Graveside services and interment 1:00 P.M. Saturday, May 7, 2016, Home Cemetery Tarkio, Missouri.
John Cleland Stevenson, an engineer who worked on projects as diverse as the space shuttle program and the BART system in San Francisco, died on Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in Lakewood, Colorado. John was 83.
John grew up on a farm in Tarkio, Missouri, halfway between Kansas City and Omaha, but he had a passion for travel and adventure. He lived for two years in Shiraz, Iran, working on a U.S. joint project before the fall of the Shah. After graduating from Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Missouri, he attended college at the School of Mines in Rapid City, South Dakota. His mechanical engineering degree gained him a role working at IBM at the dawn of the computer age. He served as a critical specialist in the U.S. Army. He worked on the minuteman missile program and later on the B1-B long range bomber program.
Throughout his life, John was fascinated with the outdoors and beautiful, often uninhabited, locations. He photographed these locations and their wildlife. His images were published by Animals Animals of New York City and appeared in various publications such as Smithsonian Magazine.
John met Jo-Anne Marie Hickman, his future wife, in Boulder, Colorado, in 1953, but married her later in 1974. Together they traveled the world, including the time working in Iran, but also journeys to the UK, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and various points in the United States.
As an engineer with a curious mind and a knack for language, John was also an inventor and a storyteller. In the late eighties, he patented a method to reduce the Atkinson cycle to practical use in automobile engines. The patent expired, but unbeknownst to John, the same technology was emerging in production models and has now become commonplace powering over one million vehicles on the road. Throughout his life, he documented his family history and his travels in unpublished essays and books that remain with the family.
John is survived by his wife, Jo-Anne Marie, and his children, Debra Anne Edwards with her husband, William James Edwards, Robert John Broughton, Judith Marie Broughton, and John Peter Stevenson with his wife, Siejen Yin Stevenson, and his grandchildren, Christine Marie Edwards Stewart with her husband Andrzej Matthew Stewart, Lindsey Joanne Edwards, William Michael Edwards, Andrew John Edwards, and John Robert Stevenson, and his great-grandchild, Austin James Stewart. He had one nephew, two nieces, and numerous cousins. John’s sister, Caroline Stevenson Beebe, pre-deceased John, as did his parents, John Marshall and Catherine Polley Stevenson.