Neil E. Stevens

October 31, 1929May 3, 2019

Neil E. Stevens, 89, of West Des Moines, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Friday, May 3, 2019 at Rowley Masonic Community in Perry, Iowa. Neil was born on October 31, 1929 in Hewitt, Minnesota to Ervin and Marie (Tawlks) Stevens. He married Shirley Gill on May 13, 1950, and together they raised 10 children.

His fondest memories growing up were playing hockey with friends on the pond in Brainard, MN, sledding, skiing, fishing, and being the marble champion at the age of 10. Neil’s earliest ambition was to be an archaeologist, but his mom said that was a problem because he did not know one rock from another. His proudest family moments were watching his brother graduate with a doctorate degree in pathology from the University of Minnesota, and watching his grandson, Jasen, play hockey on a championship team. In his pastime, Neil enjoyed listening to music, classical and Johnny Cash, watching movies and reading books. What truly made Neil smile was watching his grandchildren grow up.

Neil was survived by his wife of 68 years, Shirley; Left behind to cherish his memory are 10 children, 23 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren: son, Mark (Joan) Stevens, grandchildren, Jennifer (Tom) Huston, Jacque (David) Brisson, Janell (Nicholas) Peterson, and Joanna Stevens, and great-grandchildren, Redican and Rory Huston, Eluse and Chole Brisson, and Hudson and Hazel Peterson; daughter, Lynn Stevens, grandchildren, Marie Campbell, Tegan (Dori) Campbell, and Erin (Peter) Walker, and great-grandchildren, Darnell and Denvon Brown, Zoe and Declan Campbell, and Letti and Quinn Walker; daughter, Paula Connolly (Duane Miller), grandchildren, Lindsey Weiman, Nicholas (Justine) Connolly, Danielle (Matt) Connolly, and Arron Connolly, and great-grandchild, Norah Hoger; daughter, Sharon Stevens; son, John Stevens; son, Greg Stevens, grandchildren, Ben, Barton, and Brandon Brasham, and Jared Stevens; son, Rick Stevens; daughter, Laurie (Jeff) Hammer, grandchildren, Jasen and Ashlee Hammer; daughter, Jaymie Stevens (Dayne Gilbert),and grandchildren, Austin and Evan Gilbert; and daughter, Patricia (Patrick) Williams, grandchildren, Katelyn (Rian) Moe, Jermy, Samantha, and Ethan Williams, and grandchild, Mia Moe. Neil also leaves behind his siblings, Jerry Stevens, Lillian Stevens-Beck, Elvin Stevens, and Orpha Stevens and was preceded in death by his parents. Shirley also leaves behind her sibling, Charles Gill and was preceded in death by her parents, and brother, John Gill.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be directed to the Basilica of St. John, the Food Bank of Iowa Des Moines Chapter, the American Heart Association, or St. Croix Hospice.


  • David Brisson
  • Mark Stevens
  • Rick Stevens
  • Jeff Hammer
  • Nicholas Connolly
  • Patrick Williams
  • Duane Miller


  • Visitation Sunday, May 12, 2019
  • Funeral Mass Monday, May 13, 2019


Neil E. Stevens

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Laurie Hammer

May 7, 2019

My favorite memory of my father was watching him with his grandchildren. When they were babies he was the only one that could get them to stop crying. He would snuggle them up on his shoulder, rub their backs and walked them around the house. Each and every one of them would fall asleep wrapped in their grandpa's loving arms.

I am thankful that I was able to spend the last five years taking care of you. The time we spent together will always be our special time together. I love you so much. Rest In Peace 💕