Charles Lee Stevens, 77

Charles Lee Stevens passed away on February 19, 2024. He was born June 22, 1946 in Great Bend, Kansas, to Kathryn Elizabeth (Rychlec) and Lee William Stevens. He was raised in Heizer, Kansas, where they maintained the family farm and raised sheep. Charlie attended elementary school at Heizer until 1958 then moved to the Catholic Junior High School in Great Bend. He graduated from Great Bend High School in 1964 and went on to attend Emporia State University for one year and Pratt Junior College for one year before joining the United States Air Force in 1966. He spent some of his four year service time in Korea, Peru, Greenland as well as at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. He was in Communications.
Upon returning home from the Air Force in 1970, he attended Fort Hays State University where he received his BA in Sculpture and, in 1975, his MFA in Sculpture. His first teaching job was at Waconda School District #272 in the fall of 1975 where he remained as the Art Teacher for 31 years. He mainly taught high school art but also spent some years teaching middle school and elementary art. He was also track coach at Cawker City High School for 25 years.
Charlie was a 50-year member of the Kansas Bowhunters Association and held various positions on the Executive Council in addition to serving terms as Vice President and President. He also taught Hunter Safety and Bowhunter Education classes. He won Bowhunter of the Year in 1984, the highest honor bestowed on any member.
Charlie was a traditional Bowhunter making his own bows, arrows, arrowheads, and quivers as well as teaching many fellow hunters these crafts. Charlie harvested deer, black bear, caribou, antelope, javelina and wild boar with his handmade traditional equipment. He made expeditions to Texas, Alaska, Colorado, and Wyoming as well as in Kansas. He got his caribou in Alaska in the Arctic Circle, which earned him a fully accredited lifetime membership in the Arctic Circle Club.
In retirement, Charlie spent most of his time on his 160-acre farm where he practiced his first love of wildlife management, creating a sanctuary for area Whitetail Deer, pheasants, quail, Bald Eagles and various small game. In 2002, he was awarded the Kansas State Department of Wildlife and Parks Conservation Award for the work he had done on his property.
Charlie was elected to the Downs City Council in 2015 and served on the Council from January, 2016 through January, 2024. He found the process very interesting and felt very honored to have served his community.
Charlie is survived by his wife of 47 years (married July 11, 1977), Barbara Jo Converse Stevens, Downs, and his two sons, Joshua Brant Converse Stevens, Downs, and Seth Lee Converse Stevens (Bethany Dicks), Topeka, and five grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life will be at the Memorial Hall in Downs, Kansas, at 1 p.m. on Monday, February 26, 2024. Scattering of ashes will occur at a private ceremony on the family farm in Osborne County Kansas at a later date.
Memorials may be made to Kansas Bowhunters Association.
Arrangements entrusted to Schoen Funeral Home and Monuments, 1001 Morgan Ave., Downs, KS 67437.
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