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Leon M. Stevens of Ashtabula died peacefully, surrounded by his family, on January 9, 2024, at the age of 81. Leon is survived by his wife, Patricia Stevens of Ashtabula; daughters, Kellie (Matt) Butler and Shannon Stevens of Ashtabula; brothers, Dennis Stevens (Betty) of Concord and Gordon Stevens of Conneaut; and granddogs, Sage and Ivy. He was also an important part of the lives of exchange students Yukari Sumita and Taro Hikota of Tokyo, Japan, Gabriele (Nicol) Bellavite of Milan, Italy, as well as their children. He was preceded in death by his father, Joel Stevens of Albion, PA; his mother and stepfather, Dorothy and Leroy Stevens of Conneaut; and his two granddogs, Tiki and Tequila.
Despite Leon's experiences of early childhood trauma and loss, he became an accomplished artist and trumpet player. He served in the United States Navy for two years and spent four years in the Reserve. He was stationed aboard the USS Fort Mandan as a signalman. While in the Navy, he traveled throughout the Mediterranean and appeared in the film The Longest Day.
Back in Ohio, Leon worked in management at McDonald's and then began his eventual 30-year career at Reliance Electric. During a plant layoff in the 1970s, he picked up bartending jobs and made many friends, including the love of his life, Patricia. They married on October 6, 1973 and moved to Ashtabula in 1979. He then returned to school at Kent State University and received a CNC Lathe Operator certification.
In his personal life, Leon was a Deacon at Prospect Presbyterian Church. He was a reluctant animal enthusiast who was loved deeply by every pet in the household. Leon worked hard, but also enjoyed teaching his children how to ride bikes, drive cars, and create art. He traveled frequently with his family and spent endless hours at softball games and plays. He loved horror movies and wrestling shows, and was an excellent cook, including his famous bean soup. Leon also aspired to eat the largest steak on any menu. He loved reading newspapers and watching football and baseball. He also loved art, labor unions, history and politics and was proud of volunteering on both the 2008 and 2012 Obama campaigns.
Although he suffered from physical and emotional pain throughout his life, Leon often demonstrated great resiliency and passed this on to his family and friends. He was known for his intelligence and wry sense of humor. Leon never failed to make everyone around him laugh, even in his final days. He had many who helped in his darkest times and did the same for others when he was able. He will be dearly missed.
Funeral service will be held 12:00 Noon on Wednesday January 17, 2024 at the Marcy Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 208 Liberty St., where the family will receive friends from 11:00 AM until time of service at the funeral home.
Burial will follow in Greenlawn Memory Gardens, North Kingsville, where military honors will be conducted by Conneaut American Legion Cowle Post 151.
Please light a candle or share a memory of Leon at www.marcyfuneralhome.com