I was baptized at St. Patrick’s Church in Lebanon, WI. The first nine years of my life were spent living on the Tom O’Brien farm in the Town of Lebanon in Waupaca County. We moved back and forth from New London, the farm, and then to Oshkosh until around 1941. When World War II broke out, Uncle Bob O’Brien asked my father, Kenneth Stevens and my mother, Lucille O’Brien Stevens to move back to the family farm to help run it until my uncle Joe O’Brien returned from the war. While living on the farm I attended the Consolidated School, the school my grandfather helped organize, where I spent five years. After the war, the family moved to the Tom Devine home, ¼ mile south of the Tom O’Brien farm. At that time, I attended Most Precious Blood School in New London, where I graduated eighth grade. We then moved into Manawa and I spent the next four years at Little Wolf High.
It was there that I first met my beautiful wife of 61+ years, Betty Lamkins. Betty and I married on June 25, 1955 at Sacred Heart Church in Manawa, and moved to Lanark, Illinois.
Our first child, Sharon Ann, was born there in Lanark, Illinois. She is the wife of Mark Ganser. Sharon and Mark have three daughters and five grandsons.
Our second child, Brian Lee, was born in Waupaca after we moved back to Wisconsin. He is married to Cindy Smith. Brian and Cindy have two daughters and one son.
Our third child, Christine Louise, was born in Appleton. She is married to Michael Autenrieth,. Chris and Mike have two sons, one daughter, and three grandchildren.
Our fourth child, Timothy John, was born in Appleton. He is married to Michelle Janssen. Tim has one son. Tim and Michelle have one daughter. They have one granddaughter.
Our fifth child, Constance Jane, was born in Appleton. She is married to Daniel Ruetten. Connie and Dan have two daughters.
Our sixth child, Patricia, was born in Appleton. She is married to Dean Tenor. Patti and Dean have one son and one daughter.
I wish to thank the ongoing care that has been given to us for the past two years from the nurses and staff at Bellin Cancer Center, St Vincent/Francis Hospital, and Unity Hospice. I will not try to name them all. Thank God, and all of you for my care. And, thank you to the love of my life for putting up with me for over 61 years.
The preceding was written by Lee. Betty and family would like to include:
Lee died peacefully at home surrounded by his family; after fighting Acute Myeloid Leukemia for two years.
Lee joins his mother Lucille (O’Brien), father Kenneth Stevens, brother Dick, sisters, Carol Penkala and Kay Surprise, nephew (Dick’s son) Mark Mielke, parents in-law, Blanche (McKay) and Lowell Lamkins, bothers-in-law, Stan Penkala and Mick Toseff. Lee is survived by his sister Lynne Toseff, wife Betty (Lamkins), four daughters, two sons, 15 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and countless nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Lee lived with his Aunt Janice and Uncle Cal in Lanark, Illinois from 1954-1956 where he worked for his uncle Cal Cheek at a lumber yard Cal managed. It was here that Lee began learning the building and construction trade. After Lee and Betty were married, they lived there until they moved their small family back to Wisconsin, settling in King on the Chain of Lakes. While in King, Lee also began selling Knights of Columbus insurance for his uncle Bob. In 1957 Lee and Betty’s expanding family moved to Appleton. The Lee Stevens family grew to six children and lived in four different homes while in Appleton. At one point, Lee took a third job as a night watchman for a local paper company. Lee worked for Prestige Builders/Central Builder’s Supply from 1963 to 1977. The family of eight moved to Green Bay in the winter of 1967. Lee began self-employment in 1979. Lee Stevens Construction worked on projects for Wisconsin Public Service, Packer Hall of Fame, WLUK–TV, and many building projects in the Green Bay area and greater Wisconsin, Canada, Alaska, Minnesota, and anywhere someone needed help with a project. Lee loved new adventures and took the road less travelled; be it thumb, motorcycle, tractor, motorhome, truck, van, plane, raft, sailboat, or fishing boat – searching for the elusive waterfall, pancake breakfast, or ice cream stand. Lee had many interests; from fishing and hunting, to tinkering with photography, family history, electronics, and computers. But most of all, Lee loved spending time with his family.
Keep the cribbage game going. Find the best “hardware stores”. Rest in peace Dad.
The Funeral Mass for Lee will be held on Monday, May 15, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Manawa (614 S. Bridge St.) with Fr. Charlie Hoffman officiating. Burial will be in the parish cemetery in the Town of Little Wolf. A visitation for Lee will be held at the church on Monday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of the service. If you would like to make a donation in Lee’s memory, please consider the Knights of Columbus, American Cancer Society, or Unity Hospice @ www.unityhospice.org