Gordon “Buddy” Stevens

Gordon "Buddy" Stevens
Gordon “Buddy” Stevens

Gordon “Buddy” Stevens, age 81, of Amarillo, TX passed away on October 30, 2020, at The Reserve at Amarillo. The family was able to be with him. Due to COVID, there will be no formal remembrance of his life.

Buddy was born on June 20 or June 25, 1939. His birth certificate says June 25, but his mother always told him June 20, so until he went on Medicare, he thought his birthday was June 20, so for the last 15 years, we have celebrated both birthdays. Buddy was born in Idabell, Oklahoma, He was born at home which was above a grocery store. He was the next to the youngest of 13 siblings.

Buddy graduated from White Deer High School and attended college at Texas A&M University before transferring to West Texas State (now West Texas A&M University) in Canyon where he earned a bachelor’s and later master’s degree in education. He taught and coached in several towns in the Texas Panhandle before moving to Amarillo where he coached and was an assistant principal for 20 years at Crockett Middle School.

Buddy was a star athlete in High School, took up running in his 40’s and marathon running in his 60’s. His passion though was golf. Above all Buddy loved his family. He was a devoted husband and father and he doted on his grandchildren. Buddy was one of those people who couldn’t sit still. He worked long hours in his job as a middle school assistant principal, and when he retired (after playing golf) he worked tirelessly around the house and yard, servicing the cars, running errands for his working wife, volunteering for Meals on Wheels, and helping others.

Buddy was preceded in death by his granddaughter,  Madeline Wiles.

Survivors include his wife, Ann Wallace; four children, Kristilie Reyna, Kelly Taylor, Kim Wiles, and Ky Stevens; 6 grandchildren, Gabriel and Alegra Reyna, Lawson and Coleman Taylor, and Brenna; two great-grandchildren, Darcy Wiles and Maia Sanchez; and one brother, Jerry Stevens. He is also survived by Ann’s children to whom he was a second father: David Wallace, Jonathan Wallace, Erin Runnels, and Carrie Collier.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or the Frontal-Temporal Dementia Association.

23 Replies to “Gordon “Buddy” Stevens”

  1. I played football, Vernon, Tx JV, Coach Stevens was our head coach.
    Last saw Coach Stevens in Grapevine Tx at Grapevine Mills Mal. He told me he was living in Amarillo,Tx and on his way back.
    We had a good conversation on and about our lives…… I always had tons of respect for him

  2. I remember well Coach Stevens & Coach Jerry Elbert when they were Coaching in Vernon, Texas. A lot of us girls in 7th grade thought we had 2 of the nicest & most Handsome Teachers in Texas, . Coach Elbert lives in Hereford, Tx. & is married to a good friend of mine. Talk about a small World. RIP Coach Stevens ❤️🙏🏻

  3. Coach Stevens was one of the nicest men I ever knew. Although he was only about 8 or 9 years older than his students (in Vernon, TX) he was very well respected and liked by all. His brother Jerry was serving in the Army and he ask us if anyone was interested in writing to him it would be appreciated. I remember thinking if this would make Coach happy I would do it. Back then I thought he was a lot older than us and I was always taught to be respectful of my elders. I know he will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. My sincere condolences to all the family.

  4. I got my first teaching job at Crockett Middle School in 1989and Buddy was the vice principal. He was always up at the school early in the morning. He gave me a note, which I still have, telling me what a good job I was doing. One time, a student told me to “kiss his ass” and I had to send that student to Buddy. He backed me 100 percent. Now he gave me a hard time but that was his way of saying he liked me! May your family, friends, co-workers and former students be comforted. See you on the other side Buddy!

  5. I got to know Buddy more recently during his time at the Reserve. His kind personality and fun spirit was obvious, even when affected by dementia. I always looked forward to seeing him. I never saw him without a welcoming smile on his face!

  6. I was blessed with Buddy’s friendship. I was a substitute teacher at Crockett Middle School for years and looked forward to seeing him, every time I was there. He was quick with a joke, a wink, “have a great day” or all of the above. We became good friends and I learned on top of it all he was a Christian man with a heart of gold. My grandfather always told me “be sure to leave this world a better place than it was when you got here”. Buddy most certainly did that. He will be sorely missed.

  7. He was my principal at Crockett almost 25 years ago. I remember him standing outside in the breezeway everyday telling all of us kids to have a great day. Sometimes he would even be there between classes to make sure we were doing great.

