Richard H Stephens, age 70, died peacefully at the Village Health Care Center in Missoula, MT, On Jan 14, 2020, twenty months after having suffered a massive, debilitating stroke.
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Born in Great Falls, Mt, he spent most of his adult life in Missoula. He graduated from the University of Montana He lettered in swimming while in college. He served in the US Navy, on the aircraft carrier Constellation, during the Vietnam war.
Rick was a man of many talents, holding a wide variety of jobs. He owned New Era Bicycles in Missoula. He was the Missoula downtown ambassador for several years and was a friend of the Missoula Carousel. He delivered mail at the University of Montana. He served on the East Missoula Sewer Board. He was a biking enthusiast. He was a Montana man, a free spirit with a wide variety of interests in life. He was always ready to help anyone in need even if that meant sharing his home with them. He excelled at being kind to all. He was always full of good ideas. He loved to tell stories and he told many!
Rick was an avid shopper. He always found just the right gifts for people. His nieces and nephew received such things as a unicycle, ventriloquist dolls, a wooden teepee and a tumbling mat that was far too large for any normal house. All were appreciated with smiles and good humor and usually put to good use.
During one family vacation on a cruise ship, Rick brought wonderful kites to fly off of the back of the cruise ship with his nieces and nephew and brought a top hat for the formal dinners. Always creative. Always caring.
His niece Sara said sincerely, “Rick was the fun uncle that every kid wants to have and we were lucky enough to have him for ours.”
His nephew Scott said, “Rick was a unique individual; completely unbelievable at times with his prolific stories, yet authentic in his love for everyone in his life.”
Rick was preceded in death by his mother Jean Stephens and his father Ben Stephens. He is survived by his sister Sara Stephens ( Brad Willis), South Padre Island, TX, brother Ben Stephens ( Mary) of Hastings MN, and treasured nieces and nephew Kim, Sara, and Scott.
Interment with military honors will be held in the spring.
Family and close friends are so appreciative of the care received at The Village Health Care Center. We are all grateful for the people who gathered around Rick in the last 20 months and offered their steadfast love.