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Randy David Stevenson "Trapper"
April 21, 1950 ~ November 27, 2023 (age 73) 73 Years Old
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With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Randy Stevenson, a vibrant and enthusiastic member of the hunting and wildlife community. He was widely recognized for his recent achievement in establishing native wetlands at Fowl Ridge Farms, dedicated to ensuring the longevity and protection of migratory birds. Randy brought passion and dedication to his work, leaving a memorable legacy on the landscape he so dearly cherished.
He was born in San Mateo, California, to the late Lyle and Joan (Harris) Stevenson. He was raised in Lisle, IL, he pursued Conservation at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Randy proudly served on an ice breaker and worked search and rescue in the US Coast Guard for 4 years. Upon completing his service, he gained the nickname of “Trapper” as he started fur trapping, ultimately leading to the entrepreneurship of Illinois Fur Harvesters.
On Valentine’s Day 1976, Randy wed Sharon Kohut, who was by his side for all of his adventurous endeavors for 47 years until his passing. They settled in Millington, IL, where they were blessed with three children: Peter (1978), Jillian (1979), and Russell (1985). As the children grew, they worked alongside Randy, raising mink, hunting, and trapping. After the children were grown, he gave up fur farming and trading to join the Local 150 Operators Union as a heavy equipment operator. He operated and ran everything from cranes to excavating equipment and remained with the union until his retirement.
Upon retiring, Randy and Sharon embarked on a new chapter, settling into a rural home south of Ottawa, IL. There, Randy dedicated himself to developing Fowl Ridge Farms, where he raised flying mallards for conservation and hunting purposes. He also created extensive wetland habitat for migratory birds. This home and land was and will remain a favorite spot for fun and fishing with his beloved grandchildren, Lydia, Tyler, Reid, and Sable, who brought the greatest joys to Randy’s life. He was always amazed by how clever and creative his grandchildren are. Randy was deeply proud of each of his children and enjoyed passing knowledge on to them.
Randy was a one-of-a-kind man who was loved deeply and will be sorely missed. His passion for hunting, trapping, and conservation will be proudly carried on by his children and grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife, Sharon Stevenson (Kohut); three children, Peter Stevenson (Elizabeth Gusick) of Newark, IL, Jillian Stevenson of Muskegon, MI, and Russell Stevenson (Kaitlyn Lee) of Leonore, IL; and four grandchildren, Lydia Stevenson, Tyler Stevenson, Reid Stevenson, and Sable Stevenson. He is preceded in death by his parents and his uncle Hank Wegner, who he admired greatly.
In loving memory of Randy, a celebration of his life will be held at Pitstick Pavilion in Ottawa, IL, on December 16th at Noon. Friends and family are invited to wear their best camouflage and overalls as we gather to share our favorite stories and memories of Randy. In lieu of flowers, consider making donations to Fowl Ridge Farms to help preserve Randy's legacy. The family appreciates your condolences and asks for your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.