Marjorie Vee Blackburn Stevens, 92, died surrounded by her children on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Billings.
Marge was born June 3, 1929, in her grandfather’s home in Lovell. She was the only daughter of Hyrum and Gladys (Asay) Blackburn but had two older brothers, Hyrum and Wayne, and three younger brothers, Kenneth, Donald and Edwin.
She spent the first few years of her life in Otto and Wheatland before her parents settled in Lovell, where she attended Lovell schools, graduating in 1947. After attending the University of Wyoming for one year, she married Robert Rollins Stevens of Cowley on October 8, 1948, in the Idaho Falls Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Bob was called to serve an LDS mission in the Texas-Louisiana Mission in April 1949. While he served in Texas, Marge lived in Lovell with her parents and worked as a secretary and receptionist at the old Lovell hospital on Montana Avenue. In November 1950, she was called to serve as a missionary with Bob for the final six months of his mission in Baytown, Texas.
They returned in April 1951 to Cowley, where Bob joined his father on the family farm. There they began their family, which eventually consisted of three sons and three daughters, Rollin Blackburn, Karen, Koleen, Lorraine, Wm. Bart and Bradley Robert.
Marge was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout her life. She had a strong testimony of Jesus Christ and served faithfully as counselor to two Primary presidents and as Primary president herself.
She also worked tirelessly together with Bob as a temple ordinance worker, making monthly trips to the Idaho Falls Temple and later traveling weekly to the Billings Temple. One of the happiest and most fulfilling service experiences for Bob and Marge was serving together as missionaries in Salt Lake City at the Family History Center, working for 15 months at the Granite Mountain Records Vault.
Marge had many wonderful memories of and a great fondness for Lovell but eventually grew to love Cowley, as well. In her later years, she enjoyed serving in her community as a member of Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, serving as vice president for a time. She was also a member of the Cowley Museum board.
Marge loved to sing and often sang in a trio with friends during high school. Bob also loved to sing, and they made beautiful music singing duets together. One of the saddest days in her life was when her voice changed almost overnight so that she could no longer sing.
Marge was able to continue making music by playing the piano. She loved to play and said it not only brought her much pleasure but also provided a great outlet for stress – something that was likely needed often during the years when there were young children at home. Bob continued to sing with Marge accompanying on the piano. She was so proud of her daughters for developing their piano talents. They all have contributed to the community by playing in church and at school functions in Cowley and surrounding communities.
Throughout their years together Bob and Marge had a few opportunities to travel, and she enjoyed seeing the wonderful places and things that Heavenly Father has given us.
On January 30, 2006, Marge lost the love of her life when Bob passed away after suffering for many years with the progressive effects of Parkinson’s disease. Though she missed him dearly, she continued on, enduring the trials that come with advanced age. She was grateful for the loving support provided by family and friends and was strengthened by her faith that she would be reunited with Bob.
Throughout her life, Marge was charitable and loving to those around her, especially her family. She was proud of her Blackburn and Asay heritage and often spoke affectionately about her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. She loved her brothers very much and often talked of their kindness to her and their service to their country. Most of all, she was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. She is loved dearly by her children, their spouses and her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert R. Stevens; parents Hyrum and Gladys Blackburn; brothers Hyrum, Wayne, Donald and Edwin Blackburn; sisters-in-law Ora (Hy), Gloria (Wayne), Rosemarie, Edith, Jackie (Don) and Janet (Ed); grandparents William and Sarah Blackburn and Adelbert and Delilah Asay; uncles Jon, Jim, Alfred, Leif Blackburn, Albert, Adelbert, Percy, Boice and Merrill Asay; aunts Hannah Bryant, Zela McCaffery, Mae Robb and Helen Shumway; many cousins; and special friends.
She is survived by her children, Rollin Stevens of Cowley, Karen (Jay Dee) Cahoon of Layton, Utah, Koleen (Nick) Sponsel and Lorrie (Wade) Brost, both of Cowley, William Bart (Sharon) Stevens of Sidney, Montana, and Bradley of Cowley; 19 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; brother Ken (Sharon) Blackburn of Cowley; uncle Calvin (Colleen) Asay of Oklahoma; many cousins; and very close friends.
Viewing will be Friday, Jan. 28, from 3 to 5 p.m. at Haskell Funeral Home and again prior to the service on Saturday, Jan. 29, at 1 p.m. at the Cowley LDS Church. Services will begin at 2 p.m. with burial to follow in the Cowley Cemetery.
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