, Isla, Carys and Tyce of Wuori Township; daughter Hannah (Bjørn Åge) Haugen and their children Helén, Philip and Louis of Tranby, Norway; his dad Ray (Carolyn) of Lake Vermilion, Tower; siblings Don (Della) Stevens of Circle Pines, MN, JoAnne (Jim “Louie”) Lewis of Steamboat Spring, CO, and Dick (Eva) of Mound, MN; his father-in-law Doug Padgett of Lake Vermilion, Tower and many dear relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his mother Bernice Stevens and both sets of grandparents.
He was a unique and special man who will live forever in our hearts.
A Celebration of Life will be held Thursday, January 3, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at the Bauman-Cron Funeral Home Chapel in Virginia. Visitation will be held Wednesday, January 2, 2018 from 5-7 p.m. and again for one hour prior to the Thursday service.
Family services provided by Bauman-Cron, A Bauman Family Funeral Home in Virginia. To share condolences online, please see: www.baumanfuneralhome.com .