Juanita Lorraine Stevens, 85, has finished a successful race! She hit the finish line on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011, in Sandpoint, Idaho, and was welcomed into the arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Viewing for friends and family will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011, at the Lakeview Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, at the New Song Bible Church in Sagle, Idaho, with Pastor Barry Johnson officiating.
Juanita’s race began on March 5, 1926, in Covina, Calif., when she was born to Vernon and Rhea Taylor. As she grew into a young woman she ran across many milestones. One such milestone was meeting the young handsome John H. Stevens; he would become her running partner through life. They met prior to his tour of duty in World War II. Corresponding while he was away they built their relationship to be bound together upon his return.
Married on July 14, 1945, her newest leg of her race had begun. Juanita and John went to seminary school where they trained vigorously for the race set before them. John went on to work in law enforcement, Juanita to the tireless job of maintaining the home. Two children joined her and John as they journeyed. First a beautiful daughter Laurie Irene (Riffel), then second their son, Jeffery John Stevens. This gave Juanita the opportunity to show strength of endurance as she quietly and humbly raised her children, supported her husband, and maintained their home with the respect and love that God had instructed her to do.
She was able to come alongside of each of her children as they grew and stepped out to run races with families of their own. Juanita was with John as he finished his race in May 2005 (two months shy of their 60th anniversary), keeping her eyes on the race still before her, coaching her children and grandchildren keeping them lifted up in prayer each day as they continued to run.
As Juanita’s physical body became such that those looking at her would think she can’t walk much less run, those about her would disagree stating she was running even more firm, more set to complete her race as a champion. All who have been blessed to run with Juanita would truly be able to say her life was a strong witness that spoke more than any words. That her belief in the promises of God and Jesus had provided the perfect path to run on, and now finish her race with a grace and peace that will continue to influence those still running.
Those left to finish the race and be welcomed by Juanita, John and most of all Jesus when they cross the finish line for themselves are her children, Laurie Riffel of Sandpoint and Jeffrey (Katsa) Stevens of Sandpoint; grandchildren, Tony (Tammy) Riffel of Sandpoint, Jeffrey (Lynette) Riffel of Bradenton, Fla., Kenneth Riffel of Naples, Carrie (Dennis) Stevens of Perris, Calif., Timothy (Jessica) Riffel of Sandpoint, Joshua (Wendy) Riffel of Sandpoint, Jeremiah Riffel of Sandpoint, Shaun (Andrea) Shubin of Wiesbaden, Germany, Mathew Shubin of Azusa, Calif., Mickey Shubin of Sandpoint, and Amber Stevens of Sandpoint; and 24 great-grandchildren.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7
Lakeview Funeral Home in Sandpoint is handling the arrangements. Please visit Juanita’s online memorial at www.lakeviewfuneral.com and sign her guest book.