Harry (Steve)'s Life

Tribute to my father Harry Stevens

Thank you all for coming, I felt that after everything Dad has done for me, I wanted to pay tribute to Dad this evening to reflect and celebrate his life of 83 years.

Dad always had a sense of humor, as a matter of fact if it were him up here today he would say he only has a few words to say, and then he would let a large scroll unravel.  I do have a few words to say too, but I don’t have a scroll…

Dad’s life began when his mom and dad, Frederick and Elizabeth got it together in 1926; Dad was then born on June 19, 1927.  Harry’s father was 60 years old when Harry was born. It is ironic that Dads passing and his father Frederick’s passing they were both 83 years of age, in the same month, March, within 10 days from each other. Dad moved to Canada in May of 1959. Harry is predeceased by his Mother, Elizabeth Stevens and his Father Frederick Stevens, both of London, England.  He is the last of 13 children. 

Harry was enlisted into the RASC, Royal Army Service Corp on Oct 28, 1944 serving in both Ireland and Egypt with three brothers and one sister in WWII.  He worked with the Winnipeg School Division for 30 years.  He is a long standing member of the Royal Canadian Legion for the past 32 years.  He loved being the Sergeant at Arms at the Legion and he was a great snooker player and enjoyed many hours playing snooker at the Legion.  He also loved his golf and was an avid player.  Mom and Dad have been the resident building managers at 45 Carlton Street for 46 years.

 Dad has always been there to assist, help and do whatever was needed for me.  His unwavering support has always been appreciated.  Dad enjoyed taking us all out for dinner on Saturday’s; his favorites were the Royal Fork, The Old Country Mill and Swiss Chalet.  In my younger day’s he allowed me to stay up past my bedtime on Sunday evenings to sit and watch the original Star Trek with him on TV.  He would go for a car ride each evening for an hour or so and would drive around city areas known for wildlife; he really enjoyed seeing the eagle at the Zoo and Deer within the Park as well as around Tuxedo Golf Course.  Dad also enjoyed stopping by the legion each day at noon-time for his scotch and ginger ale and a game of snooker or 9-ball.

 Dad fought a brave battle with his cancer, when he started feeling not so well in September I took over cleaning and washing the floors in our building as he felt at that time he didn’t have enough strength to continue.  Once he was finally diagnosed, he readily accepted his path and didn’t appear to fight it.  Last December he underwent one round of radiation in an effort to stop a stomach bleed he encountered, from then on food lost its flavor and he did not want to eat anything.  When it was time to admit him to Riverview for ongoing care, he didn’t resist, he realized what had to be done and agreed.  I am sure he had his fears and anxieties but he kept them well hidden.

 The week Dad passed, Tracy asked him who was in the room, he looked around and looked at Mom and said Vera, he looked at Tracy and said Tracy, Tracy pointed to me, he looked at me and said “Buffalo Bill”…I really don’t know where that came from, if it was his great sense of humor he was unable to smile to indicate so.  On his last day of life, Mom and I were at his bedside, Dad was unconscious as his breathing steadily slowed, to that final breath, I knew he has passed and was devastated inside…even when the end is expected you simply cannot plan how you will feel or react.  When you go from here today, reflect on all those you love and cherish.

Dad’s remains will be interred tomorrow, with family in attendance, in the Serenity Room across the hall in a glass enclosed niche for indoor viewing and visits in a warm environment all year round.

 I will close in saying, thank you to all of you for attending today, many of Dad’s friends have predeceased him, go in the comfort of knowing you have made his family very happy and we feel and share your thoughts, we accept your heartfelt condolences and more importantly Dad, Harry has brought some special joy into all of our life’s.

Dad was not a religious man, he told the Padre at Riverview Health Center that he felt when you passed on it was like a light switch being turned off, and you turn off the switch in your sleep and simply don’t wake up.  That’s not to say he may have not believed in God, therefore I conclude with this one simple saying…

 Jesus said;

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27

I love you always, you are always in my heart, and you will not be forgotten.

Rest in peace

Dear Uncle Steve -Always there for us -after the early death of dad (John Robert Beer) 1965. Gave me away at my wedding to Roger Galliford (1968) - another snooker partner! You and Vera there again for me and sister Christine and families after the unexpected death of mum Elizabeth (Betty) (1997). Although separated by distance you will always be part of us and Aunt Vera and Family will never be far from our thoughts. Love Always, Rita, Roger, John, Brett (Christine), Robert (Jenn & little Paisley Grace) Galliford Christine and Rod Robertson, Zoe (Marshall, Mitchell, Malcolm, Merrick) and Stewart Hall

- Posted by: Rita Galliford (Family) on: Apr 2, 2011

Harry was predeceased by his mother, Elizabeth and his father Frederick Stevens, both of London, England. He was the last of 13 children. Harry leaves to mourn his wife of 54 years, Vera Stevens. His son Larry Stevens (Ginnie) Jodie and Chloe in London, England, his son Mark Stevens, Samuel, Jordan, Chelsea and Tyler and his daughter Tracy Lebedeff (Dan) Megan.

 Harry was enlisted into the RASC, Royal Army Service Corp on October 28, 1944 serving in both Ireland and Egypt with three brothers and one sister during the Second World War. He worked with the Winnipeg School Division for 30 years. He was a long-standing member of the Royal Canadian Legion for the past 32 years. He loved being the Sergeant-of-Arms at the Legion and he was a great snooker player and enjoyed many hours playing at the Legion. He also loved his golf and was an avid player.