On Jan. 22, 2017, those of us who knew and loved Velinda, lost one of our greatest gifts. She passed away at home in Kalispell, Montana. Breast cancer took Velinda from us before we were ready, but her contributions to our lives will continue.

Velinda was born in Cuero, to Verlin and Colleen Trautwein. While attending high school in Houston, she met her future husband, Mark Stevens, on a blind date. After college, Velinda began her career in hospital administration. She worked with healthcare institutions across Texas, in Edna, Victoria, Brownwood, Austin, and Longview, before settling in Kalispell, Montana where Velinda served as the President/CEO of Kalispell Regional Healthcare for 18 years.

She is survived by her husband of 40 years, Mark; her children, Jake Stevens and Hayley Talbert; her grandson, Jackson Talbert; her mother, Colleen Trautwein; her siblings, Bart Trautwein and Reba Goodman and beloved family.

She was preceded in death by her father and sister, Jana.

A memorial to celebrate Velinda’s life will be held on Feb. 17 at 10 a.m. at the Canvas Church in Kalispell, Montana. There will also be a memorial in Cuero on March 4.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to The Velinda Stevens Endowment for Women and Children through the Kalispell Regional Healthcare Foundation.

From Velinda’s family — We wish to thank everyone who loved and supported her. Her extraordinary generosity and impact on individual lives is apparent from the outpouring of kindness, love, and assistance we have experienced. These generous expressions brought us, and will continue to bring us, comfort during this time. Seeing the communities Velinda served, grow and thrive, brought her great joy. She lived her life for others, and we honor her memory by caring for those around us.