Sarah Deck Stevens ’79

Sarah Deck Stevens ’79, of Santa Fe, N.Mex., went on before us on Dec. 20, 2012. She was 55 years old and died of throat cancer. Stevens was the wife of David Stevens, 2117 Conejo Dr., Santa Fe, NM 87505-6111; mother of Eleanor Stevens; daughter of J. David ’51 and Pauline Phelps Deck; and sister of J. David Deck, Jr., Stewart Deck ’84, and Emily Deck Harrill-all of whom survive her. Stevens was born in Charlottesville, Va., in 1957. She graduated from Davidson in 1979, having spent her junior year in Montpellier, France. After graduation, she worked as a research assistant at the University of Virginia. She later pursued a career teaching mathematics. She taught first at West Chester Friends School in Pennsylvania, and completed a master’s degree in secondary math teaching at Widener University. After moving to Santa Fe, Stevens served for 10 years on the faculty and administration of the Santa Fe Waldorf School. Many Waldorf students remember her as a favorite teacher; the one who unlocked a knack for math the student had not even imagined having. Stevens was a devoted wife and mother. Home and hearth were the pole stars around which she revolved. Among her greatest joys were fixing meals for her family, listening to Eleanor describe the day’s events, and hearing David read aloud after dinner. Cooking was a passion and a therapy. She shared her love for others by feeding them and by exchanging ideas about food. Stevens wove music into her world as a means of self-expression and joy. As a youngster, she took piano lessons, sang in the church choir, and performed in high school musicals. As a teen, she sang with Charlottesville’s Oratorio Society. When she arrived at Davidson and discovered it had no women’s chorus, she helped found the Davidson Women’s Chorus. She nurtured the love of music in others, devotedly attending Santa Fe Youth Symphony concerts at which her daughter played cello. Stevens passed on her love of singing to Eleanor; many times in church after singing a hymn, someone in the pew in front would turn and say, “What beautiful voices you two have!” Stevens’ siblings’ early lives were defined by being her younger brother or sister; hers was a tough act to follow. As the oldest of four, she was often the leader and guide, helping the others to know-through her experience-where to go and sometimes what to avoid. In adulthood, she had a remarkable ability to know what was happening with her brothers and sister, regardless of distance or time. David, Stewart, and Emily, as well as Stevens’ nieces and nephews, delight in her memory, hoping to carry her loyalty, empathy, and beauty into their own relationships. Our homes and hearths are stricken, but our hearts are enlarged by having known and loved her.