Harold "Rich" Stevenson, 76, of Livingston, passed away on the evening
of February 9th, 2020, after a long illness.
Born in Crosby, North Dakota to Harold and Hazel Stevenson, he spent
his childhood developing his love for hunting, fishing and cars in
Billings, MT. Rich received his Bachelor's of Science Degree at
Eastern Montana College and went on to earn his Master's Degree at
Montana State University in Fisheries Science. He did his thesis work
on the Big Horn River were he found and worked to eradicate whirling
Later, Rich worked as the fisheries biologist, housed at Livingston,
and was instrumental in working with farmers and ranchers to establish
water rights and create public access to streams and land. He worked
to preserve native cut throat trout to Yellowstone River and
tributaries that we are privileged to enjoy today.
After working for the Forest Service in Cody, WY he returned to
Livingston where he dedicated the rest of his life to his second
career as an artist, writer, conservationist and outfitter. His
paintings grace the walls of homes and businesses throughout the US
and aboard. Rich's fish bronzes are stunning and so accurately
detailed down to the exact number of fin ray's. His paintings,
illustrations and written articles appeared in many scientific and
fishing magazines as well as newspapers. One example was his "Flies"
series which ran weekly in the sports section of the Billings Gazette
for several years. To this day, Rich's, "Montana Wild" painting is
used to teach riparian zone ecology and biodiversity of Montana in
science classrooms throughout the State.
Rich spent years on the rivers, lakes and streams of Montana sharing
his knowledge of flyfishing with beginners to professional fishermen
and women. Days were spent teaching everything from casting techniques
to reading the water, gentle catch and release, and even removing the
occasional hook from fingers and heads, including his own.
Rich met and married, Marie Teslow, of Bozeman, MT in 1978. They were
graced with three beautiful, smart and talented daughters, study
director at Bio/ Science, Collette & her spouse Jeremy Duley of
Belgrade, Dr. Rae Stevenson MD & spouce Spencer Lawley of Livingston
and Kelly Stevenson, a Fellow at Archie Bray Foundation in Helena. As
grandparents, they were blessed with Noah 10, Luella 5, Paxson 2 &
1/2, and Cronin 6 months.
Rich instilled in his daughters respect for all living things and
stewardship of the land. Years were spent building treasured memories
of camping, flyfishing and hunting with our beloved labradors at our
Rich will be remembered for his integrity, honesty, love of family,
perfect casting arm and having a part in preserving the land and
waters of Montana. "Tight lines on crystal waters."
A celebration of Rich's life will take place this summer.
Please consider any memorials be given to the Yellowstone River Spring
Clean-up; make payable to the: Joe Brooks Chapter of Trout Unlimited,
mail to: Matt Swan PO Box 1642-Livingston, MT 59047,
please put: Yellowstone Clean-up in the memo line.
To send flowers to Harold's family, please visit our floral section.