In memory of

Robert TenBroeck Stevens Jr., age 89, of Marysville

January 14, 1925 – May 17, 2014

Robert TenBroeck Stevens Jr., son of Dorothy Whitney and Robert TenBroeck Stevens Sr., was born January 14, 1925 in New York City.  He died on May 17, 2014 in Helena, Montana at the age of 89.

Bob attended Phillip’s Academy in Andover, MA then was trained for service in the Navy at Yale.  He was an Ensign trained in navigation and stationed in Hawaii toward the end of WWII as a radar officer. He was greatly inspired by his father, Robert TenBroeck Stevens Sr., who was the Secretary of the Army under President Eisenhower. 

Bob and Hope Bromfield were married at Malabar Farm near Lucas, Ohio on December 23, 1950.  Their first child, Melanie was born in Mansfield, Ohio while Bob and Hope lived on their own farm near Hope’s father’s Malabar Farm.  Hope’s father, Louis Bromfield, was a pioneer in sustainable agriculture, and his memory had a great influence over Bob and Hope throughout their married life.  Sara, Bob’s younger daughter, was born in Washington, D.C., which was not far from the farm they bought near Leesburg, Virginia.  While in Virginia, Bob taught geography at a small private school and was active in politics, along with Hope.  They have continued to be very interested in current events and involved in politics ever since.  While in Virginia, Bob first got into the travel business, which was a passion for him throughout his life. 

In 1965 Bob and his family moved to Bozeman, Montana, where he started his own travel agency, Montana Travel.  Through his expertise gained over years of experience in the travel business, Bob was instrumental in bringing major airlines to Bozeman.  He had a weekly travel radio program and eventually organized special tours for Europeans through several National Parks in the western United States and Canada.  Bob and Hope greatly enjoyed traveling to Europe, South and Central America, Canada, the Caribbean, and even Africa.  Bob was well respected in his community and had many friends in both the Bozeman and Helena areas.

Bob and Hope enjoyed entertaining friends wherever they lived, and he and Hope loved to dance, especially to Big Band music.  While living in the Gallatin Canyon, Bob and Hope loved to ride horses together and greatly enjoyed downhill skiing at Big Sky Ski Resort.  Bob also loved camping, hiking and canoeing.  They loved the small guest ranch they bought in the Gallatin Canyon when they first moved to Montana and rented the cabins to summer visitors.  Hope had always enjoyed gardening, and Bob grew to love working with her, starting in Virginia, where they had a huge vegetable garden and several flower gardens.  They continued to share their love of gardening in all their years in Montana.

Around 1990, after retirement, Bob and Hope moved to the Helena area, where they bought property near Marysville.  By this time both had become quite passionate about conservation issues so they put their land into a conservation easement and it became a nature/wildlife preserve.  Bob and Hope felt strongly about the importance of alternative energy, so they decided to build a solar home off the grid.  They had several forestry projects completed on their land to remove hundreds of dead trees and thin existing trees.  Bob made it his highest priority to remove all noxious weeds from their property and to install wildlife friendly fencing.

He was heavily involved with the Montana Department of Transportation and helped develop train and bus routes in the Helena area. 

Bob was deeply beloved by his family and close friends, and will be remembered as a truly good man who contributed so much to his fellow human beings and the nature world around him.

He was survived by his wife, Hope Stevens; daughters, Sara (Tagge) Solainmanian and Melanie (Ron) Read; Brothers, Whitney (Helene) Stevens and Thomas (Pam) Stevens; 7 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren and 1 on the way. He was preceded in death by his sister, Joan Stevens and brother, William Stevens.

The family wishes to thank the staff at Touchmark in Helena, for their dedicated compassion and care. The Funeral Service will be 11:00 a.m. Friday, May 23rd at Retz Funeral Home, 315 E. 6th Avenue, with burial to follow at the Montana State Veterans Cemetery with Military Honors.  A reception will follow at the Carolina Bed and Breakfast, 309 North Ewing. . In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to the following organizations in Montana: Western Sustainable Exchange, Livingston, Montana, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah or Doctors Without Borders. You may share your memories or express your condolences by signing Bob’s guestbook below.

 

Memories

Read the thoughts and memories, then feel free to add your own.

  1. Steve and Jackie Sampson says

    We will miss bob’s smiling face when bringing the dogs to see us.
    He was always such a delight.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  2. Kelly Flaherty-Settle & Scott Settle says

    We will miss Bob and his smile and infectious energy to get involved. He was always reading and learning every intimate facts on the issue. Hopie, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. Susan Zazzali Mittelstadt says

    I’ll treasure Bob and Hopi’s kindness and generosity forever. I am grateful to have known both Bob and Hopi.

