Harold Stevens obituary (1936 – 2021) – Hopkinton, MA

Harold Ray Stevens, 85, former Westminster resident, died on October 30, 2021 at his residence in Hopkinton, MA, with his family by his side. Professor Emeritus of English at McDaniel College, he was born May 20, 1936 in Macon, GA, son of Sudie MacManus and Manuel Eugene Stevens, later of Elkton, MD. He received his BA from Western Maryland College, his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, and taught at Butler University and Western Maryland (now McDaniel) College. He was predeceased by Ruth Ann (Wilson ’59) Stevens, his wife of 52 years. He is survived by two sons, David James Stevens, Joel Ray Stevens and his wife Michelle Fredette Stevens of Hopkinton, MA; two grandchildren, Carly and Wyatt Stevens of Hopkinton; and a brother, David Stevens and his wife Betty of Doylestown, PA. An older brother, Paul Stevens, passed away in 2019. The former president of the Mencken Society was a life member of the Joseph Conrad Society and a 60-year life member of the Modern Language Association, where he served on its assembly of delegates. In addition, the bibliographer, text editor and member of several editorial boards was also active in the Byron Society and other literary associations. At McDaniel College, he was elected professor emeritus in 1975; was president of its chapter Phi Beta Kappa; received faculty awards for creative writing as well as periodical and scholarly publications; and initiated the college’s study tours to the UK, Ireland and The Culture of New Orleans. Stevens’ lifelong study of the literary influence of the King James Bible led to a series of essays and conference presentations on Christianity and literature, an interest that began when he was local preacher in the Methodist Church in the 1950s. His publications include the edition of books on John Galsworthy and the volume Last Essays in the Cambridge University Press edition of the works of Joseph Conrad, which received the “Approved Edition” award of the Modern Language Association; and essays in various volumes and journals on the King James Bible, Lord Byron, HL Mencken, the Scopes Monkey Trial and other literary subjects, such as the edition of Conrad’s Congo Diary in Conrad’s Congo by the London Folio Society. Interest in Mencken has led to occasional contributions to the Baltimore Evening Sun’s editorial page. Speaking at academic conferences took him from Vancouver to Cape Town, contributing along the way at universities in Toronto, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, New Orleans, Lubbock, Dublin, London, Canterbury, Lublin, Krakow , Lvov, Haifa and Potchefstroom. His academic life continued as an octogenarian, having published two-volume essays published in 2018 by Maria Curie-Sklodowska / Columbia University Press in Conrad’s homeland of Poland. A final essay will be published in 2021, in Joseph Conrad and Ethics, also in Poland. Community activities ranged from playing the trombone in the big band “Rhythmmasters” (Elkton, MD), serving for several years as a local preacher and acting pastor in the Methodist Church (Peninsula Conference, MD), participating in a local council of the American Red Cross Directors (Westminster, MD), sponsoring a young adult service club (Indianapolis, IN), managing baseball teams in Finksburg (MD) Little League and football teams for Deer Park (MD) and chairing the Carroll County (MD) Department of Recreation and Parks (1982-84). A private service is scheduled for friends and family on Friday, November 5, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at the Conowingo Baptist Church Cemetery in Conowingo, Maryland. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be sent to McDaniel College Annual Fund, 2 College Hill, Westminster, MD 21157 or First United Methodist Church, 120 E. Main St., Westborough, MA 01581. Funeral arrangements have been made entrusted to Callanan Cronin Funeral Home, Hopkinton, MA.

Posted by Carroll County Times on November 3, 2021.

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