The Stevens family has all settled in their new homes in Texas—Houston area, to be specific—and looking ahead, life looks Texas-big and promising.
And yet, there is something else reaching out for them from their past—not from Colorado, the state where they’d most recently settled, but from New Mexico, the state where they had moved for Frank Stevens' last tour of duty at Holloman Air Force Base.
New Mexico, the state that had claimed the life of Norma Stevens’ husband, and later the life of her oldest son, had yet one more thing to say about the fate of the men in this family.
In 1977, in a fiery crash, Norma’s brother-in-law Gerry—Will and Agnes Tully Stevens’ baby boy, whom the family always called Chip—met the same instantaneous fate as did his older brother Frank eleven years prior.
The Alamagordo Daily News ran the headline on April 18, 1977:
LOCAL MAN DIES AS CARS HIT HEADON
The third fatality in less than four days was counted on Highway 54 south of Alamogordo early Sunday when Gerald A. Stevens, 46, of 804 Juniper, died of massive head injuries following a headon collision occurring at approximately 2:20 a.m.
Stevens was a passenger in a car driven by Arthur Martin, 47, of 403 San Andreas, who was injured. Both Martin and Stevens were extricated from the vehicle just before it caught fire and burned extensively.
Martin and the driver of the other car, Peter J. Hart, 21, of 1511 White Street, who also was injured, were taken to the Holloman AFB Hospital.
Investigating State Police said the Martin car was northbound when Hart's vehicle, southbound, crossed the center line to collide with Martin's vehicle.
The accident occured about 4.7 miles south of the Alamogordo city limits.
A prayer service for Stevens will be held in the Hamilton Chapel at 7 p.m., Wednesday, and funeral services will be conducted at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 21, at St. Jude's Mission, with interment to follow at the Monte Vista Cemetery. The VFW will conduct graveside services.
Stevens was a member and grand commander of the New Mexico Cooties, a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, of the Loyal Order of the Moose, Tularosa Police Reserve, and was a past commander of the Disabled American Veterans for several terms in New Jersey and Alamogordo.
Near the same Air Force Base, on the same state highway, Frank’s youngest brother has now lost his own life, bringing to Texas with that news the repercussions of resurrected memories bombarding the family once again.