Richard “Bob” Stevenson passed away on June 8th after five years of failing health due to complications with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 82. He died surrounded by love and prayers from his family. Bob was a beloved husband, father, pappy, educator, and administrator who dedicated his life to helping others and strengthening his faith through service.
A quiet gentleman, many people described Bob as caring, loving, compassionate, and honest as he modeled the motto “others above self.” He valued education and supported the teaching profession. He led by example, attending all student and staff activities to build relationships for successful educational experiences. As a respected educator and honorable district leader, Bob always maintained the mindset that children were the priority and modeled this by being proactive in creating family-oriented communities in Allegany County. He overcame many childhood challenges such as homelessness which only strengthened his character to persevere. Later in life Bob was diagnosed with prostate cancer, which he faced with faith and positivity, becoming a 24 year survivor. It is through these personal experiences that he dedicated his life to public service, especially to improve the lives of young people.
Bob was born on August 31, 1937 in Frostburg to the late Wilbert A. Stevenson and Ruth (Thompson) Stevenson McManus. His parents and two sisters, Jean Stevenson Wilson and Nancy Thompson D’Ambrogi, preceded him in death.
Bob graduated from Beall High School in 1956, where he lettered in football, basketball, soccer, wrestling, and track. He was a state champion in the track and field 440 event. His involvement in sports continued through college and he graduated from Frostburg State College in 1964 with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. He continued at Frostburg State University earning a master’s degree in 1968 majoring in Administration and Supervision. Bob also completed post-graduate courses through West Virginia University. He joined the National Guard in high school, serving in the 29th Division for three years, and the US Army Reserve, 79th Division, for six years.
Bob was an educator for 46 years, instructing at the elementary, middle, high, and college levels. His career began as an elementary teacher in Baltimore County, and then continued in Garrett County teaching classes in elementary and high school. First hired as a reading and physical education teacher at Cresaptown School in Allegany County, he then transferred to Washington Junior High School as the physical education teacher, eventually entering administration as the vice principal. Bob became the principal at Valley High School and then ended his principalship at Allegany High School, forever proud to wear the ALCO blue. After retiring, he became an adjunct instructor at Frostburg State University, mentoring student teachers in the education field.
Bob completed a lifetime of service to improve education. He was active on various committees and curriculum revisions at the state and county levels. Bob served in multiple presidential roles for the Secondary Principal Association and Western Maryland Interscholastic. He was a member of educational associations, such as ACTA, MSTA, NEA, NASSP, and MRSPA. Through the Middle States Evaluation Team, he became an assessor and evaluator of principal candidates statewide. Bob was a representative for the Executive Council of Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association and the Council of Educational Administrative and Supervisory Organization of Maryland. He was also a basketball official with Potomac Valley IIAABO Board 204, serving as secretary/treasurer.
Being an active participant to improve the surrounding communities was important to Bob. He was past President of Beall High Alumni Association, past Treasurer of Frostburg State Alumni, past member of the Frostburg Jaycees where he was the recipient of the Outstanding Young Man of the Year. In the Frostburg Rotary Club, Bob served three terms as President, receiving the Paul Harris Fellow Award. He was the Rotary District Secretary for Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Bob was a member of the Allegany County Teachers Credit Union, serving as Board Chairman and volunteering for over 40 years.
In the Frostburg community, Bob served on the recreation commission for over 30 years. As the recreation director, he managed the public swimming pool and promoted youth programs to keep children healthy and physically active. He initiated the first community center program that included swim teams, weight lifting meets, instructional swim programs, and track meets. Bob organized multiple sports leagues, including slow pitch softball, adult summer basketball, and youth soccer. For 20 years, Bob coached and was president of the Fearer Memorial Basketball League and Little League baseball. Through his volunteerism and civic dedication, he received the Distinguished Service Award, the Youth Leadership Award, the Frostburg Achievement Award, and the Unsung Hero Award. Bob was a member of the Welsh Memorial Baptist Church where he served in multiple roles as a teacher, deacon, treasurer, choir member, and Sunday School director for over 50 years.
Although his life was devoted to others, Bob was a major presence in his family. He is survived by the love of his life for 62 years, Marilyn (Lewis) Stevenson; son Richard T. “Rick” Stevenson, Jr. and wife Cindy of Frostburg; daughter Janice Stevenson Police and husband Rick of Middletown, MD; and son Robert T. “Bob” Stevenson and wife Dr. Lisa Stevenson of Frostburg. Bob was the proud pappy of seven grandchildren: Richard “Rick” Stevenson III and wife Jackie of LaVale; Matthew Stevenson and wife Jamie of Frostburg; Stephanie Police Coyle and husband Chris of Arlington, VA; Jessica Police and friend Colin Kossa of Arlington, VA; Dr. Kierstin Stevenson Snyder and husband Dan of Frostburg; Briannin Stevenson Howard and husband Dr. Zachary Howard of Thurmont, MD; and Jewelein Stevenson and friend Lucas Lowry of Frostburg. Bob also loved his seven great-grandchildren, with two more arriving soon: Laykyn, Brooks, and Reid Stevenson of LaVale; Jasper Stevenson of Frostburg; Reese Snyder of Frostburg; and recent arrival of twins Mack and Maylee Howard of Thurmont. MD. Also surviving is his sister, Betty Dushane and husband Jim of Louisiana. Bob was also fond of his many nieces and nephews, extended family, and good friends.
As Bob’s health continued to decline, daily care was required by his wife, children, and grandchildren. Thanks to the caregivers at Comfort Keepers, the professionals at Western Maryland Health System, and the dedicated nurses, assistants, and therapy staff at Sterling Care Frostburg Village who provided love, care, and support. Bob will always be remembered for his gentle ways, caring heart, and unconditional love. Although Bob will be greatly missed, there is celebration because he is at peace with God in heaven watching over his family.
All are welcome to visit and commemorate Bob’s memory but are required to wear facemasks and social distance at Durst Funeral Home, 57 Frost Avenue, Frostburg, MD on Thursday, June 11, 2020 from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9.
A funeral service will be held on Friday, June 12 at 11 A.M. with Rev. David Sandvick Officiating. Interment will follow at Frostburg Memorial Park
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the First English Baptist Church building fund, PO Box 505 Frostburg, MD 21532, Parkinson’s Research Foundation 5969 Cattleridge Blvd. Suite 100, Sarasota, FL 34232; WMHS Schwab Family Cancer Center, 12500 Willowbrook Rd, Cumberland, MD 21502.