John Davenport Stevens (AUGUST 8, 1969 – JULY 12, 2023)
Captain John Davenport Stevens, U.S. Navy, age 53, of Crofton, Maryland, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Wednesday, July 12, 2023.
Born in Kittery, Maine, John then lived in Hawaii, Massachusetts, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey before moving to Maryland and graduating from Cambridge South Dorchester High School in 1987. After high school, John attended Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania for two years before becoming a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy (USNA) in Annapolis, Maryland. In May 1993, John graduated from USNA with a degree in systems engineering, was commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy and married the love of his life, Lori.
John's honorable Naval career spanned thirty years, serving on two ships as a Surface Warfare Officer, multiple shore tours as an Engineering Duty Officer, and a deployment to Baghdad, Iraq, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service in a combat zone. With a master's degree and doctorate in electrical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, John served his last ten years as a Permanent Military Professor at USNA. During this time, he served as the Associate Chair, Capstone Coordinator, Power Lab Director, and the Department Chair for Electrical and Computer Engineering. He thoroughly enjoyed engineering, teaching, the Naval Academy, his fellow military members, his co-workers, and his students.
John was never shy about sharing his faith and Christian testimony. As an eleven-year-old attending Victory Valley Bible Camp in Zionsville, Pennsylvania, John chose to trust in the sovereign God who created him and to submit his life to Jesus, his Savior and "the author and perfecter" of his faith (Hebrews 12:2). Throughout his remaining years, he served the Lord not only in his everyday life, but through purposeful ministry opportunities: church deacon, adult Sunday School teacher, missions team leader, chapel speaker at Grace Christian School, USNA Fellowship of Christian Athletes officer representative, men's prayer breakfast coordinator, AWANA game leader, special needs ministry helper... In all things, he "served the Lord with gladness" (Psalm 100:2).
An absolute lover of learning, John was also a part-time student of Dallas Theological Seminary, where he thrived on digging deeper into scripture and the character of God, his Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer. In his own words, "This is why I'm at Dallas Theological Seminary -- to become better equipped to lead and to serve. I love to teach, I love to teach the truths found in the Bible, and I love the local church. What I'm learning now is how to love people enough to share with them the gospel of Jesus Christ." Whether he was sitting with someone in his living room, or hiking, kayaking, building a bonfire, or eating apples with all-natural crunchy peanut butter, John would share his faith. His sincerity, smile, and energy displayed while doing so was contagious.
John passed away suddenly, while doing something he thoroughly enjoyed. Summiting a mountain top in Monterey, California with his son, his family knowing his love for them and his future secure in Christ, John went home to be with his Lord. He would want you to smile and laugh, to remember the times God gave you with him. Most of all, he would want you to seek Jesus, who gave up his heavenly kingdom and humbly came to save us, the lost. While alive, John testified, "After all these years, I have come to realize that Christ had paid the penalty for all the massive sins I would commit later. It's a fact that I'm not proud of, but somehow God replaced those moments of sin and consequence ...with joy and thanksgiving. What I learned is where sin is great, God's grace is greater still...this is the great thing about being in Christ -- 'The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness' (Lamentations 3:22-23)."
John is survived by his beloved wife of thirty years, Lori (Schaeffer) Stevens; daughter and son-in-law, Hannah and Charles Browning; son Eric Stevens; daughter Evelyn Stevens; granddaughter Katherine Browning; parents Robert and Susan Stevens of Summerfield, Florida; brothers Rob, Brett and Eric Stevens, as well as their wives and families.
Services will be held at Grace Baptist Church, 7210 Race Track Rd, Bowie, Maryland, 20715, on Saturday, July 22, 2023 at 10 a.m.
John will be buried at a private ceremony on a later date, at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests donations be made to the USNA Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddle (my.fca.org/FCAnavy).
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared on this website for the Stevens family.
John M. Taylor Funeral Home
147 Duke OF Gloucester ST
Annapolis, MD 21401