Bob was born to Robert F. and Ruth A. Stehn on October 1st 1937 at Eugene Hospital. An only child, he grew up on River Road. He spent summers on his grandfather’s farm with his cousin, Jack Schulze, who was also an only child. The summers on the farm were spent picking fruit and learning to run farm equipment. After graduating from Eugene High School in 1955, he attended University of Oregon and Southern Oregon College in Ashland. He worked for the Eugene Ambulance Company and the Bill Leonard Family. He met Sandra Branch who was a nursing student at Sacred Heart Nursing School while working for Eugene Ambulance Company.
Bob later became interested in funeral service. He served an apprenticeship at England Funeral Home in Eugene and Fortmiller, Fredrickson in Albany. Bob and Sandra were married April 1st 1961 and Bob enrolled in the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science and they moved to San Francisco, California. Funds were tight while attending Mortuary School so he and Sandy were always looking for inexpensive entertainment. That could be going to the airport to watch the planes take off and landing or riding the Trolley to Fisherman’s Wharf where they would pick up a crab and sourdough bread for dinner and ride the Trolley home.
After school they moved back to Oregon where he took a job with Murphy Funeral Home in Junction City and started a family. Their first child, Julie was born in 1962 then Mark in 1964. They moved to Florence, Oregon in 1966 where he managed Riverside Chapel and their third child, Tammy was born in 1968. In Florence, he was involved in the Rhododendron Festival, enjoyed clamming and crabbing, and taking the family on the boat up the river to the Mapleton Lions Club for the pancake breakfast the third Sunday of every month.
In 1977, the family moved to Milwaukie, Oregon where Bob and Sandy purchased Foster Road Funeral Home and Stehn’s Milwaukie Funeral Home. Bob and Sandy operated the business together until 2009 when Alzheimer’s caused him to retire; leaving Sandy to operate the business with their son, Mark. Bob served over 4000 families in his 35 years of service to the community and was always willing to help a fellow Funeral Director with whatever their needs were. He was very proud of his chosen profession and was always looking for innovative ways to make funerals personal and more meaningful to those he served.
Bob was also very supportive of his community, local causes, and many fundraisers. He was a 50 year member of the Masonic Lodge and served as a Past Master. He served as Associate Guardian for Job’s Daughters Bethel #63 and as Dad Advisor for DeMolay. He also was a member of Scottish Rite, Hillah Shriners, Milwaukie Elks Lodge, Daphne Chapter #139 Order of the Eastern Star and North Clackamas Kiwanis where he served as President.
A lifelong Oregon Duck Fan, Bob held season tickets since 1968 and loved planning a good tailgate party. The highlight was when Oregon finally went to the Rose Bowl in 1995; he planned a trip for the whole family.
He loved boating; taking the family to Shasta for many years. Later, he bought a bigger boat which he took to many rivers and lakes around the Northwest, including the San Juan Islands and Lake Washington. He was very particular about the upkeep and care of his equipment. If you enjoyed a ride on the boat you also got to participate in wiping it down when it was pulled out of the water. He was also a gadget guy and enjoyed any new toy or trinket: flashlights, vacuum cleaners, etc. If he thought it was good, he would buy several - one for each funeral home, the house, and each of the children. He especially enjoyed coffee mugs and had a large collection from all over the country.
His family was most important to him; above all else his grandchildren were very special. Whether he was biking with them or taking them on trips to Black Butte, where he would always take them for cinnamon rolls at the Lodge; he enjoyed being with them. He is survived by his wife, Sandra; children, Julie Dowhaniuk and husband, Ron, Mark and wife, Melissa, Tammy Steffens and husband, Dannie; grandchildren, Christopher and Patrick Dowhaniuk, Matthew Stehn and wife, Brittany, Sarah Stehn, Blake Kelley and wife, Brittany, Brandon Kelley, Tanner, Hannah and Grace Steffens; four great-grandchildren; and his cousin, Jack Schulze and family.
A Visitation will be 12 noon to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22nd with a Funeral Service at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 23, 2019 at Stehn Family Chapels Milwaukie Tribute Center followed by a Luncheon at Gray Gables in Milwaukie. Private entombment will be held at Mountain View Cemetery, Oregon City, Oregon.
The family suggests contribution in his memory to Shriners Hospitals for Children - Portland or the charity of your choice both in care of the funeral home.
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