  8. Buddy was someone you never forget. He kept everyone on their toes and always had something to do. My mom worked at Crockett and I went there my 8th grade year. When my mom worked late, Buddy was always around to laugh with or to make sure I was doing my homework! He will be missed. Rest In Peace.

  9. Buddy was a good friend and a supportive colleague. We became friends when we shared a classroom at Crockett Middle School. Then he became a supportive “boss” when he became assistant principal. Rest In Peace, Dear Friend.

  10. Having joined the staff at Crockett in 1998, I knew I was going to like Buddy right off the bat. He stood outside the office every morning and greeted everyone as they arrived, quick with a witty remark. I felt at home immediately. In fact, the staff at Crockett in those days had a special bond, with Buddy right in the middle. The Crockett Staff Golf Tournament was appropriately named after him, and he loved the many fun experiences he shared with fellow scramblers.
    I was amazed that he could command the attention and respect of a full cafeteria of middle schoolers with one whistle. No doubt he impacted the lives of countless kids.
    I wish we could have said a proper goodbye, but knowing Buddy, he will meet us at the gates of heaven and show us around.
    My condolences to all of his family. He will truly be missed.

  11. Buddy was a ball of fire! When I first went to work for him, I couldn’t understand why he always gave me such a hard time. One day I asked him and he said, “Blanchard, if I didn’t like you so much, I wouldn’t give you a hard time.” I loved working with Buddy and really appreciated the fact that he expected our students to be on their best behavior and if they weren’t, they heard about it, we all did! You have left quite a legacy and I fondly remember seeing him in the community after he retired. Until we meet again!

  12. Mr. Stevens was a big part of my time at Crockett. He always was there to give me a hard time. I remember always running into him in the breeze-way at Crockett. He will be remembered always. Walk the streets of gold and keep that humor, Mr. Stevens. May the rest of your family have peace and comfort during this time. Many prayers!

  13. Dear Uncle Buddy,
    Big gulp…you even taught me the simplest thing as how to address a letter or note. Something people don’t do much of anymore. (Write letters)
    This may take a minute or two…we both had this one thumb typing thing going on but I won’t have to carry that extra guilt bag for not writing. God only knows I don’t need another one.
    I wrote you a letter on the computer one time to tell you how much I appreciated what you had done for me and how much it meant to me to get to spend the little time that we did together the nine months that I came to Amarillo at one of the darkest and lowest times of my life and you didn’t miss a beat to begin counseling with me. Taking me under your wing and trying to heal my broken heart and soul. Turns out you were actually a real person not the movie star I imagined you to be when I was a little girl.
    We laughed a lot. I cried a lot. You told me stories about my mama, (your oldest of two sisters), you encouraged me and we ate a lot of ice cream that I wasn’t supposed to say anything to Ann about, (wink, wink). You helped me wash and detail my car. I knew you didn’t want me to have all the fun until it came to the waxing part, (showing me in a small place how to wax on wax off and then handed me the rag). We even drove to a car wash to wash the motor! We both liked my car and we were both huge car enthusiasts. (Another thing that ran in the family including keeping them sparkling clean).
    I would sometimes come by Rhett’s car lot and visit which was always like going to the Cunningham cab stand in Borger where everyone would come hang out and tell stories, eat warm peanuts out of the machine and drink pop. I always loved when Uncle Jerry would magically show up and you two would nit pick at each other and fuss about who was the cutest!
    You wouldn’t let me leave without offering to buy me lunch or put gas in my car and tease Uncle Jerry about giving us the money.
    You were always a gentleman and soft spoken.
    I remember letting you drive my car a couple of times to Sam’s and I was having a rough day and you kept trying to get me to eat something and I was getting choked up because it is very hard to be humbled and I told you I couldn’t talk right then and you said, (after doing all the talking), “good, I’m going to enjoy the silence!” You had such a quick wit and great sense of humor. I don’t think that can be taught. You were just blessed and you knew how to bless other people and I sure do thank you for blessing me!
    I’m going to miss you a bunch and I know others will as well.
    Thank you for the memories! Too many to tell. Aren’t you glad I spared everyone?
    I hope I didn’t embarrass you. I know you would always say that to me before we would go in to places,
    “don’t you embarrass me.” Ha.
    Now, were you my dad or my uncle?
    By the way, I’m very sorry I didn’t send that letter.
    With lots of love and respect,
    Jimmie Lou

  14. Sending your family love & prayers! Mr. Stevens was one of my favorite people! He made such a positive impact on my life! ❤️

  15. I first met Buddy in 1984 at Crockett Middle School. It was my first job out of college. Buddy and two other awesome guys were my mentors. Buddy was an outstanding english teacher, fantastic coach and good friend. We spent many Friday nights traveling around the Texas panhandle scouting football games for Amarillo High school.
    In 1985 Buddy’s 8th grade football team puled off, in my opinion, one of the biggest upsets in Amarillo MS history beating rival Bonham in the City Championship. I still run into kids today that want to talk about that game.
    May God bless Buddy and his family.

