Forever in our hearts, Roger Lee Stevenson, 76, went to be with the Lord on July 5, 2023 surrounded by his loving family.
Roger was born January 11, 1947 to Frenton Gale Stevenson and Harriett Meyers Stevenson Bedinger in Breese, IL. Raised in Paris, IL, by his mother, he was active in Boy Scouts, basketball and football. He gained a love for agriculture by working on his uncle’s farm and showing prize-winning sheep. He attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL where he met and married the love of his life, Jean Ellen and recently celebrated 55 wonderful years together. He received a B.S. degree in Accounting and was a member of Beta Alpha Psi fraternity. He interned for Arthur Young and Company as an auditor/acquisition accountant specializing in agriculture and real estate which opened doors for him with a future in agriculture.
Small town living wasn’t an option, so they flipped a coin and landed in Phoenix, AZ where they had 3 children, LeAnne, Shawn and Tammi. In 1973, Roger was transferred to Missouri to work as the controller for Southwest Central Oil Company. Longing to return to Phoenix, he accepted a job with J.R. Norton Company in 1975. During his long and successful career at J.R. Norton Company, which spanned for nearly 50 years, Roger served as the Vice President where he was instrumental in the growth and development of the agricultural business. He truly enjoyed the agricultural aspect during those early years and looked fondly upon that time of his career as the most engaging and enjoyable. After the closure of J.R. Norton Company (1989-1990), Roger, John Norton and Owen Cotton formed Cotton, Norton, Stevenson Consulting, Inc. (“CNS”) to provide management and financial consulting services related to agribusiness, business restructures, negotiations, real estate acquisitions and sales. Roger continued with the Norton family helping to manage numerous business interests.
Through Roger’s affiliation with the Norton family and with the Norton Foundation from inception, he helped develop a philanthropy program for the community. Giving back to the community was a passion that he’s had throughout his life. Organizations that touched his heart were Andre House, where he also volunteered and managed over 100 volunteers, Bourgade Catholic High School Scholarship program, Christian Family Care, Child Crisis Center of Arizona, St. Mary’s Food Bank, Maggie’s Place, Neighborhood Christian Clinic, Rainbow Acres for disabled adults, UMOM New Day Centers, Grand Canyon Council (Boy Scouts of America), North Ridge Community Church and St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation. His heart desired a better life for single mothers and feeding the homeless because he saw his mother’s own struggles to raise him and his sister. He believed no one should ever have to go hungry.
Roger and Jean were strong believers and glorified the Lord by serving in many areas. They became members of North Ridge Community Church for over 20 years until their merger with Scottsdale Bible Church, to which they remain active members. Roger was an integral part of the children’s ministry pouring into the 2nd and 3rd grade boys for over 17 years, including his grandchildren. He also served as a small group leader, a facilitator and as an Elder Board Member.
Anyone who knew Roger, knew of his passion for Boy Scouts, hiking and adventure. For over 30 years he served the Grand Canyon Council, Boy Scouts of America as an adult leader, unit and district leader, executive boards, committee member and various officer positions. In 1990, he was awarded the highest award for his service to youth, The Silver Beaver Award. In 1988, he and Troop 109 was presented the Award of Merit by President Ronald Reagan after winning the “National Take Pride in America” competition, hosted by the U.S. Interior Department. His love for teaching young boys how to become well-rounded young men is what drew him to scouting and youth ministry.
Roger enjoyed his family time most in his life. He loved travel, adventure, the arts, volunteering, trying new restaurants, fine wine and a meal which wouldn’t be complete without dessert. Roger is survived by his loving wife, Jean Ellen; sisters: Sharon Hathaway, Sonja Clifton and Janel Bagby; children: LeAnne (Daniel) Torzala, Shawn (Morgan) Stevenson and Tammi Killingsworth all from Phoenix, AZ; grandchildren: Kaitlyn, Brandon and Logan Torzala, Quynton, Tyler, Trevor and Claire Stevenson, Garison and Nolan Killingsworth. He is preceded in death by his father, Frenton Stevenson; mother, Harriett Bedinger; stepfather, Herbert Bedinger; and brother, Michael Stevenson.
Memorial Service will be held on Friday, July 28, 2023 at 2pm at North Ridge Church, 6363 E. Dynamite Blvd, Cave Creek, AZ.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Andre House (