Barbara Ruth (Cook) Stevens
Milo – Barbara Ruth (Cook) Stevens, 85, formerly of Jewell Ridge, Virginia, passed away October 19, 2017, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease at MaineGeneral Rehabilitation & Long-Term Care at Glenridge, Augusta.
Barbara, a real-life Coal Miner’s daughter, was born January 21, 1932, in War, West Virginia to R. Paul Cook and Dorothy Burke Cook of Jewell Ridge Virginia. “Bobbi” was a country girl who spent much of her life living in the Appalachian coal mining town of Jewell Ridge, Virginia, on the farm belonging to her maternal grandparents, Mathes M. and Susan Belle Brewster Burke up on the mountain. She attended Jewell Ridge School and the Jewell Ridge Presbyterian Church, and later attended Richlands Presbyterian Church. Barbara attended Richlands (Virginia), High School, where she received excellent grades, and wrote a column about rural life for the Richlands Progress Newspaper.
Upon graduating in 1950 at eighteen, Barbara fearlessly made her way down the mountain to make her way in the world. She moved to Washington, D.C., where she worked as a fingerprint clerk at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was there that she met the love of her life, Darrell T. Stevens, U.S.M.C. They were married on April 3, 1954 and were together for fifty-three years. As the wife of a career Marine, Barbara took on the duties of a single parent during her husband’s two tours of duty in Vietnam. In 1970, after retiring from the Marine Corps, Darrell, Barbara, and their two sons settled in Brownville Junction, near her husband’s home town of Milo. Barbara was an active member of the community and was involved with the local schools and other community organizations. She enjoyed talking with friends and playing bridge. Barbara and her husband operated a second-hand furniture and clothing booth at the old Sebec Corner Grange Hall for many years. In 1985, Barbara and Darrell moved to Prospect Street in Milo. Barbara loved spending time with her two grandsons, Nigel and Kevin, at their home in Gardiner, and visited them often.
Barbara loved music, and her favorite artists ranged from Bessie Smith to Waylon Jennings. She was especially fond of artists such as Hazel Dickens who kept alive the traditional “High, Lonesome” sound of coal country bluegrass.
In addition to her parents, Barbara was preceded in death by her husband, Darrell. She is survived by her son, Christopher Stevens of Muenster, TX; son, Dan Stevens and wife, Brenda, grandson, Kevin Stevens and his girlfriend, Amber Lund of Gardiner; grandson, Nigel Stevens and his girlfriend, Liza Victoria, of Portland; sister, Carol Cook Mullins of Richlands, VA; brother, Paul Ellis “Slick” Cook and wife, Bonnie of Richlands, VA; nephews, James Mullins and wife, Patty, of Bluefield, WV; Jeff Mullins of Richlands, and Patrick Mullins and wife, Lorraine Gehrig Mullins, formerly of Richlands; nieces, Paula Cook Jackson and son, Ryan and Rhonda (Cook) Nease and husband, Gary Nease, all formerly of Richlands; nephew, Kevin Robertson and wife, Patty, of Thomaston, and family; nephew, Joel Robertson and family, formerly of Milo; niece, Valerie Vail Robertson and family; and nephew, Joel Vail and family, all of Milo.
There will be a Remembrance Service for Barbara at the Chapel of the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 163 Mt. Vernon Rd, Augusta, ME 04330 on Friday, November 3, 2017 at 1:00 pm. Those who wish to express their sympathy are asked to consider a donation to Activity Fund, MGRLTC, 40 Glenridge Drive, Augusta, ME 04330. Arrangements are in the care of the Lary Funeral Home, Milo. Condolences may be expressed at www.laryfuneralhome.com.