Ron Stephens passed away peacefully at his home in Bozeman on Feb. 12, 2008, following a number of years of failing health. He was born in Butler, Pa., on Nov. 28, 1933, to Caroline Cross and Howard Stephens. Ron was raised by his mother in the home of her parents.
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He was especially proud of being a member of the 1949 Penn Township Western Region Class C championship basketball team. After high school, Ron went west to Denver to attend Denver University.
Ron married Shirley Kolstad after college in 1956. Ron and Shirley had two children, Mark and Cathy, while farming the Kolstad family farm south of Chester, Mont. Ron and Shirley were divorced in 1967.
He then moved to Missoula, Spokane and then Boise, following new career interests but always keeping his finger on the pulse of the political movements of the day.
Ron married Susan Sanders in 1973 and moved to the Milwaukee area during this same time. Ron and Susan had a son, Jefferson, who was later adopted by Susan's next husband, after Ron and Susan's divorce early in 1977.
Late in 1977, Ron married Sandra Guest, who brought her own three children into the family. Ron helped raise Jennifer, Leslie and J.D. while he was married to Sandra until their divorce in 1988.
Ron had moved to Alexandria, Va., to be near business interests in the D.C. area. He later moved to Martinsburg, W.Va., for a time to be near the VA Medical Center.
He moved to Bozeman in July 2004 to be closer to his children and grandchildren during his last few years.
Ron was a member of the Masonic Lodge. Ron had a life long interest in hunting and fishing, and he enjoyed photography and world travel.
Ron is survived by his daughter, Cathy Stephens of Great Falls; his son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Susan Stephens of Bozeman and their daughters, Karli, Randi and Staci.
It is requested that any memorials be made to the American Cancer Society, in the names of Ron and his late mother, Caroline Cross.
A more complete history of Ron's professional life can be viewed at www.dahlcares.com
A memorial will be held at 4 p.m. March 1 at Hope Lutheran Church.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.dahlcares.com.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Feb. 24, 2008