Robert Eugene Stevens, 86, of Flowood, Mississippi, formerly of Hollandale, Mississippi, passed away on February 16, 2020. Visitation will be held at the Hollandale Baptist Church on Saturday, February 22nd at 10:00 a.m. Funeral services will follow thereafter at 11:00 a.m., also at the Hollandale Baptist Church. Arrangements are under the direction of Boone Funeral Home, Leland.
Robert was born on September 11, 1933, in the Darlove Community of Washington County, Mississippi. He was the seventh child of the late Earnest Alvin Stevens and Ruth Tranum Stevens. He was preceded in death by three brothers and one sister: Hugh Earnest Stevens, Charles William Stevens, Elisha Dennis Stevens, and Mildred Rebecca Braswell. He was also preceded in death by two brothers-in-law: Maurice Braswell and Dr. Arthur Lindsey. Robert is survived by one brother, James Franklin “Pap” (Rosemary) Stevens of Boyle, Mississippi; one sister, Louise Ruby Stevens of Oxford, Mississippi; and one sister-in-law, Claudine Rawls Stevens also of Oxford. He is also survived by three nephews: Hugh Ward (Alice) Stevens, Richard William (Judy) Stevens, and Michael Dennis Rawls (Vicki) Stevens; three nieces: Ann Gale Stevens, Rebecca Lynn Graham, and Rhonda Lee Lindsey; four grand-nieces: Holly Lindsey Graham, Lauren Elizabeth (Jay) Eklund, Victoria Claire Stevens, and Emily Elise Stevens; and two grand-nephews: Ryan Ashley Stevens and Heath Michael Stevens.
Robert graduated from Arcola High School. He attended Mississippi Delta Community College and received his Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. He received his Master’s Degree from the George Peabody College for Teachers (Vanderbilt University). He furthered his education at Delta State University and the University of Mississippi.
He was a principal for 31 years at Trigg Elementary School in Greenville, Mississippi. He was principal for one year in the Barton County Schools in Cartersville, Georgia. He also worked as a sales representative for Harper and Row Publishing Company in Mississippi, a curriculum specialist for the Grafax Cooperative, and a charter member of the Mississippi Action for Progress as a supervisor of instruction. Prior to that, Robert served as a principal for the Department of Defense Dependent Schools in Dreux, France, Tokyo, Japan, and Heidelberg, Germany for five years. In addition, he was a member of several professional academic and civic organizations.
Robert enjoyed a wide variety of activities and hobbies. At an early age, he developed an interest in Oriental floral designs and gardening. He lectured and gave demonstrations before garden clubs and other floral groups in Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas. He studied Ikebana (Japanese floral arranging) in Tokyo, Japan, in 1959 and was a member of the Tokyo Ikebana International Chapter. Robert held the rank of professor in two Ikebana schools. He was invited to study with the Great Masters at the headquarters of the Ikebana Flower Art Society at the Rokakudo Temple in Kyoto, Japan. While in Japan, Robert received an invitation from the Emperor and Empress to attend a gagku musical concert performed by the music department of the Imperial Household on the grounds of the Imperial Palace. In 2002, he organized a chapter of Ikebana International in Mississippi. He served as an instructor and president of the chapter for several years.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Baptist Children’s Village at Post Office Box 27, Clinton, Mississippi, 39060 or to the church of your choice.