  16. Gordon “Buddy” Stevens, was my second dad for the past 20 years. He was an amazing husband to my mother, a wonderful father to his children, and a loving grandfather. He was one of the kindest people I’ve ever known, never hesitating to help someone in need. He had the funniest sayings (It’s colder than last year’s love out there!). Always called me by my first and middle name in that sweet TX accent. Often told me I was beautiful when I absolutely did not feel so. In my early 20’s he helped me get a good job and even tried to help me find a good man, ha. Later in life, he would send me flowers on my birthdays and Mother’s Days after my divorce to make sure I knew I was loved. He and I would listen and sing to Merle and Willie together. When I would visit my mom and he, he would share both his daily scripture and the funnies (comics) with me in the mornings. The man loved to read his hard copy of the paper, he loved God, he loved golf, and of course loved his family. It has been a tough journey, but he is no longer suffering. I love you and will miss you, Buddy. May you finally be at peace.

  17. Buddy was a great person and he welcomed me into the family and made me feel welcome. His brothers and sisters always enjoyed being around him. He was close to my husband, Bill, and they had a lot of fun picking on each other. He will be missed by all.

  18. My Dad, Mr. Stevens, to his students, and “Coach” to his athletes, was a man of Devout Christian faith: he lived by the principles put forth in the Ten Commandments. He taught me to pray as a young man; each night he would come to tuck me in, but before he left me to sleep, we would often pray the Lord’s Prayer.

    When I went to Crockett for Middle School, I would often look up from my studies because I could feel my Dad watching me from the hallway. He also watched and remained supportive when I decided to “come out,” about being gay. After I told him, he called and said, “I love you no matter what because [he] was too old to be angry.”

    Let us celebrate the life of a man who taught me and others to do the right thing, even when doing the right thing is hard. He was a father figure to not just me and my siblings, but to his extended family. When he coached my Kids Inc football team, and he would huddle all of us 9-10 year olds up early on a cold morning Saturday morning, after blowing his whistle, “huddle up guys, and take a knee,” he would say, and he would command the attention of teenage football players with such cariama and passion, we didn’t even know what what hit us. He taught us some of life’s most fundamental tools whether it was the value of getting into shape, self-discipline, patients, and compassion and empathy necessary to inspire and win on and off of the course.

    He knew the game of golf was about more than just beating your opponent. Even in a loss there are many lessons to be learned. “Have patients.” “Be particular about things being done the right way…the first time.” And obsessively practicing his short game, running, getting into marathons in his late 60s. He was particular about things being done his “particular” way no matter how tedious and mundane the task.

    Whether it was storing all the hardback text books in Crockett’s book-room between the spring and fall semesters, or mowing the grass: things were always done with foresight and thoughtfulness for “the next guy”. He always said, “don’t make things harder for people,” when we would go out in reference to my childlike tendency to cause calamity due to being a very hyperactive child.

    For my Dad, there was a reason and place for everything. The “book-room” I referenced earlier, at Crockett, and the smell of the glue holding the books together, reminds me of my Dad. He was the family member who was the glue of our family. His big heart and Christian acts of faith, forgiveness, service, and devotion to family and his colleagues was and is an example of what “modern heroes” in America really look and act like: he was decent to everyone, and it didn’t matter if you drove a big new truck or had a RV parked inside a garage, and you were at rock bottom: he would take on people, lift them up, and offer a helping hand. I love and miss you Dad.

    Ky

  19. Buddy Stevens was my coach in Stinnett. He coached me in basketball. I remember his great sense of humor. Condolences to his loved ones.

  20. Buddy was a great guy and fun to work with. We coached together at Crockett for three years and had some wonderful years there. Buddy took his work and running seriously and could never be accused of slacking off. He inspired his players and fellow coaches to reach for the highest in their performance. My condolences extend to both the family, friends and those who benefitted from having Buddy as a teacher and coach. We will always remember Buddy.

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