It is with terrible grief that the family of Bruce Urban Stevens and Linda Louise Moran Rasmussen Stevens announce that the lives of these two inspiring souls were cut short tragically on March 17, 2010 in Texas. Bruce and Linda were champions of the poverty stricken, foster parents, spiritual lights to the needy, legal help to the poor and much, much more to the community of Mustang, Oklahoma. They not only followed the teachings of Jesus but tried as much as possible to live by his example and minister to the poor and at-risk wherever they were. They were parents to some, grandparents to many others, but most important they were parents to a vast extended family of people in trouble (not to mention to a few needy dogs). Their influence was widespread and they touched innumerable lives with Linda’s law practice, with Bruce and Linda’s shared financial planning and tax preparation business and most important to them, through their ceaseless work for their church.
Linda was born Aug. 25, 1948 to Ross and Eleanor Moran in Wichita, Kan. and had two younger siblings, Randall and Susan. She was a 1966 graduate of John Marshall High School in Oklahoma City. She pursued 23-year career with the Internal Revenue Service while raising two children, Eric Rasmussen and Lori Rasmussen-Miller, by first husband Daniel Rasmussen. In 1992, Linda’s life was rejuvenated with her marriage to Bruce. The two melded their hearts and blended their two families, embarking on a new journey and becoming pillars of the Mustang community. Linda retired early from the IRS, switched careers and completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Central Oklahoma in 1997 and then followed that up with a juris doctor degree at Oklahoma City University in 2000. She had since then focused on family law, bankruptcy law and estate planning, helping people who were in dire straits on one hand, but perhaps also occasionally bringing joy to adopting parents on the other. It was not uncommon for strangers to walk the hallways of her house, people who might have otherwise been placed in shelters. Linda put personal pain and turmoil in her life behind her and used those experiences to become one of the most compassionate people anyone would ever meet. She had a boundless faith in people to reach their potential and she saw the good in everybody and everything (perhaps even in stray dogs that might be eating her furniture). One of Linda’s many passions in life was music. She was active in church choir for many years. She had the voice of an angel and liked to sing harmony. Her personal relationship with the Lord was evident in all that she did. Her plan was to never retire and to work to age 100. She always tucked in her grandchildren and said prayers to them. She was preceded in death by her mother, Eleanor Coplin Moran.
Bruce Stevens was born Aug. 27, 1937 in Yankton, SD to parents Howard and Lillian Stevens and early in his life moved to Nebraska, graduating high school in Norfolk in 1955. His siblings were William and Richard and his sister Elaine. He served as an officer in the United States Air Force and earned several degrees, including a Bachelor of Divinity from Nebraska Wesleyan University, a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Nebraska University in Lincoln, a master’s in electrical engineering from Kansas University, and a master’s in Divinity from Oklahoma City University in 1993. By his first wife, Darlene Hamberger, he had two sons, William Stevens and James Stevens. For 24 years, Bruce worked at Southwestern Bell as an electrical engineer before retiring. He was an active leader in the Mustang United Methodist Church for 41 years and was a diaconal minister, as well as a Boy Scout troop leader for several years, and he greatly enjoyed camping and fishing.
Bruce had a voracious appetite for learning and boundless curiosity about the sciences and the natural world. He could pick up almost any book on any difficult scientific topic and breeze through it, and he could make or fix almost anything mechanical or electrical. His house is a testament to his ingenuity and inventiveness, filled with items he repaired or jury rigged, and he was so frugal that he would rather breathe new life into an old machine rather than get rid of it, and build a wall of pennies rather than throw them away. As he and Linda built their practice, he deployed his great mind to the new realm of financial services, obtaining licenses to work with securities. He was predeceased by his parents, his first wife Darlene and his son James.
Linda and Bruce are also survived by Linda’s father Ross Moran and stepmother Jean. They are also survived by son William Stevens and his wife Kathy, daughter Lori Rasmussen-Miller and her husband Greg, Eric Rasmussen and his wife Stephanie Faith Scott, as well as by James’ widow Terrie. They are survived by their grandchildren Megan White, Sarah Stevens, Colin Miller and Sophie Miller and by their great grandchildren Bryson and Lyla White, as well as her beloved foster children Candice and Charisma Carroll.
Services for Linda and Bruce will be held Friday, March 26 at 2 p.m. at Mustang United Methodist Church. Memorial contributions may be made to Mustang United Methodist or Ronald McDonald House Charities.
This obituary is also posted on The Mustang News Web site.