Woman tracks down Santa Rosa doctor, pays baby bill from 1980

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There was a time when nearly everybody in greater Santa Rosa knew or knew of old-school family doc Calvin Steever.

He commenced making house calls and delivering babies, initially in Cloverdale, in 1960. Steever ran a low-tech, human, honor-system medical practice on Santa Rosa’s Montgomery Drive until he closed up in 2001.

He’s 88 now and moving a good deal slower than most former patients would remember. He and his wife, Lynn, and daughter Amanda, both of whom worked at his medical office, now share a mobile home in Santa Rosa.

The other night there came a knock at the door. Amanda answered.

“Does Calvin Steever live here?” asked the woman on the step. Amanda said yes and went to get her dad.

The stranger at the doorway said to him, “You wouldn’t remember me. But you delivered my baby at home 39 years ago.”

Then she said her husband died and she was going through his papers and found the bill that Steever had sent for having delivered their son. The woman was horrified to realize she and her husband never paid that invoice from 1980.

Saying she wanted to make amends, she handed Steever a sealed envelope.

“We were gobsmacked,” Lynn Steever said. In the shock of the moment, Dr. Steever thanked the woman but didn’t think to ask her name.

After she drove off, he opened the envelope to find a stack of cash — several times the $400 that he’d have charged about 40 years ago for prenatal, delivery and newborn care.

Lynn finds the sudden, generous gift all the more astounding because lately she’s fretted over some unplanned expenses. “I’d been kind of wondering,” she said, “which Peter I would rob to pay which Paul.”

And here a patient from nearly four decades ago appears with an envelope full of money.

“It answered all our prayers, plus a little bit,” Lynn Steever said.

If that was you at the door, rest assured you left Dr. Steever and his family feeling blessed.

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