Obituary for Rev David A Stevens
Reverend David (Dave) Arthur Stevens was born March 1, 1936 in Fairmont, WV, the youngest of three sons of Julia (Currier) Stevens and Dr. Amos H. Stevens. When he was three years old his father died and the family moved to Tarpon Springs, Florida to live with his maternal grandmother in her winter home. Summers were spent in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. He enjoyed playing baseball, watching plays and movies, and swimming. Blessed with a beautiful singing voice, he enjoyed singing in church and glee club. Orphaned at thirteen when his mother, grandmother and three aunts died in one of the most horrendous car accidents in Florida history, he moved up north to live with various relatives, graduating from Cambridge High and Latin School in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1954. He studied English and Drama at Tufts University where he was president of Pen, Paint and Pretzels honorary drama society in his senior year.
David earned a Master of Divinity degree from Hartford Theological Seminary in 1961 and a Master of Religious Education and Drama from Union Seminary in 1964. He was ordained an Elder in the New York East Conference in 1962. He served churches in Wethersfield, CT, (1960), in Brooklyn at Fisherman’s (1961-1968) and at Greene Avenue and Knickerbocker Avenue (1968-1970), in Stamford, Ct (1970-1973), in Port Ewen, Esopus, and Rifton NY (1976-1980), Seymour, CT (1980-1984), Bellmore, NY (1984-1985), and in Glendale, NY from 1991 until his retirement in 2006. During his years in Brooklyn he produced and directed several dramas and musicals at the New York East Conference sessions. Funded by the “War on Poverty” he formed a teenage drama repertory team of fifty Brooklyn teenagers who performed plays and musicals in churches. He served as Chairman of the Brooklyn Methodist Ministers Fellowship. Two weeks after his arrival in Port Ewen, an arsonist burned the church to the ground, Miraculously, his ordination certificate survived the fire with only scorch marks. David rallied the congregation and led them through the fund-raising and rebuilding of the church. His beautiful singing voice added greatly to the choirs of his churches and he often sang solo. He had a soft, gentle speaking voice but when he sang he belted out the hymns, no need for a microphone. His last and longest appointment was to the United Methodist Church of Glendale. During his time in Glendale he founded the Jubilee Cluster United Methodist Players, an ongoing musical repertory theater group of youth and adults for the area’s United Methodist churches. Lay leaders of the Glendale church remember David as a “Healing Presence” in their church. He came to Glendale and healed a broken, hurting church. They also remember how inclusive he was in his ministry, always accepting people as they are and welcoming everyone. He was a generous and giving person, patient, kind and gentle, with a steady, calming, comforting presence. He was unfailingly hopeful and optimistic both in his role as pastor and while dealing with all his difficult medical problems.
David was an avid Kiwanian, having been a member of Kiwanis in Brooklyn, Glendale and Port Washington, NY. He served as chaplain in all three clubs. .
David is survived by his wife, Marilyn L. Miller. They were married on January 28, 1989 at the Port Washington, NY United Methodist Church. David and Marilyn lived in Port Washington after their marriage. Marilyn was constantly by his side lovingly advocating for him through his many illnesses. He is also survived by his son, Mark, daughter-in-law, Gina, and grandsons, Nicholas (Natasha) and Hunter (Sarah Brady) Stevens. He was predeceased by his brothers, George A. Stevens and Reverend Edward A. Stevens and his nephew Charles Stevens.
David died on July 26, 2017 at Northwell Hospital in Manhasset, NY with his wife, Marilyn, at his side. He appeared to be having one of his many bouts of sepsis upon arrival at the hospital but did not respond to sepsis treatment and, after several days on a ventilator, he suffered multi-organ failure and died. The doctors treating him concluded that complications resulting from the treatment he received for his hereditary prostate cancer caused his death. Viewing will be on Monday, July 31, 2017 at the Schwille Funeral Home, 6632 Myrtle Avenue, Glendale, NY 11385 from 2PM to 5PM and 7PM to 9PM with a wake service at 7:30 PM. A memorial service will be held at the Glendale Maspeth United Methodist Church, 66-14 Central Avenue, Glendale, NY 11385 at 10 AM on Sunday, August 13. David will be buried in his family plot in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Arlington, Massachusetts. Memorial donations to Glendale Maspeth United Methodist Church Memorial Fund.