American Patriotic 10

Wayne Stevens

March 17, 2022

Obituary

Wayne Stevens, 90, of Baker City, Oregon, passed away on March 17, 2022.  His passing was peaceful, at his home, and surrounded by family members.

Wayne was born to Warren Christian and Georgia Ann (Winn) Stevens in Spring Canyon, Utah.  He and his identical twin brother, Blaine, entered this world on September 24, 1931.  Wayne and Blaine were inseparable growing up, doing everything – both good and mischievous – together.  It was not at all unusual for one of them to pretend to be the other, especially when the circumstances to do so seem to be in one or the other’s favor.

Wayne and his three brothers had a hardscrabble childhood, especially after the accidental death of their mother and little sister in 1938.  Their father remarried in 1942, and from that union, Wayne and his brothers received a mother, Zerma, 3 sisters, and later, a brother.

Wayne graduated from Dietrich High School in Dietrich, Idaho, in 1949.  Both Wayne and Blaine received a shared scholarship to attend the Southern Idaho College of Education in Albion, Idaho.  Instead of college at that time, Wayne decided to go to north Idaho to work in the woods with his uncle Ray.

Wayne enlisted in the US Army on February 7, 1951 and was trained as an aircraft mechanic.  He spent 16 months of his enlistment in Korea, near the DMZ, during the Korean Conflict.  He was honorably discharged as a Tech Sergeant in 1954, receiving a Commendation Ribbon, Korean Service Medal with Three Service Stars, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Good Conduct Medal.  Wayne was very proud of his time in Korea and enjoyed sharing his limited ability to speak Korean with his grandchildren and great grandchildren.  One of his two favorite stories of his time in Korea was telling of the sudden sound of artillery fire very near to his airfield one day.  Preparing for what seemed to be an attack by the enemy, he and his comrades were relieved to learn the fire came from a nearby tank unit celebrating the 4th of July.  Another was that he liked to brag about personally meeting and chatting with Debbie Reynolds during a stopover at his airfield during one of her USO tours.  Wayne’s son, Mike, accompanied him on an Honor Flight to Washington, DC, in 2018.  Wayne was very honored and humbled to be able to visit the many memorials and monuments dedicated to veterans’ service and sacrifice.  This further cemented his pride in his military experiences.

After his discharge, he took advantage of the G.I. Bill, attending the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, majoring in physical education.  He later earned two master’s degrees from the University of Idaho.  After graduation, Wayne found his career.  He spent the next 36 years as a public-school teacher, guidance counselor, and Principal, with stops in Tekoa, Washington; Mountain Home, Idaho; Richland, Oregon; Priest River, Idaho; and Clark Fork, Idaho.  Throughout his career, he worked tirelessly to ensure that the students in his charge were safe and had the best educational experiences available.

Always a Vandal, he was especially proud that two of his daughters, a son-in-law, three grandsons and two granddaughters-in-law attended the University of Idaho.  Go Vandals!

Wayne married Sharla Knoblauch on March 26, 1981, and his blended family kept growing.  Wayne enjoyed hunting, fishing, and was a gifted woodworker.  He loved playing golf, especially competing against brother Blaine whenever possible.  Like a quote from “A League of Their Own”, from Wayne’s perspective, “There is no laughing in golf.”  Always the natural athlete, Wayne’s 6 holes-in-one attest to his skill.  He put as much energy and drive into huckleberry picking as he did everything else.  He learned a lesson or two when his grandsons would spend part of their huckleberry picking time with him filling the bottom of their buckets with tree bark to fill their buckets almost as fast as he.

Wayne seldom missed an opportunity to share how proud he was of the accomplishments of his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, usually with a tear or two of pride in his eye.

Wayne was preceded in death by daughter Beatrice; mother Georgia; sister Donna; father Warren; brothers Glen, Gordon, and Blaine; mother Zerma; and sisters Louise (Stayton) Mather and Ruby (Stayton) Smithhisler.

Wayne is survived by his wife, Sharla; daughters Georgia Boatman (Dennis) and Linda Miles (Bob), son Mike Stevens (Jen); daughters Ronda Sadlowsky (and her loyal - and much loved by Wayne - dog Zeus) and Carol Wheeler (Patrick); sister Leila Nelson (Phil); brother Charlie Stevens (Diane); 11 grandchildren, and 11 great grandchildren.

A memorial service with Military honors for Wayne is scheduled for Saturday, May 7, 2022, at 11:00 am, at the Baker City Cemetery.  A reception will follow at the Stevens’ home in Baker City. In lieu of flowers and for those who would like to donate in memory of Wayne, the family suggests the Hilary Bonn Benevolence Fund through Tami's Pine Valley Funeral Home & Cremation Services PO Box 543 Halfway, Oregon 97834.  Online condolences may be shared at www.tamispinevalleyfuneralhome.com

 

 

 

 


Services

Graveside Service
Saturday
May 7, 2022

11:00 AM
Mt. Hope Cemetery

Baker City, Oregon

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