Clipped From News-Press
Arthur E. Stevens, 73, beach home builder ByAMYSHEEHAN News-Press Staff Writer Longtime Fort Myers resident Arthur E. Stevens grew up working with his hands and went on to build many cottages and houses on Fort Myers Beach. "He loved to build," said his wife, Grace Stevens of Fort Myers. "It was his life." Mr. Stevens died Monday of pneumonia. A Fort Myers resident since 1935, he was 73. Born in the small town of Brooksville, he went to work in a saw mill when he was 8 years old. Laboring for 25 cents a day, he soon distinguished himself as a math whiz who was especially good at measuring lumber accurately, his wife said. In 1935, he moved to Fort Myers with his family and began working as a telegram delivery man. "He'd ride around on his bicycle and give them out. Sometimes, he delivered them to Thomas Edison and he used to say Edison would always give him a dime," his wife said. The couple was married in July of 1955 at the Tice Methodist Church and went to live in a cottage Mr. Stevens had built on Fort Myers Beach. "He was the first person down there who used concrete pilings for the house. Everyone said we were crazy, but it turned out that's what lasts the longest," she said. Working as a construction con- Name: Arthur E. Stevens Date of birth: July 25, 1916 Date of death: Sept. 18, 1989 Cause of death: Pneumonia Occupation: Builder Moved to Fort Myers 1935 Previous residence: Brooksville Survivors include: His wife, Grace Stevens of Fort Myers; a son, Omar Stevens; a daughter, Tammy Fleishman, both of West Palm Beach; six brothers; a sister; four grandchildren and one greatgrandchild Funeral home: Memorial Gardens Funeral Home, 1589 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers tractor, Mr. Stevens built the office and many of the cottages for the Pink Shell before going to work with his brother in a cabinetry shop. In his spare time, Mr. Stevens enjoyed hunting and fishing. "He could really catch the snook," she said. "And he enjoyed our home." Services for Mr. Stevens will be at 11 a.m. today in the chapel of Memorial Gardens Funeral Home, 1589 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers, with the Rev. Carl Swanberg of the Southside Baptist church officiating. Interment will be in Memorial Gardens Cemetery.