Landscapes 10

       


Kent Gordon Stephens

June 16, 1938 ~ February 15, 2018 (age 79)

Kent Gordon Stephens, 79, of Mapleton, Utah, returned to his Heavenly Father on February 15, 2018. He was born on June 16, 1938 in Ogden, Utah to Wanda May Moore and Archie Vilan Hull.  He was later adopted by and sealed to his father, Allen O. Stephens. As a young child, he grew up on a ranch/bird refuge in Red Rock, Montana and Tule Lake, California, where his father was a refuge manager. From this, he developed a life-long love of cowboys, hunting, fishing and the outdoors. 

After his mother remarried, his family moved to Southern California where he graduated with honors from San Dieguito Union High School in 1956. He was Student Body President and a cheerleader. He loved living near the ocean and spent his time spear fishing, body surfing, and other activities with his brother, Jon, and friends. He attended San Diego State University where he was a cheerleader, and later transferred to Brigham Young University where he was a cheerleader and a member of the ROTC. He graduated from BYU in 1960 and went on to be a Captain in the US Air Force and was a missile launch officer. He served on active duty in the Air Force for three years.

When he was stationed in Wichita Falls, Texas, he received his Master’s degree from Midwestern University. In 1963, he became the first seminary teacher for his LDS branch. It was there where he met his future wife, Marianne Campbell. When Marianne left Texas to attend BYU, Kent returned to BYU to teach math and became “Cosmo Cougar.” They were married on May 29, 1965 in the Manti LDS Temple.

They made their first home in Seattle, Washington, where Kent was a systems analyst for Boeing. In the seven years they lived in Seattle, he graduated with his PhD in Educational Administration at the University of Washington. He also worked as the Business Services Director for Seattle Public Schools.

In 1972, he achieved his dream of becoming a BYU professor. During his time at BYU, he was one of several professors who travelled to Samoa and other Pacific Islands to administer their Masters Degree program for the local educators. He also began consulting in his areas of expertise. The family moved to Mapleton in 1975.  In 1980, he started a consulting business using failure avoidance technology which is based on his PhD thesis. Later that year, he moved to Oregon, where he served as a member of his LDS Stake High Council and later as Bishop of the Brookwood Ward.

After moving to Riverton, Wyoming for a year, the family returned to Mapleton, where he continued to travel throughout the US and the world helping businesses, government agencies, airlines, and hospital systems succeed by avoiding failure. His business philosophy has always been “avoiding failure is more effective than seeking success.” Kent and his brother, Jon, were partners, expanding the consulting business together.

His favorite business opportunity came as the result of his family vacations going “jeeping” in Moab. These trips inspired him to design vehicles for the armed forces to be used on terrains “where horses cannot go”.  Several of the vehicles he designed were used by troops in the war in Afghanistan. He continued pursuing this dream well into his seventies.

As Kent wrote, “My life is my church and my family”.

Kent is the ultimate example of happiness, energy, optimism, believing in dreams and miracles and truly loving life.  He taught his family to love all the things he loved so much – skiing, hunting, fishing, traveling (especially to Alaska) and all things Disney.  Some of our best memories are our family trips to Disneyland! We will miss his laughter, jokes, “buzzy-bees” and story-telling so much!  Kent taught us all to never give up and to fight for what you want at all costs.  Even after weeks in Cardiac Intensive Care and facing multiple complications, he still remained positive, optimistic and never, ever gave up. 

He is survived by his wife Marianne, his children, Christopher, Miriam Broderick (Lance), Rachel “Cami” Roundy (Paul), Kathryn Winterton (Cody), Kent (Ashlyn), 20 grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and his brother, Jon Stephens (LaRaine).  He was preceded in death by his son Jonathan, his parents, his sister (Sharon) and brother (David).

A viewing will be held Monday, February 19th from 6:00pm – 8:00pm at the Mapleton Wheeler Mortuary (82 West 400 North, Mapleton, UT 84664.) The funeral service will be Tuesday, February 20,, 2018 at 11:00 am at the Mapleton White Church (31 West Maple Street, Mapleton, UT 84664), with a viewing prior to the services from 9:30 am-10:30 am at the church.

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