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Lowell D. Stephens(1943 - 2014)

Celebration of the Life of Lowell D. Stephens will be at 11 a.m Saturday, April 19, 2014, at Grace United Methodist Church, 1208 Greenwood Lane, Alamogordo, followed by a reception at Alamogordo Elks Lodge #1897, 2290 Hamilton Road.

Survivors include his wife, Karen, their children, Jeffrey Dene, and wife, Mary Ellen, of Arlington, Texas, Gregory Don and wife, Carly, of San Angelo, Texas, and daughter-in-heart Karen Greene and husband, Andrew, of Rio Rancho. Grandchildren are Suzette Mae, Lowell Dene II, Wyatt Charles, Madeline Nicole and Major Deen Stephens. He loved as his own grandchildren Claire Christine Defoy-Greene, Sophie Elizabeth, Samuel Curtis and Krista Janine Greene.
Siblings are Wendell Stephens and wife, Donna, of Brentwood, TN, and Celia Shackelford and husband, Ronnie, of Glen Rose, Texas.

Lowell is also survived by his Shih-Tzu, Danny Boy, and Lhasa Apso, Misti Lou. He was preceded in death by his parents who are also interred in Squaw Creek Cemetery in Glen Rose, Texas, where Lowell was buried on March 15, 2014.
If desired, memorial contribution suggestions are Elks National Foundation, 2750 N. Lakeview Ave., Chicago, Ill 60614-1889 or Ft. Concho Historical Foundation, 630 S. Oakes, San Angelo, Texas, 76903, or Gideons Memorial Bibles, P. O. Box 188, Alamogordo, NM, 88311-0188.

Lowell was born in Lubbock, Texas, on February 10, 1943, to L. Dene and Johnnie Mae Stephens and passed there on March 11, 2014. He attended schools in Lovington, N.M., and Ava, Mo., before graduating in Glen Rose, Texas and attending ENMU in Portales. He married the former Karen Quarles of Lovington on July 27, 1963 in Denver City, Texas.

Lowell worked in the family title business in Lovington while still in junior high school and on their dairy farm in Ava and cattle and mohair goat ranch in Glen Rose. After building telephone lines for Texas Telephone and being the repairman for small towns surrounding Caddo Mills, Texas and for Mt. States Telephone in Artesia, he returned to the title industry in 1965 in Carlsbad. His skills and reputation prompted a move to Alamogordo, where he managed Pioneer Abstract and Title Co. until the owners, Ken and Shirley Hutt, retired and he and Karen purchased the business in 1987. Pioneer Title Escrow Service was added to the corporation in 1989 and Pioneer New Century, LLC in 2005.

For a few years they owned Chaves County Abstract and Title in Roswell and operated a branch office of Pioneer Title in Cloudcroft. He served as president of the New Mexico Land Title Association and was the recipient of their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. Lowell was noted for his integrity and skill in titles and as a commercial closer with expertise in 1031 exchanges. After over 48 years at Pioneer Abstract and Title, it was recently sold.

He coached Colt and American Legion baseball teams, played men's league softball and basketball, wrote sports articles for the Alamogordo Daily News and was the "Voice of the Tigers" broadcasting play-by-play and state tournament games for KPSA Radio. He was a member of Grace United Methodist Church and past Chairman of the Finance Committee and on the Administrative Board.
He was President and board member of the Otero County Boy's Club, served on the Soil Conservation Committee, was an Outstanding Young Man of America and Who's Who Worldwide. Lowell aced the written test for his private pilot's license in 1980. He was invited by the USAF to attend the National Security Forum at the Air War College in Montgomery, Ala., in 1993. Working closely with local military, he participated in civic leader tours to several Air Force Bases.

A member of the Alamogordo Noon Lions Club since 1965, he held many offices including President. He chaired several State Conventions and was the youngest man selected as a New Mexico District Governor when he was installed at the Lions International Convention in Tokyo, Japan in 1978 and his term concluded in Montreal, Canada in 1979. He received the New Mexico Lions Scroll of Honor in 1985.

Lowell was the 1993 President of the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce. He served as a board member and the chairman of the Alamogordo Committee of Fifty, which promotes military and community needs including trips to Washington, D.C. to visit Senate and Congressional Representatives. A highlight of his term was receiving rides in an F-15 at Holloman Air Force Base and a hot air balloon over White Sands National Monument.

He served on the board of the Otero County Economic Development Council and toured with the governor as a member of the New Mexico Amigos. Lowell was Chairman of the International Space Hall of Fame Foundation, and Governor Johnson appointed him to the Border Authority Commission, which required confirmation by the New Mexico State Senate. He was a long time member and past president of the Alamogordo Century Club and Fran Parker Chapter of the Air Force Association. In 1995, he was honored as Alamogordo's Citizen of the Year.

He was initiated into Alamogordo Lodge No. 1897 in 1975and served on committees before being elected Exalted Ruler in 1983-84 and 1988. He was an Honorary Life Member.

Lowell served as District and State Officer Training Chairman and Sergeant at Arms for the New Mexico Elks Association before becoming President in 1996-97. He was a Ritual Judge, State Ritual Chairman and served as State Convention Chairman. On the national level, Lowell served as Grand Lodge Membership Chairman and on the Board of Grand Trustees from 2004-2008. He was a Past Grand Esteemed Leading Knight and Special Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler for New Mexico.

Lowell was awarded the Gold Circle of Giving by the Elks National Foundation and was accepted into the John F. Malley Society. He and Karen sponsor an Elks National Foundation Most Valuable Student Scholarship for New Mexico.
Lowell enjoyed golf, John Wayne movies, Irish music, was a history buff and collected antique guns.

Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Apr. 12 to May 11, 2014
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