Cliff Stevens passed over Tuesday, July 30, 2019, in Bremerton, Wash., where he and his wife and soul mate, Anne, had spent their 34 years owning a residence and spending time and traveling for employment and/or business in Alaska, Wyoming, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and North Dakota, as work or business demanded. He had also spent varied periods of time working in California and Virginia on assignment during his tenure with the government at the U.S. Naval Shipyard in Bremerton.
Cliff was born March 20, 1951, at the Cottonwood hospital to Joseph and Juanita Stevens, who resided at Winchester, where Cliff spent the first 14 years of his life until his family relocated to Moscow due to the Boise Cascade mill closure at Winchester. From Moscow to Omak, Wash., he moved with his parents until they settled in Grand Coulee, Wash., and he graduated from Grand Coulee High School in 1969. Cliff spent summers working for an uncle in Nezperce from 1962 until fall of 1968 on a wheat ranch there, working for other area farmers and ranchers during slow periods in that area as well. During his time in Grand Coulee and Electric City, Wash., he also worked for Boll’s Union 76 Service Station, Leopp’s Furniture and Appliance, 3-H Homes and became a grocery man for Safeway, working there after school, late shifts and on weekends.
While at Grand Coulee, Cliff and Sandra L. Brandt were married in 1968. After graduation, they moved to Bremerton, where Cliff graduated from a machinist and machinist marine apprenticeship in 1973 at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. During this period, they welcomed two sons proudly into their life, Michael F. (1969) and Nicholas B. (1972).
In 1975, Cliff and the family relocated to Waitsburg, Wash., and Walla Walla to work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the Snake River at hydroelectric projects Little Goose and Lower Granite Lock and Dam as a power plant mechanic and working foreman until 1982. This also brought residence in Lewiston, Clarkston and Asotin. Cliff and Sandra divorced in 1984. He returned to the Puget Sound area in 1983 and worked at Sub Base Bangor as a machinist marine on trident submarines and at the repair shop until 1988.
In 1984, Cliff found his soul mate, love and best friend with Anne Ellcey-Risley and they were married in December of that year, remaining so until Cliff’s death.
By 1985, he had, along with others, formed Northwest Land/Oil with wells and land in Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming, which he left to lead full time in 1988. Because of a huge drop in oil prices, he began working at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard again as a marine machinist, working in the U.S. Navy Nuclear Field, and finally retiring early from government service in 1997 due to physical limitations on use of his arms and hands, with another crude oil organization he began in 1991 with wells in Wyoming predominantly awaiting his attention. During this time, he also worked at growing poplar trees for saw logs and at one time had more than 4,000 irrigated acres.
In 2001, he returned to work in a remote Alaska hydroelectric plant as an operator and mechanic until 2004, when he transferred to PacifiCorp at locations both on the Umpqua River and Rogue River in southwest Oregon over the next six years. He sold the Wyoming Crude Oil business in 2006. In 2010, he returned to eastern Washington, working hydroelectric, where his fight with cancer most likely began taking a toll in 2011, after tracing conditions and ailments when he was diagnosed with the first of four different cancers in 2016.
In 2013, he was discharged (for reasons attributable to the cancer(s) known now) from a small utility company and returned to Bremerton to have his battle with the cancers (industrial induced) with two definitely terminally diagnosed finally in 2016. He always loved the work he was doing, taking pride and joy in such, as well as the areas in which he lived and worked. There were, of course, a few good people encountered, many with whom he had long friendships with spanning 49 years and with childhood friends longer than that.
The Camas Prairie, Craig Mountain, Quad Cities and Idaho were always home to Cliff, with many fond memories, remembered often. Actually, the Inland Empire was host to him, his family and numerous relatives over his lifetime with many good friends there as well. Family on both sides were pioneers in these areas. Idaho and the Lewiston-Craig Mountain area, Cherry Lane, Sweetwater, Forrest, Winchester, Craigmont, Westlake, Woodside, Culdesac, Juliaetta, Grangeville, Kamiah were the places he considered home. This is the area he always considered home and his favorite place on Earth, though liking all areas where he had worked and lived over the years. Wyoming and South Dakota came after that.
Cliff loved fishing, boats, fast cars and airplanes. He obtained his private pilot license in 1973 and flew actively until the late ’90s. His love for equipment operation began on the farms with tractors, large articulated tractors, crawlers, swathers, combines, continued in the shipyards with heavy fork lifts, man lifts, extended lifts and continued with hydroelectric work 15Ton, 25T, 40T, mobile cranes, 15T, 50T, 100T and 600 Ton Gantry, and while working hydro at a remote location, Cat 980D loader, Champion 720 Road Grader, Cat IT-12 Loader, Skid Steers, Sno-Cat (FMC1500), Case Back Hoe, line truck and others.
Cliff leaves the love of his life and best friend and wife of 34 years, “Rose Anne;” his son, Nicholas (Anna); a stepdaughter, Christie Wood (Bob); a stepson, Allen Risley (Laura); a sister, Bernice Zachau (Jim); a brother, Danny Stevens; three grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his mother in 2008 and his father in 2015; his son, Michael, in 1988; as well as grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, father-in-law, brother in-law and sister in-law.
Cliff will be laid to rest at 10 a.m. Saturday at Normal Hill Cemetery in Lewiston next to his eldest son, and many relatives (grandparents, great grandparents, etc.) in accordance with his wishes. His parents are interred in Coeur d’ Alene, with many relatives there, Spokane, Elk, one, Metalline Falls, Wash., as well as across the Camas Prairie i.e. Morrowtown, Westlake, Woodside, Craigmont.