AMM2c Theodore R. Stevens

Unknown Sailor

AMM2c Theodore R. Stevens

Theodore (or Theadore) R. Stevens was born in tiny Howe, Idaho about 60 miles west-northwest of Idaho Falls on July 7, 1919.

It seems likely that he was named for former President Theodore Roosevelt, who died in January of the same year.

His father, Frank, was 54 when his son was born. The 1920 Census said the family had moved to Idaho Falls and listed the father as a retired farmer. His mother, Effie, was in her late 20s. Their marriage did not last. By the time of 1930 Census, his mother had remarried and Teddy was living with her and his stepfather south of Boise.

Mr. Stevens joined the Navy on Sept. 14, 1937 and was an aviation machinist’s mate and petty officer second class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

He was survived by his widow, Vivian. He was already on the Arizona, whose home port was San Pedro, California, when they married in November 1939. She had been living in South Gate, California south of downtown Los Angeles. Their typewritten marriage license in Yuma, Arizona spells his name as Theodore, and his signature is closer to Theodore than Theadore. Some Navy records say it was Theadore. The telegram warning that he was missing uses Theadore but the telegram announcing that he had been killed uses Theodore.

Mr. Stevens’ mother, who lived to the age of 95, tossed flowers into the Boise River every Dec. 7 in his memory, recalls her granddaughter, Teralene Stevens Foxx.

The father died exactly one month after his son was killed.


Sources: the Post-Register of Idaho Falls, Idaho; Census records, Arizona marriage license, grave markers, Navy muster rolls, Teralene Stevens Foxx in an article for the Los Alamos Daily Post. Photo provided by relative Karol Ohlgren. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.

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