Joan Stevens
Joan Stevens

Obituary of Joan Stevens

Joan Marie Stevens, of Santa Cruz, passed away peacefully with her family by her side on May 26, 2017 after a long illness. Joan was born in Gary, Indiana on September 26, 1936 to Casmir and Helen (Kazor) Szymaniak. Joan is preceded in death by her parents; brother Don Szymaniak of McKinney, TX; father and mother-in-law Allison and Dorothy Stevens of Santa Cruz; brother-in-law, Marty Stevens of Stockton, CA; sister-in-law, Donna Mokel of Portage, IN; and nephew, Michael Szymaniak of McKinney, TX.

Joan graduated with honors from Edison High School in Gary, IN where she was elected the Year Book Queen her senior year. She married her husband, Al in Los Angeles in 1956 and lived in San Diego, Vallejo and San Jose before settling in Santa Cruz in 1959.

She developed lifelong friendships in school and everywhere she went. Joan was a loving wife, mother and "Nana". She excelled as a homemaker and was an expert seamstress, making clothing for herself and her family. While attending Cabrillo College in the 60's and 70's, she studied interior decorating and was able to assist her children and friends to decorate their homes.

After retirement, she and Al were able to travel by RV in North America and managed to visit all 50 states, Canada and Mexico. They also toured parts of Western Europe and the Caribbean.

Joan is survived by her husband of 60 years, Allison M. Stevens, III; son, Mark A. Stevens of Carmel Valley, CA; daughter, Laura A. Hernandez (Frank) of Scotts Valley, CA; four grandchildren, Alexis Vaught of Oak Harbor, WA; Trent Stevens of Lockwood, CA; Brian Vaught of Santa Cruz, CA and Trevor Stevens of Carmel Valley, CA.

Our family is grateful for the loving skilled care provided by Hospice of Santa Cruz during Joan's final months.

Memorial Services will be held at Star of the Sea Catholic Church, (515 Frederick Street, Santa Cruz) at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 13, 2017. A reception will follow at the church hall.

Donations may be made in her name to Hospice of Santa Cruz, 940 Disc Drive, Scotts Valley, CA 95066, (www.hospicesantacruz.org) (831) 430-3000.

Arrangements are being handled by Benito and Azzaro Pacific Gardens Chapel. (www.pacificgardenschapel.com)