Jeff Stevens, 61, of Atlantic, Iowa, passed away unexpectedly Monday, December 10, 2018, at Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic.
Jeffrey James Stevens was born on October 27, 1957, in Kasson, Minnesota, the son of Richard James and Delores Evelyn (Paulson) Stevens. Jeff spent part of his youth in Minnesota, until the family moved and made Atlantic their home in 1970. Jeff’s love of working with his hands started at an early age, tagging along with his dad at work and in high school shop class. He also found his artistic side, creating drawings and cartoons – a hobby he would continue throughout his life – and dabbling in oil painting. He graduated from Atlantic High School in 1976 and later married his high school sweetheart, Janet Robson. Following high school, he moved to Colorado where he began a career in the construction field, erecting steel buildings in downtown Denver. While in Colorado he was blessed with his first son, Jacob. An electrocution accident three years into his career made him rethink his future and he eventually returned to Atlantic.
After returning to Iowa, he met and fell in love with Lou Ann Ratzlaff; the couple later married and to this union two children were born, Sean and Rebecca. During this time, he started his own business, J & S Auto, which eventually transitioned to Nishna Valley Machinery. He particularly focused on intricate machine work, custom metal pieces, and high-performance motors. His passion for his work led him to creating a dragster. While Jeff rebuilt and restored many cars over the years, his dragster was the creation he was especially proud of.
An avid shooter, Jeff was a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association. As animal lover, Jeff had many pets and many varieties of pets throughout his lifetime; after retirement, he enjoyed talking with others about the pets in their lives. He was a constant reader, reading anything he could to learn more about the topics that piqued his interest. He was known to keep a dictionary on his nightstand with his research. He was especially interested in history, the military, and military history. If you had a question, Jeff was your man with the answer. Always there to help those who were troubled with encouragement or a listening ear, Jeff brought a smile to your face.
Jeff is survived by his sons, Jacob (Shauna) Stevens and Sean (Amy) Stevens; daughter, Rebecca (Austin) Klinghammer; grandchildren, Gunner, River, Bryson, Wyatt, Evelyn and Penelopy; and sisters, Lynnette Johnson, Michelle Atwood and Jacalyn Stevens.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Delores Stevens; the mother of his children, Lou Ann Ratzlaff; and brother-in-law, Ed Atwood.
Cremation has taken place and a graveside service will be held at 2:30 p.m., Thursday, December 13th, at SS Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery in Atlantic. Following the graveside, the family invites you to join them for a Celebration of Life visitation from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Roland Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Atlantic Animal Shelter in Jeff’s name.
Roland Funeral Service is caring for Jeff’s family and his arrangements. Condolences may be left at www.rolandfuneralservice.com.
IN REMEMBRANCE OF
October 27, 1957
December 10, 2018
At the age of 61 years, 1 month & 13 days
2:30 p.m., Thursday, December 13, 2018
SS Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery, Atlantic, Iowa
Father Chinna Devaraj
RECORDED MUSICAL SELECTION
“Go Rest High On That Mountain” by Vince Gill
HONORARY CASKET BEARERS
CELEBRATION OF LIFE VISITATION
4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Roland Funeral Home - Atlantic, Iowa
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family for
later designation to the Atlantic Animal Shelter.