Stephen Ream Packard

Stephen Ream Packard 1945-2018 returned to what he liked to call “the cosmic soup” on June 5, in his home in Indian Lake Estates, Fla.

Stephen was born June 23, to Russell and Dorothy Packard (née Ream) as the third of the Packard flock of six. Growing up as a proud third generation Evanstonian in South Evanston, he had a childhood that was full of mischievous activities and grand adventures with his many siblings and cousins. He attended Dewey Elementary, Nichols Middle School and graduated from Evanston Township High School in 1963.

He attended Cornell University and then California College of Arts where he received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Environmental Design. In between Cornell and CalArts, he had a brief stint in the Army, which ended when he received an honorable discharge as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War. He attended the Goodman School of Drama as a scene design student, where he met his first wife, Sally. They moved to Seattle and settled in Tacoma, Wash., where they welcomed their first child, Edith Mary, into the world. He was an enthusiastic member of the Seattle and Tacoma theater communities and worked as the Technical Director for the Tacoma Actors Guild before he returned to Evanston. They welcomed their second child, Alice Jensina, in the very same hospital where he was born 42 years earlier. He received his MFA from Northwestern University in Theater and Stage Design in 1990. His work called him to Miami, Fla., where his third and final child, McKelvey Craig, was born. They returned to Evanston a year later and raised the kids to have the same mischievous activities and grand adventures he had growing up. Recently, he settled in Indian Lake Estates, Fla. He taught at Polk State College, where he enjoyed teaching and designing once again.

He was a gifted and inventive Jeff Award-nominated set designer; a lover of music and an active participant in choirs such as CSO, St. Luke’s and St. Matthew’s and Seattle Opera and musical groups such as Escola De Samba. Most importantly, he was an active and loving Dad, Grandpa, uncle, brother and husband. He loved and was very proud of his children and their cousins and where their lives would lead. While he hoped to be here longer, he lived a full and wonderful life full of mischievous and grand adventures.

Stephen is survived by his children Edith (Levi) Fay, Alice and McKelvey; grandchildren Sierra and Jasper; siblings Anthony, Julia and Quentin; mother of his children, Sally Craige Christensen; nieces and nephews Ingrid, Nora, Audrey, Kate, Tom, Andrew and Emily and his extended relatives whom he held so dear.

A memorial ceremony will be held on Oct. 20 in Evanston. For details please email

Donations in lieu of flowers can be sent to the Southern Poverty Law center.