  4. Debbie Dehmer says

    We were all saddened to hear of Bob’s passing. He was a great guy whom I enjoyed working for. I will never forget when one of his employees did something he was proud of he would come by and give us a kiss on the top of the head. We will treasure his memory. Hope, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  5. Louis Andres, retired Malabar Farm Manager says

    So sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. I wish I would have been able to meet him in person, he sounds like a great person.
    Hope, my prayers and thoughts are with you, your family and friends.
    From all your friends here at Malabar Farm in Ohio. Take Care

  6. Dr. Bergkamp and DD says

    Our deepest respect and regards to you on the loss of Bob. What a wonderful man! It was an honor and a privilege to know him and to have him as a patient and friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

  7. Lill Erickson says

    Bob was a wonderful person and an inspiration to me and so many others. Bob lived his values and was a quiet yet effective voice for what he believe. He will be sorely missed. My heart goes out to Hopie, Sarah Melanie and their families.

  8. Sandi and Francis Blake says

    We always looked forward to our annual visits with Bob and Hopie when we dined together at The Grand Hotel in Big Timber, they then spent the night and came plant shopping the following morning. How sad we are now that those visits have come to an end, but Hopie we will see you in the future and continue our animated horticultural conversations. Tremendous thanks to both Bob and Hopie for their relentless dedication to conservation issues. You are both the real thing.

  9. Dave Livermore says

    Hopie and Family,
    We were so sad to learn the news about Bob. I know he was ill, but I am sure his passing was a shock. Reading his obituary I was reminded what a full life he lived. His military service, his many years in the travel business, his passion for nature, conservation and gardening….I know he brightened your days and meant so much to your children and grandchildren. Take care and best wishes from all of us at The Nature Conservancy. Bob’s memory will live on. Know we are thinking of you at this difficult time.

  10. Shotorbani family says

    Dear families of Mr Robert Stevens,

    Please accept our condolences for the loss of Mr Robert Stevens, we hope time will heal the wound from the loss even though we all will miss him . You are in our prayer and thoughts .
    With our deepest regeret for the loss,

    Shotorbani and Call family

  11. Dan Grossman says

    Hopie:
    So sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. You two have done so much for your community and for the planet. Please know that all of us here at EDF are thinking of you and your family.
    With heartfelt condolences,
    Dan Grossman

  12. Connie Krogstad says

    When I read Bob’s obituary, I realized although I had known Bob for many years, there was much that I didn’t know. what an awesome life. Bob was always so kind, it was a pleasure to be able to know him and work with him for so many years. Hope, let me know if there is anything I can do to help you.

  13. The folks at NCAT says

    Our deepest sympathies to Hopi and the family at Bob’s passing. Bob and Hopie have done so much for so many here in Montana and across the country, and the family can be proud of the changes Bob wrought. All of us are thinking of you, and our prayers are with you.

    Kathy Hadley, Sandra Booth and all the NCAT family

  14. Bev Adams says

    Hope, I am saddened to learn of Bob’s passing. He was such a vibrant, enthusiastic man. I learned so much from him during the years I worked for him. I know you and the girls and their families will miss him terribly. My thoughts and prayers are with you all

  15. Dave Pauli says

    Dearest Hopee ( and Sarah and family)
    Belated condolences on Bob’s passage. I have been in the field on a tortoise rescue project in Florida and just was relayed your phone message . Thank you for letting me know. The Globe, The U.S., Montana, and Helena all lost a good man and good friend. I will be back in MT the first June but please contact me if there is anything I can do from here to help in anyway. Thoughts and prayers to your extended family. Dave

  16. Ciretta Green says

    Bob hired me at Montana Travel in 1983. He and Hope were always so good to me. I remember how he always wrote with a pencil on a legal size yellow pad and I got pretty good at interpreting his handwriting. A sweet, sweet man. Much love to Hopie and family. Love, Ciretta Green

  17. Tracey Butcher says

    The Board and staff of Wildlands Network send their sincere condolences to the family. Bob’s generosity and kindness made the planet a better place; his smile lit up a room. The world will not be the same, and he will be deeply missed.

  18. Van Champion says

    Dear Hope Bromfield Stevens & Family,
    I send my belated condolonces on the loss of your life’s partner… I was browsing the “Recipes from Malabar Farm” cookbook my grandma had given to my mom back in 1998 which made me think of you !!! I wish your family health, strength, & happiness for all the years of your lives !!! A life well lived does help to ease the pain of the passing of the loved ones in our lives and Bob’s life surely was a fine example of a life well lived !!! Hope this finds you having better days & things going your way… Enjoy Everyday… Van Champion

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