James W. Stevens, age 83, passed away Sunday June 30th at his home in Watch Hill, RI. Jim was surrounded by loving family in his final moments. He was at peace and went to be with the Lord and his parents and friends after nearly 4 years of illness. He was a leader of many and always led by positive example and good humor. He will be dearly missed.
Jim Stevens grew up on the Massachusetts lakeshore of Webster Lake with his sister, Beverly. He always spoke of those days fondly. Eventually, Deerfield Academy accepted him and a lifetime of friends began to form. As Captain of the baseball team and President of the class of 1954, Jim later joined the Board so he could give back to the school he felt most indebted to positively changing his life. Soon Jim joined the Williams College class of 1958, where he was class President and within a decade joined their Board of Directors. He was the youngest board member ever, for the college, but what he was most proud of was having the opportunity to vote for co-education while on both Deerfield and Williams boards.
After graduating from NYU business school, a long career as a commercial and investment banker ensued. Jim worked at First National Citibank, Laird, Citibank (twice; first in commercial banking and eventually Chairman of Citibank Capital & Group Executive of The Capital Markets Group, responsible for the western hemisphere investment management activities), Dillon Read (Managing Director), and The Prudential (CEO Prudential Asset Management). Boards of special interest were Biogen and Celotex.
Philanthropic boards were an area of particular interest. Jim served on the following boards: A Better Chance, The Donaldson Adoption Institute, The Geraldine Dodge Foundation, The Mercantile Library, Project Renewal, The School of American Ballet, and Spence Chapin Family Services. As a man of incredible empathy, he always found time to help those less fortunate and those fortunate, but in need. His generosity and humor will be his greatest legacy. Golf was his passion.
Jim Stevens is survived by his wife (Mimi), his two sons (Hardie and Mark), and three grandchildren (Jim and Lindsay, and Daniel). Other survivors, by marriage, include: Chris, Liz, Alex, Stephanie, Hudson and Jacob.
A funeral has been planned for 11:30am, July 19th at the Watch Hill Chapel, in Watch Hill, RI. A reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, please donate to A Better Chance, in NYC (abetterchance.org).
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