HAVERHILL - John D. Stevens Sr., of Haverhill, passed peacefully on April 8. He was born in Salem, NH on December 4, 1941, the devoted youngest son of the late Eva R. and Mansur K. Stevens. After graduating from Woodbury High School in Salem and Boston University, he married the love of his life Joyce (Daley) with whom he would have celebrated 60 years of marriage in May. They raised five children on Groveland Street and later East Broadway in Haverhill.
After a long career in the folding box and paper industry, John transitioned to real estate and mortgage banking working locally for Haverhill Bank and Wells Fargo. His most meaningful work began when he came out of retirement to serve as Executive Director of the non-profit Stevens-Bennett Home, overseeing its expansion and its services to women residents in post-retirement—from which he retired at age 75.
An advocate of elder healthcare, the role capped a lifelong commitment of service to others, which included years as a board member of the Glynn Memorial Foundation, which oversaw the nursing home and one of the state’s first Alzheimer’s-dedicated units. John was a member of the Haverhill Kiwanis Club for more than 20 years, serving twice as its president. He was the driving force behind Kiwanis’ Bike Safety program for children, fitting kids with bike helmets and safety education annually. He was a Kiwanian advisor to the Key Club, helping so many young people shape their own commitment to community service.
No roles brought him more joy than those of husband, father, grandfather and friend. His family and oldest, dearest friends, Carolyn and Steve, enjoyed more than 40 years of vacation memories in one of the places he loved most, Cape Cod. He also enjoyed many years of visits to Naples, Florida. He was a life-long Boston sports fan. John was a committed team organizer and grill master for his extended Stevens family—brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews, whom he loved so much.
His family hold him as advocate, champion, counselor, man of great faith, comedian-jokester-troublemaker, and beloved leader driven by joy.
John will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered by son John D. Jr., of Haverhill; daughter Lynne and partner Glenford Nixon of Pittsfield, MA; son Christopher and Jenny Stevens of Randolph, NJ; daughter Susan and Aaron Lancaster of Haverhill, MA; and, son Andrew and Jessica Stevens of Fairfax, VT. He also leaves 10 grandchildren—his pride and joy—Kerien Gil (Camilo) and Lily Stevens; Ty, Jack and Abby Lancaster of Massachusetts, Brooklyn, Benjamin and Reese Stevens of Vermont; and Samantha and Matthew Stevens of New Jersey.
John also leaves many close friends and associates from across the years.
He was pre-deceased by beloved siblings Mansur “Steve” (late Deleen) of Florida; Harriet (late Thomas) Hannigan of Stoneham, Massachusetts, and Elizabeth “Betty” Stevens of Salem. He is survived by sisters Barbara (late Harry) Larsen of Salem; Carolyn “Kay” (late Albert) Rozzi of Tilton, New Hampshire; and brothers, Charles (Mel) of Colorado; and Thomas (late Nancy) of Salem. John is survived by sisters- and brothers-in-law Sheila (Daley) and Bernie Field of Byfield, MA; Jack and Laurie Daley of Plantation, FL; and, Chris (Daley) and Scott Herman of Newton, NH. He also enjoyed the 20 nieces and nephews who filled his life.
John’s family would like to thank the professionals of the Boston and Merrimack Valley healthcare community who led his care over the last five years. They extend special thanks to his care attendant of the last few years, Rita, and to the staff of Hannah Duston Healthcare Center.
Visitation will be held on Friday, April 14, in the Driscoll Funeral Home, 309 S. Main Street, Haverhill from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Service will follow beginning at 12:00 PM. Contributions in his memory may be made to the American Stroke Association at www.stroke.org or the Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org. For guestbook visit www.driscollcares.com
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