BILLY BARR STEPHENS 1924 ~ 2017 Billy Barr Stephens passed away of natural causes on Monday, April 17, 2017 in Boise, Idaho. He was born October 5, 1924 in Filer, Idaho. He was the fourth child born to Harry Clyde and Cytha Bell Barr Stephens. Billy grew up, and attended schools in the Filer and Twin Falls area. In his senior year of high school his family moved to Boise, and he graduated from Boise High School in 1942. Immediately after high school, he enlisted in the US Navy and served in World War ll. In the Navy he attended Sonar School and also attended the Naval School of Music in Washington D.C.. He played in the Navy Band on the Aircraft Carrier, USS Langley. Bill married his childhood sweetheart, Evadna Elder, on November 13, 1943, in San Pedro, CA. After the war, he returned to Boise and to his bride and first child, Vickie. Billy then went to work for several local businesses including Boise Music and Appliance. In 1953, he began working for the Idaho Surveying and Rating Bureau and later for Oregon Automobile Insurance Company, which later became North Pacific Ins. Co. He spent 30 years in the insurance business as a field underwriter and adjuster. Bill's greatest passion and hobby was his trombone which he started playing in junior high school and continued playing till he was 86 years old. He was a well-known musician in the Boise valley. He began playing in local bands such as the Ken Bort Band, Joe Slagg Orchastra, Gibb Hochstrasser's Kings of Swing band, Boise Elk's Band, the Gem State Dixie Land Jazz Band, the Boise Municipal City Band, the El Korah Shriner's Band, and until 2012, the Caldwell Centennial Band. He began playing in High School at such venues as the Miramar Ballroom, Buffalo Club, the Riverside Ballroom and at many other venues around the valley. He played at the World's Fair in Seattle in 1963, and for the Sun Valley Jazz Festival several different years. He was a member of the Idaho Jazz Society and the American Legion and the Boise Elk's Club. Bill and Evadna spent many special times at their cabin at the Ten Ax Ranch in Lowman. They also enjoyed their many fun trips with the "Capitol Wheeler's Good Sam Chapter, of which he was a founding and charter member. He enjoyed bowling, playing cards, dominos, and listening to his favorite music and watching football, especially BSU. He and Evadna, and then later, Gladys, were able to travel to Hawaii, Tahiti and many places in the US. After wife, Evadna, died on April 3, 1996, he met his very special companion, Gladys Durfee. They had 16 years of fun and laughter together before Gladys died suddenly in 2012. Billy is survived by his 4 children, daughters, Vickie Kom Henkel, Las Vegas, Judy Girard, Las Vegas, Donna Kom Rayburn (Jim Rayburn) Boise, and son Daniel E Stephens, Boise. Also surviving are 9 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild, and many special nieces and nephews. Preceding him in death are his parents; a sister Lucille McComb; brothers, Jack Stephens and Wesley Stephens. He had been a member of the Ten Mile Christian Church for the past 21 years. A celebration of Billy's life will be held at a Stephens' Family Reunion in June, in San Diego, at his grandson's home. There will be a graveside service held Friday, April 21, 2017 at 2 PM at Dry Creek Cemetery in Boise. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Idaho Humane Society or the Mountain States Tumor Institute in Boise.
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