Clarence Donald Stevenson, Jr. of Morganton passed away on March 9, 2023 at the age of 90. He was born in Greensboro, North Carolina on December 4, 1932. His parents, Clarence Donald Stevenson and Sue Holland Stevenson preceded him in death. He was a graduate of Statesville High School and attended Appalachian State University. In 1961, Don was employed as an executive with the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America, a position he held in Ohio and North Carolina for 15 years. He later worked at Western Carolina Center, now known as the J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center, for a number of years, where he met his wife, Judy.
From the young age of 9, he had gained an interest and studied art, then after he retired, he became an avid artist and woodworker. In the early 1980s, he was recognized as an excellent portrait artist and several of his oil paintings now hang in prominent homes and institutions in Burke, Iredell, Catawba, and Mecklenburg counties.
He also used his artistic talents to create editorial cartoons that were published in newspapers in Morganton, Elkin, Concord, Kannapolis, and Raleigh, North Carolina. A collection of his political cartoons is on file at the Burke County Public Library and the History Museum of Burke County. Perhaps Don is best known for his juried membership in the Southern Highland Craft Guild where he created and sold wooden miniature scale replicas of historic barns, corncribs, smokehouses, rural churches, and the Old Well at UNC Chapel Hill. Two of Don’s works were selected for permanent display at the University of Women’s and Children’s Hospital at Chapel Hill. Another of his works, a replica of a historic Waldensian home, is on display at the Waldensian Heritage Museum in Valdese.
For the last several years, Don was writing three books on family and local history. One is about more than 400 soldiers and patriots of the American Revolution who served from Iredell County. Another is about 192 members of the Fourth Creek Congregation, a congregation of early Presbyterians who worshiped in the 1750s in what has become the First Presbyterian Church of Statesville, where Don and his wife, Judy, are members. The third book is a brief biography about his first ancestor to America from Northern Ireland, Williams Stephenson. He was one of the first five ruling elders in the Fourth Creek Meeting House in the Fourth Creek settlement that became Statesville, North Carolina.
Don is survived by his wife of 45 years, Judy Helms Stevenson of Morganton, son, Donald Scott Stevenson of Statesville, daughter, Kimberly Sue Stevenson of Lenoir, and two grandchildren.
Funeral services for Clarence Donald Stevenson, Jr. will be held March 25, 2023 at 2:00 PM, at First Presbyterian Church in Statesville.
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