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 in 1943. The family moved to Snyder, Texas, in the mid 50s where he graduated from Snyder High School in 1961. He moved back to Louisiana and attended Northwestern State University, studied 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 1966-72 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 took a traveling salesman position with Playtex Corporation. Playtex sold women’s undergarments such as bras and panties. While on his road 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 in Coushatta. It was later expanded into a larger building and is still in business to this day.
In 2006, Russell retired from the business. He enjoyed woodworking, tinkering with old cars, trucks and tractors with good friends. He attended numerous car shows winning several trophies.
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.
William Russell Stevens was preceded in death by his parents, William Reid and Annie Lee Roberson Stevens; and grandparents, William Ronel and Lucy Madden Stevens and 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, Colo.; one daughter, Tanya Cormier and husband Brent of Coushatta; eight grandchildren, John Wesley Cormier, Elizabeth Stevens, Silas Stevens, Sarah Stevens, Grace Stevens, John Robert Stevens, Joshua Cormier and Tommy Bellard; one brother, Carroll Reid and wife Roberta Stevens of Ringgold; several great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; special sisters-in-law, 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.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to Dr. Robert Hernandez and Dr. Ryan Master and their staff for their loving care and friendship over the past several years.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 27 at Open Door Fellowship Baptist Church in Coushatta. Visitation will be from 5–7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26 at Rose Neath Funeral Home in Coushatta.
Bro. John Patrick Handy will officiate. Assisting will be Bro. Tom Smith, Bro. Butch Rogers and Bro. Steven McAbee.
Interment will follow at Ajax Cemetery in Ajax.
Memorials may be made to The Well Ministries or Open Door Fellowship.