Those of you who remember our former Rector John Stevenette might like to read this tribute by his family.
John Stevenette, a retired Priest, father, Grandpa and friend to many died peacefully at the Princess Lodge Nursing Home in Swindon on Saturday 7th May. Many of you over the years will remember our father as someone who enjoyed a good conversation. He was always, with our dear Mum, Angela, an encourager of people and loved chatting about life, faith, gardening and his beloved Jazz.
John was ordained in Chichester Cathedral in 1961 and served his curacy in Newhaven where Simon and Paul were was born. In 1966 he became Rector in Lynch with Iping Marsh in West Sussex in 1966 where Anna was born before moving to Birdham and West Itchenor. In 1974 after four years he moved in 1978 to become Rector of St Mary’s Byfleet before moving onto Whittlesey and Pondersbridge in the Ely diocese in 1986. John and Angela then moved to the Winchester Diocese in 1993 where John served as Rector in the Itchen Valley benefice. Retirement in 1999 took John and Angela to Abingdon where John lived for 21 years. For most of that time he remained very active in ministry and was licensed in the Oxford and Bristol Dioceses to minister at services and to take funerals.
Sadly, John’s health declined slowly with the onset of Alzheimer’s. He managed extremely well for several years living independently in Abingdon following the death of Angela in 2009, with the support of family and a team of carers. Latterly, in January 2020 John moved to Swindon to live with Simon and family as his Alzheimer’s became more advanced. We have many happy memories as a family of Dad enjoying sitting in the garden, especially during the hot summer of the first lockdown. Most memorable was celebrating his 90th birthday when he managed a dance to a jazz band on the patio. Following a minor fall in May 2021 John spent three weeks in hospital before being transferred to the Princess Lodge Care home for nursing care. As a family we all visited very regularly and Dad always had a smile on his face and was pleased to see us despite losing his mobility. He was very well cared for by all the staff and died peacefully in his sleep.
John always had time to sit and listen, he was never in a hurry, and always had a smile on his face and a glint in his eye. One of his most remarkable gifts was being able to live in the present moment and being constantly grateful and thankful for everything. We will all remember him with fondness for his deep faith, a life well lived and a generosity of spirit which knew no bounds.
God bless you Dad as you journey on to the next adventure in eternity.
With our love and prayers
The Stevenette family