Stevens, Coral ‘Co’

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RAPID CITY | Coral Etta “Co” Stevens, 76, died Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, at Morningstar Assisted Living surrounded by her family and friends.

Coral Etta Todd was born Feb. 3, 1942, in Inglewood, CA, to Vivian (Patterson) and Carl Todd. She spent time at her grandparents’ Grade A dairy farm near Whitewood, SD. As a child she lived at Fort Meade. It was during this time that Coral Etta’s mother met and married Roy Hardy.

After graduating from Sturgis Brown High School in 1959, Coral Etta became one of the first six girls to ever attend South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. While attending SDSM&T she met Lavern Stevens and they were married March 6, 1960, in Sturgis. They moved to East Hartford, CT, where Lavern was employed as a mechanical engineer at Pratt-Whitney Aircraft Company. Three of the couple’s four children were born in Connecticut. In 1965, the young family moved back to South Dakota where Lavern began a 31-year teaching career at SDSM&T.

A fourth child was born in Rapid City before the family moved to Boulder, CO, for two years while Lavern worked on his doctorate degree. Out of necessity, Co embarked on a working career that was long and diverse. When the family returned to South Dakota, she worked as a secretary for the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association. Later, Co became an engineering draftsperson. She spent several years at Francis-Meador-Gellhaus, Inc., and did stints at several local engineering firms before creating her own freelance drafting company — TechniCo.

Co was a fantastic cook and baker. When she gave up drafting, she went to work in the food industry. First, in food services at SDSM&T where she enjoyed working with students and quickly rose to become a manager. Next, she spent time working as a server at Horse Creek Inn and in the Grill Room at Arrowhead County Club. Co closed out her working career at Riddle’s Jewelry, where she enjoyed giving factory tours and meeting people from across the nation, in addition to collecting gemstone jewelry.

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Product:Triangle Rhinestone (F/C, F/B)
Item no:F290

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There wasn’t anything Co couldn’t do. She worked full-time and had a meal on the table every night. She baked quadruple batches of chocolate chip cookies every weekend, handled everything during the summer months when Lavern was back in Colorado, and completed several home projects. Co had a can-do attitude that got things done and inspired her children. She held board positions and/or was involved with several organizations, including Black Hills Pony League, duplicate bridge club at SDSM&T, Whispering Pines Water Association, Historical Auto Club of the Black Hills, and Fairway Hills Homeowner’s Association.

In addition to working, Co was a committed volunteer with Hospice of the Black Hills, Meals on Wheels, Cornerstone Mission, First United Methodist Church, and most significantly Canyon Lake United Methodist Church, where she served in many capacities.

Co was a very creative and talented craftsperson. She produced many beautiful cross stitch pieces, baby blankets, homemade Christmas ornaments and decorations, and crocheted countless Afghans. She was a gifted card writer. Who can forget her wonderful rhyming Christmas letters!

Co was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Co is survived by her children: Sandra (Paul) Thielen, Rapid City, Todd (Martha) Stevens, Rochester, MN, and Stephanie Stevens (Kerry Barker), Edgemont; seven grandchildren, Trevor Thielen, Troy (Sara) Thielen, Samuel Stevens, Zachary (Brittany) Stevens, Elizabeth Stevens, Breahna Barker, and Sarah Kate Barker; great-granddaughter, Sylvia Thielen; “little brother” Richard (Marjorie) Todd, Rapid City; and sister-in-law, Dorothy Todd, Ashland, NE.

She was preceded in death by her parents; daughter, Sarah Louise in 1987; husband, Lavern in 2001; “big brother” Robert Todd in 2010; and grandson, Cody Barker in 2017.

Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. today at Osheim & Schmidt Funeral Home.

Funeral services, with an opportunity to reminisce, will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17, at Canyon Lake United Methodist Church. A luncheon will follow the service. Interment will be at Mountain View Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Stevens Family Scholarship Fund at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology or to the Canyon Lake United Methodist Church.

The family would like to especially thank the staff at Morningstar Assisted Living for their loving care of Co.

Friends are encouraged to sign her online guest register at

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