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James D. (Jim) Stephens


1920 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
James D. (Jim) Stephens Obituary
1920 ~ 2014
James D. (Jim) Stephens, a longtime Salt Lake businessman active in civic affairs, died on Saturday, March 1st in Salt Lake City of cause's incident to age. He was 93. Jim was born on August 18, 1920, in Butte, Montana, to William and Margaret Rodgers Stephens. He attended Carroll College in Helena, Montana, and graduated from Montana State University in electrical engineering, with post-graduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Part of the "Greatest Generation", in World War II he served in the U.S. Army Air Force as a flight engineer, attaining the rank of captain and assigned to numerous dangerous bombing missions over Italy and North Africa. After the war he was employed by Westinghouse Electric Corp., assigned to the Salt Lake City office, where he met Kathryn Jane Kearns Durkin, a young war widow, and her young son. Kathryn and Jim were married in 1948 and together had five more children. A few years later Jim left Westinghouse and founded his own business, the James D. Stephens Co., which he sold upon his retirement. In 1962 Kathryn Jane died in a tragic car accident, and Jim was left to raise a large young family on his own. He embraced that responsibility with endless energy and love, buoyed by his devout Catholic faith. In addition to his own business, Jim served on the board of directors of Kearns-Tribune Corp., former owner of The Salt Lake Tribune and a pioneer in the cable television industry. He was a member of Rotary International. Jim was active in a number of callings in the Catholic Church. He was scoutmaster at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, and president of the St. Mary's of the Wasatch Catholic High School PTA. He was a devoted member of St. Ambrose Parish and Judge Memorial Catholic High School. He was a generous donor until his death. He was a member of Serra International, an organization devoted to encouraging religious vocations among youth, and the Nocturnal Adoration Society, a group of lay Catholics who gather monthly for contemplation and prayer for the nations. Jim married Marge Carter, they were later divorced. He married Jean Sudbury in 1992 and they have been happily married ever since. Jean was devoted to Jim until the day of his death. Jim was an avid golfer almost to the end. He belonged to the Salt Lake Country Club and the Desert Island Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California. His Internet address was putt398.
Jim was preceded in death by a brother, Roger, and his eldest daughter, Kathryn Whitney Stephens (Ellen).
He is survived by his wife, Jean, Salt Lake City; daughter Deirdre Stephens (Cindy)Salt Lake City; sons James D. Jr. (Lauren), Lopez Island, Washington; Roger (Eileen), Walnut Creek, California, and Terence, San Francisco, California; stepson Tom Durkin, Salt Lake City. Also surviving are grandchildren James, Meghan, Kathryn, Daniel, Jessica Stephens, Rory (Michele), Danielle (Dave) Durkin, and numerous members of his large extended family.
A funeral mass will be celebrated Saturday, March 8th, 11:00 a.m. at Saint Ambrose Catholic Church, 1975 South 2300 East. Friends may visit the family one hour prior to the mass. Committal service Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery, 4th Ave &'T' St.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Sunrise Senior Living at Holladay and Hospice for Utah for their kindness and compassion during his final days. In lieu of flowers friends are invited to contribute to the . Funeral directors, Neil O'Donnell & Sons.
Published in Salt Lake Tribune from Mar. 4 to Mar. 5, 2014
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