Dr. Philip (Phil) Erik Stevenson
August 1940 ~ November 2017
Dr. Philip (Phil) Erik Stevenson of South Lake Tahoe, CA, passed away on November 14, 2017 after an injury due to a fall. Phil was born in Palo Alto in August 1940. He graduated from Atherton High School in Palo Alto, received a B.S. in Chemistry from Harvard University, and a PhD in Theoretical Chemistry from the University of Chicago. He pursued post doctoral studies in Brighton England and later acquired a Master’s Degree in Business from Rutgers University.
Phil taught Chemistry at Worcester Poly Technical Institute in Massachusetts for 7 years. Switching his focus from academia to business, Phil moved to South Orange, NJ and spent the next 25 years at Allied Chemical in Morristown. His lifelong fascination with computer science eventually led to a later position in programming. Coming full circle, Phil’s last job returned him to teaching Chemistry at Lake Tahoe Community College. “Dr. Phil” as his Tahoe students called him, was a natural educator, a successful scientist and a great guy to have on your team.
He met and married his wife, Susan, while he was teaching at WPI. They spent their vacations traveling, back packing, rock-climbing, cross-country skiing and hiking in the US and abroad.
Phil had extensive interests. He was equally happy outdoors in nature, or at home reading or computing. Although he took great pleasure in learning, singing, and landscape photography, his primary love was traveling the world to ride and photograph trolleys and electric trains.
Phil was a celestial type. The moon, planets and stars lured him out at night for moonlit hikes and he marveled at the recent eclipse of the sun.
As a man of faith, he put his beliefs into action, serving his church communities by singing in the choirs, sitting on church councils or as webmaster. He was sensitive to the needs of the disabled, building ramps to access his church and his home. Phil was a modest quiet intellectual who was very content in life, whether with his family and friends, or on his own.
A friend described him as “a kind, humble, talented and responsible man.” He was tolerant and forgiving, smiled easily and laughed loudly.
Phil is survived by his wife, Susan Stevenson, of South Lake Tahoe, his sister, Phoebe Newlove, of Los Gatos, CA, and his niece Mary Newlove Black and her family of San Ramon, CA.
A sacred memorial service is planned for his immediate family and his church family on Saturday, December 2nd at 3pm at Hope Lutheran Church of the Sierra, 930 Julie Ln,. South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
A public celebration of Phil’s life will be scheduled in the spring of 2018.
Gifts in Memory of Phil may be donated to Tahoe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus at TOCCATA, 586 Douglas Court Incline Village, NV 89451, http://www.toccatatahoe.com or The Sempervirens Fund, a land trust dedicated to preserving the Redwood forest of the Santa Cruz Mountains, at Sempervirens Fund, 419 South San Antonio Rd. Ste. 211, Los Altos, CA 94022, http://www.sempervirens.org