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Arthur Henry Stevens

Obituary for Art Stevens

Stevens, Arthur Henry
It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Art Stevens on August 23, 2013, in Nelson, B.C. just one day before a photo launch featuring a portion of his work at Touchstones Museum.
Born October 10th, 1926 in Hurstbourne, UK to Mabel and Henry (Harry) Stevens, Art accompanied his parents to Swift Current Saskatchewan, at the age of 3. Raised on a wheat farm during the difficult 30s frugality was ingrained in him during his youth. He lost his only sibling, younger brother, Billy to pneumonia at age 5.
At age 24 he left farm life on the prairies for Nelson, accepting a job working at Fleury’s Pharmacy for George Fleury. George promised Art he would like Nelson and that there was an active local Camera Club to develop his keen interest in photography.
Soon after arriving in Nelson Art met Alice Stevenson who was operating a portrait studio on Josephine St. called “Alice’s Wonderland”. They married and in 1951 opened Stevens Studio at 659 Baker St, doing mainly family and wedding portraits. This was the beginning of an energetic partnership which led to film and photojournalism work including news reels for the CBC, important documentation of the Doukhobor Community in Krestova which welcomed them into their homes, and recognition from many photography associations. Art’s photographs appeared in Beautiful British Columbia magazines in the late 60s and early 70s featuring the Kootenays and other B.C. communities.
During these busy years their son David, was born followed by a daughter Marcia, two years later. The collaboration of this talented and headstrong couple ended four years afterwards. Art opened a new business, Art Stevens Photo and Radio, at 356 Baker Street. In 1960 the business expanded to include sales of records, stereos, and cameras as well as a film processing service.
While enjoying his interest in square dancing, friends introduced Art to Phyllis Maglio. They married and became lifetime dance partners with the Queen City Squares as well as avid golfers. During over 30 years of marriage Art was a caring and engaged step father to Phyllis’ four children and later his precious grandchildren. Summers were full of camping, often at Schroder Creek, boating, and fishing trips. Art was a long standing member of the Good Sam Club and always loved a good deal and special offers. Once the children were grown Art and Phyllis led a busy social life with many friends at home and on their annual trips to Yuma Arizona in their 5th wheel. Their dancing partnership sadly ended with Phyllis’ passing on May 20, 2003.
Art inherited his love of vintage cars from his father Harry who could name every part and model number on a model T Ford. They were both founding members of the Kootenay Lake Vintage Car Club. Art was always the first one to volunteer for Club activities and eagerly participated in all events. Recently he had been working with son David and friends Red Brochu and Ed Hart to complete the restoration of a 1927 Chevy, hoping to have it done for an upcoming show in September. In 1958 Art made an epic journey in a 1923 Chevy from Fernie to Victoria for a special commemorative event.
A longtime Eagles member, Art also earned his Restricted Radio Operators License which led to his membership in PEP (Provincial Emergency Program). He was enlisted to work in the basement of the Vernon St. Post Office and was one of a few people in Nelson sworn to secrecy about the purpose of the emergency bunker. Art taught classes after work hours to help others earn their radio license and for a time worked as a Radio Dispatcher for the Ministry of Forests.
In the mid 90s Art sold his business and went to work with his son David of Stevens Electronics. At the age of 84, COPD started to slow him down— somewhat! He still continued weekly card games, daily coffee with the gang on Baker St., trips to favorite casinos, and even a trip to Thailand with his best friend, Stella in 2010. Time at home was put to good use repairing electronic items for friends, gardening and chasing pigeons away from his bird feeders. His busy life always centered on his many dear friends and acquaintances. He will be sorely missed by all. Fondly referred to as the “energizer bunny”, Art’s batteries ran low and he has gone for a recharge.
Art was predeceased by his parents Mabel and Harry Stevens, brother William Stevens and wives Alice Stevens and Phyllis Stevens. He is survived by his dear friend Stella Taylor of Montrose, son David Stevens (Wendy) of Nelson, daughter Marcia Stacy (Ron) of Summerland, granddaughter Kathleen Nelson (Rick) of Armstrong, grandson William Stevens of Nelson and 3 great grandchildren. A celebration of Art’s life will be held at the Hume Hotel in Nelson, on October 5, 2013, from 1-5pm.
Online condolences may be expressed at
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Thompson Funeral Service Ltd.

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