Walter Lea Stephen BA, CRT
Resident of Brentwood and Pleasant Hill
January 5, 1938 – June 24, 2019
Walter was born in Georgia. He went to school in Akron, OH. After graduation from high school, he settled in the Bay Area. He enlisted as a medic with the US Navy/Marine Corps and later used his GI benefits to start his education in health care administration and teaching. He earned a lifetime teaching credential in 1972. In 1978 he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Health Sciences from San Francisco State University. He excelled in his field and mentored many students throughout his long career. He worked in many hospitals during his years as a Respiratory Care Practitioner and as an instructor in the Bay Area. He touched many lives. He was employed at Mt. Diablo Hospital in Concord for several years before moving on to home care and teaching.
His professional affiliations included service to the Northern California Chapter of the American Association of Respiratory Care. He was a signer of the original incorporation papers in 1964. He served on the Governmental Affairs Committee, and the Board of the American Lung Association. He received many awards and was honored for his dedication and exemplary support of the Respiratory Care Profession.
His adopted family survive him: Longtime partner Mary Ann Halvorson, her two children – daughter Ann Wangan (husband Rob), son Chris (wife Annette), granddaughter Rebecca Oh (husband Sehyun) and grandson Nick Gentry (wife Lauren).
He was a longtime member of the Big C Athletic Club in Concord. He also belonged to the Pleasant Hill Senior Citizens Club and he and Mary Ann travelled all over the United States for several years with this group.
Walt was a student of film and music and possessed great knowledge of all kinds of music, most especially jazz. Listening to a live musical performance gave him much pleasure.
Walter was our hero – a kind, considerate easy-going man, always positive and supportive. We all loved him, and we know he loved us. He will be forever missed but always in our hearts.
We will celebrate his life on Sunday, August 25 at 4:00PM at Sweeney’s Restaurant in Brentwood, at 1301 Oak Street, (925) 634-5192. Please bring any mementos and memories to share. RSVP please to (925) 726-8437 or contact family.
The family suggests donations to the American Lung Association or the Alzheimer’s Research Organization.