Joseph Chauncy Stevens, MD, of Hanover, NH, died on October 5, 2020, after a short illness. He was 89. He was born in West Springfield, MA. Joe attended public school until the 10th grade, then went on to Williston Academy, Yale, Union Theological Seminary, and the U.S. Air Force. While in the Air Force, he met the love of his life, Jane Rita Wurtz, on a blind date. They married and returned to Yale to prepare for medical school.
Joe and Jane then moved to St. Louis where Joe attended Washington University Medical School. During medical school Joe and Jane welcomed all three of their daughters: Barbara, Mary and Susie. Joe completed his urology residency at Dartmouth/Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital and, after several years of urology practice in Madison, Wisconsin, Jane, Joe and the girls settled in Hanover, NH, where Joe continued his career as a urologist at Mary Hitchcock Hospital. Joe then opened a private practice in Claremont, NH, and Springfield, VT.
During Joe’s years practicing urology he commuted from Hanover to Claremont and Springfield. He was always on call and made the trip even in the worst kind of weather and in the middle of the night. Often in a hurry to get to the hospital, he was well known by the State Troopers patrolling I-91. He loved being a doctor and a surgeon, and remembered every single patient.
When Joe wasn’t working, he was focused on his family, friends, and his wide array of interests. He and Jane played tennis and golf regularly with many good friends. Although Joe liked to joke that he “flew a desk” in the Air Force, he later became an actual pilot and loved to fly Cessna’s and gliders in the sky above New England. At 54, Joe decided to become a runner, and ran his first (and only) marathon at 54. He loved opera, had a curious mind and was always interested in doing and learning new things. He took Spanish lessons, grew hydroponic tomatoes (in the living room), studied astronomy, wine, geology, and James Joyce. One summer he even tried his hand at raising sheep. He was a gifted painter, wood carver, and metal worker.
Joe developed and fostered wonderful friendships that he treasured until the last days of his life. In fact, he recently said that being a good friend was one of his greatest achievements.
Joe heartily supported those in need and the institutions that inspired him. He was an early supporter of the Montshire Museum when it was housed in an old bowling alley in Hanover, and was instrumental in its expansion to Norwich, VT, where he served as a trustee. He was an active supporter of Opera North, stayed involved in his high school alma mater, Williston Northampton. In more recent years, Joe renewed his spiritual life and became active in St. Thomas Episcopal Church.
Above all, Joe was interested in people. If he met you, he wanted to know you. If he knew you, he was always happy to see you.
Joe’s generous spirit and jovial presence and will be missed and well remembered by all those who were lucky enough to cross his path.
His beloved wife, Jane, died in December of 2019. Joe is survived by his three daughters, Barbara Lucy Stevens ’76, of Key West, Florida, Mary Stevens (Michael Whitaker) of Norwich, VT, and Susie Stevens (Vince Watts) of Norwich, VT, and his brother Aaron Stevens ’45 of Ft. Meyers, FL. He was predeceased by his sister, Drucilla (Stevens) Mazur ’47. Joe was especially loved by all of his grandchildren. He made special time for each of them and they all have favorite Papa stories to tell. They include Sam and Henry Freel, Isabella Ackerman, Jordan ’17 and Joe Sansone ’15, and Jackson Watts.
Due to COVID-19, services for Joe will be held at a later date.