Robert (Bob) Stevens, beloved husband, father and friend, died peacefully at home after a brief illness on Feb. 15, 2021. Almost 86 years old, he was born in New York on April 9, 1935, and grew up in rural Pennsylvania.
As a young man, Bob migrated to Aspen, Colo., where he began to develop real estate. Among his projects were the state’s first-ever condominiums, for which he helped write Colorado’s legislation. He moved to Sun Valley in 1977 and continued in the real estate business. Notably, he built the first 35 hangars at Friedman Airport, including the first condominium-style ones, the “Lazy 8s.”
Bob’s No. 1 passion was airplanes and flying. He earned his pilot’s license in 1956 and entered the Pensacola, Fla., naval aviation program in 1957. Altogether he was in the Navy for eight years, serving in the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico and on the U.S. mainland, and mustering out as a lieutenant (junior grade). In 1961 Bob became a pilot for Frontier Airlines out of Denver, Colo. Locally, he is said to be the person who has been a part of Friedman Airport longer than anyone. He owned at least 14 airplanes, including his beloved Piper Super Cub, which he was still flying in December 2020.
Beyond flying and aviation, Bob was an avid outdoorsman. He had a near-encyclopedic knowledge of the Rocky Mountain West and the Canadian prairies and used this knowledge in the successful pursuit of upland game birds and waterfowl; he adored the bird dogs that were his hunting companions. He was an ardent whitetail, sheep and antelope hunter, and a passionate steelhead fisherman. His spot in a Dean River, B.C., fishing camp was sacrosanct, and he was on the river for at least 25 years running.
But what was most important to Bob was his contribution to conservation, particularly as regards the preservation of bighorn sheep habitat. A lasting achievement benefiting both present and future generations is Bob’s contribution to the permanent protection of the canyonlands of the South Fork of the Owyhee River. Bob invested three solid years working with The Nature Conservancy, the Duck Valley Indian Reservation, the 45 Ranch and others to preserve and protect these lands and to defeat the expansion of the Mountain Home Air Force bombing range.
Bob is survived by his wife of almost 52 years, Carol; his son, Scott; Scott’s wife, Sami; and his brother, Tim Stevens.
At Bob’s request, no services are planned. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Hospice of the Wood River Valley, Box 4320, Ketchum, ID 83340.