CHARLTON — A community grieves with the passing last week of Philip J. Stevens, Sr., the long-time chief of police in this town.

Stevens, 85, led the Charlton Police Department for 36 years before retiring more than 20 years ago, according to his obituary.

“He was a true leader, mentor, and friend to many Officers and citizens,” read a post in memory of Stevens on the Charlton Police Department’s Facebook page.

Stevens passed away on February 13 at the Jewish Healthcare Center in Worcester. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Marion (Lojko) Stevens, whom he married at St. Joseph’s Church in Charlton on April 16, 1955. He is survived by his children, Philip “Rocky” Stevens, Jr., of Charlton, Michael Stevens and his wife, Debra, of Charlton, James Stevens and his wife, Clelia, of Maryland, and Mara Carofaniello and her husband, Phil, of Charlton; his daughter-in-law Julia (Leck) Stevens of Sturbridge; his brother David Stevens of Vermont; 13 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his son, John Stevens, and a brother, Herbert Stevens.

Three of his sons have followed in their father’s footsteps, serving in law enforcement.

Stevens was the son of the late Clarence and Helen (Clark) Stevens.

His obituary describes him as “a proud lifelong resident of Charlton,” who graduated from Charlton High School before earning an Associates Degree in Animal Husbandry from UMASS Amherst.

The funeral service for Stevens will be held at a later date. Sansoucy Funeral Home in Southbridge is handling arrangements.

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