Ernest Junior Stevens (June 29, 1923 – June 7, 2021) Ernest Jr. Stevens passed away quietly in Loveland, Colorado on June 7th, 2021. Ernie lived a spectacular life of nearly 98 years. A loving husband and father, Ernie was married to Lucille Marie (Horinek) Stevens of Atwood, Kansas for over 70 years, had four children, and was blessed with six grandchildren. Ernie was born on June 29th, 1923 to Thomas Ernest Stevens and Bertha Lucille (Decker) Stevens in Cambridge, Nebraska.
He graduated from Cambridge High School and was the last surviving member of the class of 1941. During the war, Ernie was employed by the Boeing Company of Wichita, Kansas as a tool and die technician working on the B-29 Superfortress. Ernie returned to Nebraska working for his father, TE, in the furrier business. The tailoring and fur shop originally located in Cambridge, NE, moved to McCook following the Republican River Flood of 1947. Ernie and family survived the flood, Ernie was asked to guard the tailor shop by sitting on the roof with a shotgun, still in possession by his family, Ernie’s father using a boat, helped rescue people in the community. The family spent months cleaning fur coats for their customer of mud and debris, moving to McCook the next year and establishing Stevens Furs. Ernie spent time in Denver expanded his furrier skills coming back to McCook to help his dad with the family business.
Ernie met and married Lucille Horinek of Atwood, Kansas in 1950 and started a family in McCook, Nebraska. He left the furrier business in 1954 for a new career as an investment adviser with the IDS company remaining in McCook. Ernie and Lucille enjoyed sailing and participating with friends in the McCook Yacht club. He developed lasting friendships across the Midwest, often saying hello to someone at a gas station we thought was a stranger but turns out – dad knew the person. In the early 70s, Ernie was promoted to division manager with the IDS company and moved to Casper, Wyoming with his family. In the late 70s, Ernie moved to a job with Grolier in Hastings, Nebraska where both he and Lucille were able to work together as a team for over a decade.
Ernie and Lucille retired to Loveland, Colorado in the late 80s, where they attended dancing lessons – traveling to over 100 different establishments perfecting their moves. Ernie learned to fly in 1960 and was an avid pilot; even piloting a twin-engine airplane at the age of 97. A product of the depression, he was known throughout his family as a penny pincher, shopping at Goodwill for the latest’s style in repurposed clothing. Forever turning off lights in the house while living comfortably into old age, enjoying pranking with his family, once getting a letter in the mail, written on a plastic bouncy ball from his brother Jack.
Ernie is survived by his wife, Lucille, of Loveland, CO, his brother, Jack Stevens and sister-in-law, Norma (Hoxsy)Stevens, of McCook NB, his brother-in-law George Clough of North Platte, NE; his children, David Lee Stevens wife, Takane Aizeki, of Denver, CO, Duane Allen Stevens, wife, Valentyna Stevens, of Plano TX, Carol Jean(Stevens)Tweedy, of Ft. Collins, CO, and Janet Marie(Stevens)Mercer with husband, Michael Mercer, of Vienna VA, and his six grandchildren Prescott Tweedy and spouse Nicole(Piccirillo)Tweedy of Burlington VT, Austin Stevens of Oak Harbor WA, Samuel Mercer of Fairfax VA, Cameron Stevens of Raleigh, NC, Colin Tweedy of Fort Collins, COand Thomas Mercer of Vienna, VA. and his sister Linda Kay (Stevens) Clough. He is preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Vaughn Roland and Larry Gene; sister Linda Kay (Stevens) Clough.
Ernie will be sorely missed by all family and friends who intersected his life. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date.