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E. Earl Stevens

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Rock Falls, IL 61071
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E. Earl Stevens, age 84, of Sterling, passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday, July 8, 2021.
Earl was born February 1, 1937 in Grassy Meadows, West Virginia. He married Comella "Cam" Crane on December 5, 1960 in Covington, VA. It was no secret Cam was the love of his life. The pair were a charismatic duo. She was a strong-willed woman with a charming sense of humor. He was a driven independent man with a clever mind.

At that time jobs were hard to come by in West Virginia, but Earl was determined to provide a better life for Cam and their children. He took a chance and sent a letter to the owner of Northwestern Steel and Wire in Sterling, IL asking for a job. Not long after, he moved his family to Illinois. He worked for Northwestern Steel and Wire for over 30 years and retired in 1992.
Even though he relocated his family to the Midwest, his heart always belonged to the mountains of West Virginia. He was a true Mountain Man, through and through. Every chance he had, he would pack the family up and drive through the night just to spend the weekend in the mountains. He was very close to his family in West Virginia, especially his mother. After his retirement, he would spend as much time as Cam would allow at his cabin in West Virginia.
Although Earl was most comfortable among the rugged mountains and all its wildlife, he was a genuine compassionate man who would not hesitate to offer a hand up to anyone in need. He had a heart for those down on their luck and always wanted to help the underdog.
Earl Stevens was a unique man who is impossible to capture in words. If you were ever lucky enough to share a seat next to him, you know how quickly he could mesmerize you with tales of his extraordinary life. He was a Marine, a farmer, a football coach, a hunter, a storyteller, a master mason, a beekeeper, a loyal Chicago Bears fan, a mastermind with animals, a collector of unique items with history, an estate auction enthusiast, a landlord, a writer, and above all else, a family man.
The man never met a stranger and was always eager to offer his life-taught wisdom along with a story or two.

He is survived by his two daughters, Marilyn (Richard) Mickelson and Sharon (Curt) House both of Sterling; one son Ray McMillen of Sterling; two sisters, Audrey Forren of Pineville W.V., and June (Jennings) Morton of Covington, VA; two brothers, John (Donette) Stevens of Roxboro, N.C., and Al (Marlene) Stevens of Sun City West, AZ; nine grandchildren, Tara, Travis, Michael, Victoria, Jessica, Priscilla, Christie, Ryan, and Ashley; and eleven great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife Cam, parents, two sisters, Elva and Sharon Sue in childhood; and two brothers-in-law, Fred Forren and William "Bill" Ferguson.

Visitation will be Wednesday, July 14, 2021 from 4:00 – 5:30 PM at the McDonald Funeral Home, 505 First Avenue, Sterling with the funeral and military honors following at 5:30 PM with Pastor Dalmus Meeks officiating.

A dinner will follow the service at Harvest Time Bible Church in Rock Falls, IL in the Fellowship Hall.

Entombment will take place on a later date at The End of the Trail Cemetery in Sam Black Church, West Virginia.

A memorial has been established. Online condolences can be sent to