Russell founded Stevens Tractor Company, served people faithfully, fought the good fight, and is now walking the streets of gold with his Savior and Lord, King Jesus. He was born in Vivian Louisiana in 1943. The family moved to Snyder Texas in the mid 50’s where he graduated from Snyder High School in 1961. He moved back to Louisiana and attended Northwestern State University, studied and taught industrial arts, but earned a history/teaching degree in history in 1965. He was a patriot, who served our country in the Army National Guard from 1966 to 1972 earning a sharpshooter badge.
Though he did not actively pursue a teaching position he worked for a little while at the Sunbeam plant in Coushatta where he met his wife of 53 years. Russell and Linda were married in March of 1967. In 1968, the first child was born, William “Billy” Robert Stevens. In 1970, the last child was born whom he named Tanya Renee.
Russell began selling insurance for Aetna, then later took a salesman position with Playtex Corporation. Playtex was a company that sold women’s undergarments such as bras and panties. His sales territory included Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and parts of Mississippi & Missouri. While on his travels he would see tractors for sale on the roadsides. He would purchase these tractors, bring them back and with the help of friends, such as Gerald “Tucky” Jones, work on and put them up for sale. In 1976 he started Stevens Tractor in a small tin building on highway 71. He continued to work for Playtex even while the tractor business was going. Eventually he left Playtex as the tractor business began to grow.
Later in the 1980’s the tractor company built a bigger store, still on highway 71. In 2006, Russell retired from the business. He later enjoyed woodworking, tinkering with old cars, trucks and tractors with good friends. He attended numerous car shows winning several trophies.
If anyone were to ask Russell how he did all of it or that he was a self made man, he would tell you really quick “the only reason he was where he was at was because of God”. He had a strong faith in God. Russell accepted Jesus as his savior at an early age in life. He wanted others to know Jesus as their Savior and Lord as well. He served in the church as a teacher for many years. He also believed in prayer. He served the least of these and enjoyed going to the nursing home and praying with those there and to other shut-ins. Visiting people in the hospital and praying with them. He didn’t just read his Bible, he studied it, and he didn’t just pray, he had a relationship with Jesus.
The legacy that Russell leaves behind is one of a father that prayed for his family, a father figure to his son-in-law, a grandfather that loved his grandchildren. A man that showed us what it meant to love your spouse through good times and bad. More importantly, a man that loved Jesus, His Word, the importance of praying and knowing Jesus as your Savior.
William Russell Stevens was preceded in death by his parents William Reid and Annie Lee Roberson Stevens; his grandparents William Ronel and Lucy Madden Stevens; Julius and Nancy Born Roberson.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years Linda Carolyn Beard Stevens; one son William Robert “Billy” Stevens and wife Stephanie of Loveland Colorado; one daughter Tanya Cormier and husband Brent of Coushatta La; eight grandchildren John Wesley Cormier, Elizabeth Stevens, Silas Stevens, Sarah Stevens, Grace Stevens, John Robert Stevens, Joshua Cormier, Tommy Bellard; one brother Carroll Reid and wife Roberta Stevens of Ringgold La; several great grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews; special Sister in-laws; Dottie Bell and husband Troy of Coushatta, and Bonnie Sue Rambin of Tyler Texas; special cousins “Cooter” Madden of Shreveport and Bobbie Born of Vivian.
Pallbearers will be John Wesley Cormier, Silas Stevens, John Robert Stevens, Clyde Harper, Tim Doughty, Jason Bell, and Patrick Murray. Honorary pallbearers will be Thurman Dinkins, Tucky Jones, Mike Thornton, Vonda McElwee and Cindy Hay.
Funeral Services will be 10 A.M. Saturday, February 27, 2021 at Open Door Fellowship Baptist Church in Coushatta, Louisiana. Visitation will be 5 – 7 P.M. Friday, February 26, 2021 at Rose Neath funeral home in Coushatta, Louisiana.
Officiating will be Bro. John Patrick Handy, Assisting will be Bro. Tom Smith, Bro. Butch Rogers and Bro. Steven McAbee.
Interment will follow at Ajax Cemetery, Ajax, Louisiana.
Memorials may be made to The Well Ministries or Open Door Fellowship.