Tahlequah Daily Press

April 25, 2014

Jesse James “Bud” Stevens


Special Writer

MUSKOGEE — Funeral services for Jesse James “Bud” Stevens will be held on Saturday, April 26, at 2 p.m. at the Reed-Culver Chapel with Pastor Joe White officiating. Visitation will be held on Friday, April 25, at Reed-Culver Chapel from 4-6 p.m. Online condolences for the family may be left at www.reedculver.com.

His family will serve as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers include Burl Littlejohn, Bob Stevens, Bill Stevens, Shelby Friend, and Bill Johnson.

Jesse James Stevens was born on Nov. 23, 1923, in Stilwell, the son of Jess and Clara Ethel (Ray) Stevens. During WWII, Bud proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy as a Quarter Master First Class aboard the USS Trigger, a Gato class submarine that started the war in Pearl Harbor and ended when she was sunk on March 28, 1945.

After his honorable discharge, Bud returned to the Oklahoma area to begin his life again. Early in life, Jesse found he had a love of learning and wanted to share it with others. He spent the next 37 years in schools in Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Colorado, devoting his life to the building of young minds.

He was also a devoted husband, and father to his three children, Ben, Jim, and Beckie. Jesse was a member of the Masonic Lodge of Stilwell, attaining the degree of Master Mason. Whenever he had some down time, Jesse enjoyed being outdoors, and spending the afternoon at his favorite fishing spot or hunting. He was always interested in traveling the countryside and enjoying new experiences.

Following the death of his wife Berdena, he later married Rana Mayo of Muskogee, and this union lasted until his passing. Bud was a Methodist by faith. The Lord called this good and faithful servant to his eternal rest on Thursday, April 24, in Muskogee, with his loved ones by his side. He was 90 years old. He will be greatly missed for all the knowledge he shared, and his capacity to love those around him.

Jesse is preceded in death by his mother; his father; his first wife Berdena in 2008; and one sister, Mary Robbins.

Those left to cherish his memory include his wife, Rana Mayo Stevens of the home in Muskogee; and his three children, Ben Stevens and wife Karrel of Tahlequah, Jimmy Stevens and wife Dawn of Wheat Ridge, Colo., and daughter, Beckie Gibson and husband Michael of Arvada, Colo. He also leaves six brothers and sisters, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Stevens of Fort Worth, Texas, Bob Stevens of Stilwell, Margie Worsham of Stilwell, Patsy Johnson and husband Bill of Tulsa, Katy Littlejohn and husband Burl of Claremore, and Jan Friend and husband Shelby of Owasso. His legacy lives on in his four grandchildren, Heather, Brian, Jesse, and Breanna; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends and grateful students whose lives he changed.

Reed-Culver Funeral Home, 117 W. Delaware, (918) 456-2551.


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