Longtime Estacada resident, Del Stevens, died suddenly at his home on Monday, December 18, 2023. He was 79.
Delmar Samuel Stevens was born May 16, 1944 in Portland, Oregon to Loris and Marie (Reems) Stevens. He was raised in Portland where he graduated from Franklin High School. He attended Portland State University where he received his bachelor’s degree in history and education. Del worked for the railroad and was a substitute History teacher when a friend suggested they apply for the Portland Fire Department. Del passed the test, and a long fulfilling career began. He loved working for the Portland Fire Bureau and developed friendships that lasted a lifetime. He started as a firefighter, became an arson investigator, and quickly climbed the ranks finishing his career as Deputy Chief at Station 1 after 34 years of service. Del was known to many as the “Firefighter’s Chief” because he never stopped working alongside his fellow firefighters. He refused to consider himself to be above them, instead he mentored, trained, and fought alongside them. He will be remembered for his courage, strength, and kindness from everyone that had the privilege to work with him. After retirement, he went on to be President of the board of the Portland Retired Firefighters.
Del was also an avid bowhunter and outdoorsman. He was a member of the Northwest Bowhunters and Northwest Steelheaders. He loved being outdoors and took every opportunity he could. After retirement he spent most of his days working on his property. He enjoyed having friends and family visit and giving them tours of the property and sending them home with cherries, blueberries, and apples. He loved visiting with people and making friends. He enjoyed pranks and never missed an opportunity to make someone laugh. His sense of humor was one of a kind and something his family and friends will remember dearly. Del had a passion for the Stevens family history and their legacy. The Stevens Family has one of the longest running family reunions since 1891 when they settled in Oregon. Learning about his family’s journey across the Oregon trail was something Del always enjoyed and it was incredibly important to him that his family continue the traditions. His greatest joy was his family. He was patient, kind, goofy, and playful with his grandkids. They loved their Papa! Del was always helping neighbors too. He often had his chainsaw and tractor at a neighboring house, doing what needed to get done. During the 2020 wildfires, Del stayed behind and refused to leave. He put out hot spots all around his home and property. He was brave to a fault but saved his home from destruction. His courage was unparalleled and his family will never forget his incredible strength. He also passed on the legacy of firefighting to his son, Brian, who is a Portland firefighter and his grandson, Isaac Stevens, who is a firefighter and EMT with Cloverdale Fire Department.
Del is survived by his eternal love, Maureen Stevens; daughter, Keli Stevens; son, Brian Stevens; daughter, Mia (Stevens) Carney; sister, Dorene Stevens and nephew, Luc Schuette and his 10 grandchildren.