Joseph Charles Stevens, 64, of Traverse City, died peacefully on Saturday, May 20, 2017.
Joe worked as a directional driller in the oilfield for over 40 years, owning a business in the field for more than 15; he enjoyed the trade and connections he made as a result. He was born and raised in Louisiana, one of 16 children, and was always immensely proud of his big family and southern roots. He loved to cook, entertain, and feed people; his coveted, cajun gumbo recipe became a household tradition that will be carried on for generations to come.
Joe preferred being surrounded by people and was known for telling stories of his childhood and more. He had a love for books, and could often be seen in a chair, paperback in hand. He was stubborn and strong willed, but also generous and caring. He cherished his grandchildren more than most things in this world; they inspired him and brought him great joy.
He is survived by his sons, Joseph Stevens, and wife Brittany Stevens, of Jefferson, Georgia, Daniel Stevens and significant other, Kaleigh Ayn Buchanan, of Traverse City; daughters, Amy Ann Jones, of Raceland, Louisiana, Katheryn Lynn Stevens and significant other, Kevin Vlach, of Traverse City; grandchildren, Ridge Benoit, Norah Lynn Stevens and Genevieve Ray Vlach; brothers, Michael Stevens Sr., and wife, Sandra, Thomas Stevens, and wife, Lana, Gerald Stevens, and wife, Lisa, John Stevens, and wife, Robin, and Chris Stevens; sisters, Jacquelyn Regner, and husband Mike, Linda Ward, and husband, Larry, Norma Gautreaux, and husband Bobby, Mary Crauder, and husband, Glenn; brothers-in-law, E.J. Pitre and Mike DuPre'; sisters-in-law, Gwen Stevens and Pat Colwart Stevens.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Guy Hartwell Stevens Sr. and Genevieve Draime Stevens; brothers, Guy Stevens Jr. and James Stevens Sr.; sisters, Dianne Pitre and Janice Rice DuPre' and Kathryn Stevens; grandchild, Andres Joseph Ignacio Alcala.
Friends are welcome to visit with Joe's family from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home in Traverse City. A Funeral Service honoring Joe will then be held at 3 p.m., with visiting starting at 11 a.m., on Saturday, May 27, 2017 in the Magnolia Chapel of Chauvin Funeral Home in Houma, Louisiana.
Joe's children wish to thank his friends and family for their ongoing support and compassion through his illnesses, difficulties, and good times too.
In lieu of flowers, those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider a memorial donation to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and memories with Joe's family at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
The family is being cared for by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Published on  May 23, 2017