WALLINGFORD, CT – (From Wallingford Funeral Home) Richard Bruce Stevens, known to everyone as Rich or Richie, was born December 7, 1936 in Stamford, Connecticut, to Robert Kenneth and Catherine Kanengeser Stevens.
Her mother grew up in Wallingford and her father grew up in the nearby town of Clintonville. After moving to Stamford, the Kenneth Stevens family spent a lot of free time with parents in and around Wallingford, Clintonville and North Haven.
Rich graduated from Stamford High School in 1954 and in 1957 he married his high school sweetheart Geraldine Fennick. In 1958 his daughter Lisa was born and in 1960 his daughter Laurie was added to the family.
Rich worked for a time in his father’s garage and gas station on Richmond Hill Avenue in Stamford, then went on his own, operating a Chevron garage and gas station on Summer Street in Stamford.
Rich eventually bought this station from Chevron and renamed the company Auto Medics.
Rich expanded the building to have four repair bays, a large room, and an office. Rich had several dedicated employees who were with him for many years at Auto Medics. During these years, Rich sponsored a rec-league baseball team and worked with his daughter Lisa on the capture, treatment and release of urban feral cats.
Twenty years ago, Rich sold the Auto Medics building to an adjacent owner and retired after nearly 50 years in the auto repair business. Eventually, Rich purchased ten acres of woodland in North Stonington, Connecticut and spent several years improving and cleaning up the center of the property to build a beautiful custom home for his and Gerri’s retirement years.
The new home included an oversized three-bay garage so Rich could continue his hobby of owning and maintaining racing cars, including stock cars and miniature racing cars. Rich and several friends enjoyed being on a regional stock car racing circuit, and many weekends were spent on tracks all over New England.
In retirement, Rich also developed a woodcarving hobby and created many beautiful sculptures of butterflies and ducks which were listed and well placed at competitions in New England and on the East Coast until Maryland. Rich also bred carrier pigeons for a time in North Stonington.
In 2017, Rich and Gerri bought a house in Parrish, Florida to be near their two daughters already living in Florida and to enjoy the more temperate climate. Parrish’s house has five garages in which Rich planned to continue enjoying the hobby of working with racing cars. He was also eager to lead the Midgets on senior low-speed circuits in Florida.
Sadly, Rich suffered from health problems in Florida and was never able to work more with the midgets and the two-seater “Currycraft” that he and his friend Jim Curry built in Stamford many years ago. Rich had recently donated the Currycraft and it is now part of the remarkable automobile collection at the Elliott Museum in Stuart, Florida.
Rich fell very ill in the early fall of this year and succumbed to pneumonia while trying to regain his strength as a patient at a quality healthcare facility in Bradenton, Florida.
He died there suddenly in his sleep on the morning of October 9, 2021 at the age of 84.
Rich is survived by his wife Gerri and their daughters Laurie and Lisa and Lisa’s husband Bill Hevesy, sister Karen and husband Karen Ron Borg of Salt Lake City, Utah, and extended family members from Connecticut and other states.