Loretta Margaret Stevenson, 89, of Burlington, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at Great River Hospice House in West Burlington. She spent the days preceding her death surrounded by those she loved most.
Born December 13, 1930, in Mediapolis, IA, she was the daughter of Jesse Paul and Gertrude Marie Beckman Abel. She grew up on the family farm near Dodgeville. She had four brothers: Paul, Harold, Francis and Raymond.
Loretta graduated from Sperry High School in 1948. She went to Marycrest College for a year and then moved to Burlington where she worked as a secretary at IAAP. In Burlington she met the love of her life, Grant Stevenson, originally of rural Knoxville. They were married at St. Mary's Church in Dodgeville on November 15, 1952. Loretta and Grant lived in Colorado for a few years before returning to Burlington where they lived for the rest of their lives. They had five children: Cheryl, Renee, Robert, Thomas and Gina. They had four grandchildren: Alison Lienau, Jessica (John) Beckwith, Meghan McCarthy and Alec McCarthy. They had two great-grandchildren, Sloane and Christian Beckwith. She had a beloved granddog named Tucker.
Loretta was a homemaker. She was a hard worker, the loving glue of her family and a joyful person. She had many friends and was a caring and friendly neighbor. She enjoyed bowling when she was younger. She was in many groups with friends (one bridge group lasting fifty years!) For many years she enjoyed an annual trip with Grant to Phoenix where they spent time with some of their children, grandchildren and friends. In her senior years, she enjoyed her weekly gatherings with Mary Fran, Dorothy, Carolyn, Mary and Rosie. She also loved to get together with her neighbor and friend, Ligia, who often looked in on her. She was a member of PEO, Birthright and various parish committees over the years.
Loretta was a lifelong practicing Catholic. She was a member of Divine Mercy Parish. Her quiet and prayerful faith was a loving example to us all.
A remarkable event happened near the end of her life when Loretta was transferred to Great River Hospice. She was united with her lifelong best friend, Mary Fran Murray, who was also in hospice. They had met in childhood as neighboring farm girls.
Also, near the end of her life she shared a piece of advice: keep the bonds of family despite differences. This was a great achievement of her own life. In turn, she was adored by her family.
Survivors include one son, Thomas Stevenson of Iowa City; three daughters, Cheryl (Chris) Lienau of Phoenix, AZ, Renee (Mike) McCarthy of Chandler, AZ, and Gina (Tom) Ryan of Mount Pleasant; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; two brothers, Francis Abel of West Branch, and Raymond Abel of Burlington; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Besides her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, one son, Robert, and two brothers, Paul and Harold Abel.
Amidst our sorrow we also rejoice in the gift of her life and in her passing from death into eternal life.
The Memorial Mass of the Resurrection for Loretta will be 10:30 AM Monday, November 23, 2020, at Divine Mercy Parish-St. John the Baptist Catholic Church with Very Rev. Fr. Marty Goetz as the Celebrant. The church will be open after 9:30 AM to pay respect and view special memorabilia and photos. Masks and social distancing are required. The service will be live-streamed from the church on the Divine Mercy Parish Facebook page; https://www.facebook.com/Divine-Mercy-Parish-157944747552559/ and on YouTube at Des Moines County Catholics; https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-5G4J9d7Voi4PwbRjdF0aA. Inurnment will be in Sacred Heart Cemetery. A Celebration of Life for Loretta will be planned for a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established for Divine Mercy Parish and St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
To send flowers to Loretta's family, please visit our floral store.