Charles Theodore Stevens
Chuck passed away at the ripe old age of 95 after a life well spent doing what he loved. Chuck was born in Santa Barbara on January 9, 1927, the only child of Lawrence and Wealthia Stevens. He was raised in a house on Haley Street next door to his Grandmother Brancie Stevens. He played with his cousin Reg Lathim and told many stories of their antics growing up. Chuck spent many weekends with his father traveling to various remote areas of the West coast collecting bird eggs which would later become part of the egg collection at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. This experience gave Chuck a knowledge and appreciation of birds that he carried throughout his life.
Upon graduating from Santa Barbara High School Chuck enlisted in the Navy where he was trained as an airplane mechanic. He appreciated the opportunity to travel to various parts of the United States and Europe as well as work on the aircraft carrier USS Randolph. After his discharge he used that training, and his father’s knowledge in the same field, to become an auto mechanic, ultimately spending the majority of his career at Tom Williams Oldsmobile/Cadillac. In fact, he continued to change the oil in his own cars into his 90’s.
Chuck spent his bachelor years bowling, exploring photography, boating and waterskiing. Waterskiing led him to meeting Barbara Rogers at West Beach one day in 1957. They spent their early years together waterskiing, going to boat races, enjoying Fiesta and spending time with friends. They married in 1960 and welcomed daughter Sharon in 1961. Eventually they purchased a brand new house on the Mesa after Barbara’s house where they were living in Montecito burned in the Coyote Fire. They had a son, Mark, who died as an infant in 1965. In 1966 their son Bruce was born. Chuck enjoyed spending his two weeks of vacation each year driving the family station wagon, and eventually a small motorhome, to various locations throughout the west and we have fond memories of camping and seeing many beautiful parts of the country. Thanksgivings were often spent at Lake Havasu going to boat races. Many summer weekends found the family and friends at Lake Nacimiento enjoying the camping, boating and waterskiing. After his retirement Chuck and Barbara found a joy for cruising and they explored the world on at least 35 cruises.
Chuck’s greatest passion, however, was volleyball. He learned the sport playing at the YMCA with his father and he and Barbara played whenever they could. Wednesday nights were always volleyball nights at McKenzie Park followed by dinner at Char West, Peterson’s Drive-In or Taco Bell. Sunday mornings were volleyball days as well. They also played in the evenings at Santa Barbara Junior High and in co-ed City Leagues through the Santa Barbara City Recreation Department. Eventually, Sharon and Bruce were old enough to play with them and learned the game from their parents. Chuck enjoyed watching volleyball as much as he did playing. His summer weekends were filled attending beach volleyball tournaments and his evenings were often spent at UCSB or one of the local high schools watching the game he loved. He and Barbara especially enjoyed being able to watch their children, and then their grandchildren, play and grow to love the game as well. Chuck played regularly at East Beach until he was 87 and then continued to go to watch his many volleyball friends play until he suffered the stroke that led to his passing shortly after.
Chuck was preceded in death by his son Mark and by his wife Barbara. He leaves behind his daughter Sharon Estabrooks, her husband Phil Estabrooks and grandsons Kyle and Sean as well as his son Bruce Stevens, his wife Tracy Stevens and granddaughter Taryn and grandson Tanner. Everyone loved Chuck. He had a great sense of humor, was kind and friendly to everyone, and only got angry when he was stuck in traffic or his volleyball team missed serves. His grandchildren loved spending time with him and listening to his stories. Sharon and Bruce appreciate all that he was able to provide for them through his hard work and his fun hobbies. We would like to thank Right At Home and all of their caregivers who helped Chuck stay in that Mesa home until the end. Per Chuck’s request there will be no services.