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Dean Ornell Stevenson

Dean Ornell Stevenson passed away peacefully at home on January 11th, 2022.

Dean Ornell Stevenson was born on May 12th, 1931, to Cleon Stevenson and Jewell Tuttle Stevenson. Dean Stevenson grew up on a farm in southern Illinois and attended a one-room schoolhouse in the small town of Marissa. He was president of his high school's Future Farmers of America chapter. Dean moved to Michigan in the early 1950's to work in the car industry. He was an afternoon shift grinding machine operator, making valve springs for the Big Three car makers. Later, he would run that factory and later he was promoted to a Regional Manager and transferred to Dallas, TX. From there, he was moved to their corporate HQ in CT and ran first their International Division, then their Aerospace and Aeronautics division. He enjoyed sharing stories of his travels around the world on the private company jet, starting up, buying, and selling factories in Asia, Europe, and Central and South America. He returned to Texas when he retired and ran an expansive antique furniture business in multiple locations and wound it down when he was 89. Dean had an incredible ability to figure things out. To supplement his factory income, and with no prior experience he started a plumbing business, working both jobs, with Douglas and Tom always by his side as his coworkers. Later, Dean bought land in the country and gave up plumbing in favor of overhauling, painting, and restoring vintage Ford 8N tractors. Dean and his sons spent countless hours driving through Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana scouting old tractors, and by his count they bought, completely restored, and sold 134 Ford tractors over the years. Number #135 was in process in his Texas garage at the time of his passing. He and his sons built two houses on their farm themselves, and restored and flipped another, in between overhauling tractor engines and fixing cars.
Dean is survived by his siblings Joanne and husband Elmer Dean Sauerwein, Lloyd Stevenson and wife Helga, Dennis Stevenson and wife Susie; children Douglas Stevenson and wife Bernadine Baisch, Thomas Stevenson and wife Rene, Renee Stevenson, Scott Stevenson, Christopher Stevenson and wife Liana, Dru Stevenson and wife Mary Beth, Andrea and husband Joe Davis; grandchildren Colette and husband Toby Gee, Cullen and wife Kara Miyasato, Edward, Helena, Sadie, Clara, Carver, Josiah, David, Becky, Jonathan, Gideon, Marissa; and great-grandchild Kaito. Dean is preceded in death by his parents Cleon and Jewell (Tuttle) Stevenson and his sibling Loren Stevenson.

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I recently sent an email to Dean, and since I did not get a reply, I searched for an obituary. I am very sorry to learn that my friend passed. We grew up together in Marissa, Illinois, going through high school together and having sleep overs sometimes because his farm was way out in the country. when we had a n event at the school. My wife and I were very happy to connect with him when we, too, moved to Michigan in 1956 and found that he was plant manager at Associated Spring in Ann Arbor.. His plant was next door to the Michigan football stadium, and we partied in his office before the games. I knew his father Cleon quite well, and Cleon got Dean and me jobs in the farm implement business where he worked. Dean even got my son a job for the summer in his plant. Dean attended our high school reunion in Marissa. I feel a great loss now that I learn he is gone. Jack Beggs 248-960-3974

Jack Beggs Feb 10 2022 5:24 PM

Sorry to hear about Dean's passing. I worked for him for 25 years in the antique business. He was smart and a good person to work for.

Dana Greer Jan 23 2022 2:50 PM

May the Lord encourage your hearts thru this difficult time and may the entire family be blessed with the comfort and hope found in the Lord Jesus Christ.

David Moskos and Lisa Boice Jan 17 2022 6:25 PM

My deepest condolences for your loss. What a fantastic guy and a wonderful life to celebrate. He'll be missed.

Preston Juvenal Jan 13 2022 12:12 PM