In Memoriam

Robert Stevens

Robert Gordon Stevens passed away on July 4, 2023, at the age of 78. Bob was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend and will be missed and remembered by many.

Bob is survived by his wife of 57 years, Cathy Stevens, as well as his children, Todd (Mari) Stevens, Chad (Marcie) Stevens, and his grandchildren Cole, Carson, Reed, and Easton, and his brother Bill (Sandy) Stevens.

Born on September 18, 1944, Bob grew up in Tieton, Washington with his parents, Ralph and Velma Stevens, and his brother, Bill Stevens. Growing up on a ranch embedded a love of farming, ranching, and hard work. Bob was happiest when he was “getting things done” and helping others.

He met his wife, Cathy Wood Stevens, at WSU his first year and they married after they graduated. Over half of his wardrobe proudly displays his love of the Cougs. Their first son, Todd Gordon Stevens, was born in Fort Collins, Colorado in 1970. Their second son, Chad William Stevens was born in Lubbock, Texas in 1972.

After earning his Bachelor of Science degree at Washington State University (WSU), Bob’s passion for the soil and agricultural communities led him to further his education. He pursued a Master of Science Degree in Soils and then earned his doctorate at Colorado State University. His first job was at Texas Tech University where he was a soil scientist and taught classes to undergraduates. His second job took him to Centralia, WA where he worked for Weyerhaeser as a research scientist. He was one of the lead scientists on Mt. St. Helens after the 1980 eruption. In 1985, Bob and Cathy moved to Prosser, WA where Bob worked as a soil research scientist at IAREC, and he served as the Director of IAREC for 5 years.

Fondly referred to as the “dirt dude” and “dirt doctor”, Bob’s knowledge and expertise in soils became widely recognized and respected. He applied his understanding of soil science to benefit agricultural communities across the United States, offering valuable insights and practical solutions to many farmers and scientists.

Bob retired in 2008 and was asked to be on the board of the Walter Clore Foundation. He was elected as President and was so pleased to see the Clore Center become a reality.

Bob was very involved in his church, Covenant Presbyterian in Prosser. He served as an elder for several terms and was on the personnel committee. He put countless hours and resources into the upkeep and renovations of the church.

Bob was a dedicated Prosser Mustang and was president of the Booster Club for 5 years. He helped build the Prosser Scholarship Program into what it is today, and he was president of that for many years.

In retirement, Bob enjoyed spending time with his sons and grandsons. He was able to fulfill his love for farming by establishing an apple orchard with his son, Chad. While he was a worker, he took time to go to Mariner games and go salmon fishing with his grandsons. Retirement also gave him the time to become a world traveler with recent trips to Antarctica and Europe with his wife, Cathy.

To say that Bob was a generous person is an understatement. He was fondly nicknamed “Booster Bob” and would help anyone and everyone who needed it, no questions asked. He knew a solution for almost any problem you had and could fix almost everything. His house was a gathering place for teenagers, and he was a father figure for many. His non-judgmental acceptance and sturdiness allowed people to relax in his presence and he will be missed by everyone that knew him.

In lieu of flowers, and to honor Bob’s generous spirit, please send donations to Mustangs for Mustangs. This organization is an emergency assistance organization that aids people in need from Prosser and/or who attended schools in Prosser. They provide primary housing, food security, personal safety, and utility assistance.
Mustangs for Mustangs is a 501c3 tax deductible organization.

You can mail checks to:
Mustangs for Mustangs
P.O. Box 1634 Prosser, WA 99350
If you would like to send an online donation, you can use PayPal:
A Celebration of Life is planned for 3pm August 5th at the Clore Center.
For more information email You may leave a message for the family at

Alison C. Detjens

Alison Detjens and people.

Alison Detjens passed away on February 25 after battling ovarian cancer for the past 19 months.  Alison came to WSU as a graduate student in the Masters of Science in Agriculture program where she was advised by Jessica Goldberger.  Alison was active in the CSS Grad Student Club and the WA Tilth Association while at WSU.  She became involved at the WSU Organic Farm before it moved to it’s current location, having a background in small-scale organic vegetable production working at Gibbs Family Organic Farm in Leavenworth, WA.  After graduating she worked as Assistant Manager at the Eggert Family Organic Farm through 2018 when she took a position at University of Idaho in the Department of Soil and Water Systems teaching courses in food systems as well as being the faculty mentor for the UI Soil Stewards Organic Farm.

Alison was a wonderful addition to the CSS family and worked with many faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates during her time here.  She was a champion for sustainable and organic agriculture in the PNW, was passionate about community engagement, and shared her love of farming and food systems with everyone she worked with.