Herbert L. Stevenson
Herbert L. Stevenson – 1918 – 2014
Herb was born November 1, 1918 in San Francisco, and raised in Fort Bragg, a small coastal town in northern California where his parents, Kenneth and Ella Stevenson, owned a Ford dealership. He attended Santa Rosa Junior College and the University of Washington studying aeronautical engineering. While attending the UW, he met his wife of 74 years, Jeanne Graham Stevenson.
In 1940, just prior to World War II, wanting to learn to fly airplanes and needing a job, he joined the Army Air Corps, and after completing training, was hired by Pan American World Airways (Pan Am), initially as a navigator, then first officer, becoming a captain at the age of 26.
In 1949, after being based in Miami, New York, and San Francisco, Herb and Jeanne returned to the Seattle area, building a home in Medina where they lived for 45 years and where he was elected to the Medina City Council, serving two terms.
Herb spent 37 years flying for Pan Am. Beginning with “flying boats” and concluding with 747’s. During a two-year period in the late 1960’s, he flew 29 times around the world. Then he and Jeanne flew a 30th time on vacation, visiting their son serving in the Peace Corps in the Philippines and their daughter and son-in law serving in the Air Force in Turkey.
Herb was an expert carpenter, avid photographer, a good cook and generous host. He built the kitchen cabinets for his son’s and daughter-in-laws’ house. He made clever home movies and turned his photos into thoughtful birthday cards for family and friends. He crafted the family Christmas cards every year for over 70 years. Medina residents will likely remember him for the Christmas trees he made look like they grew through the roof.
He and Jeanne enjoyed entertaining their many friends and neighbors. Herb’s specialties were waffles and Swedish pancakes for breakfast, cocktails at 5 p.m., and pepper steaks for dinner. Conversations around the table usually included a couple of Herb’s puns.
After retiring from Pan Am at age 60, he obtained his real estate license and was shortly thereafter appointed to the King County Board of Equalization (an entity that hears property tax appeals) serving for 9 years – 5 years as Chair. He enjoyed fishing, skiing, and sailing – was a long time member of the Seattle Yacht Club, the President of the Washington Recreational Boaters Association, and a docent at Seattle’s Flight Museum.
For the past 11 years, Herb and Jeanne have resided at the Emerald Heights retirement community in Redmond.
Herb was a caring and affectionate husband, father and friend. He taught us the value of community service and of being fair minded. He is survived by wife Jeanne, children, Douglas (Marcia), Sigrid Quinn (Alan), and Nancy; grandchildren, Ryan Quinn, Graham and Gregory Stevenson, and Jaime Oberlander; brother, Robert Stevenson; and great grandchildren, Ruby Quinn, and Cooper, Lucy and Oliver Stevenson. He will be truly missed by his loving family and many friends.
A celebration of life will be held at the Seattle Yacht Club onFebruary 8, 2015 from 2 to 4 p.m. Donations in Herb’s memory may be made to the Emerald Heights Benevolent Fund or the Pan Am Historical Foundation. To sign Herb’s online Guestbook go to www.Legacy.com.