Donald Howard Stephen (1929 - 2019)

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Donald Howard Stephen (Don Stephen), 89, of Brighton, passed away in the evening April 12 in the home he shared with Faye Stephen, his wife of 66 years. Don was recently diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.
Don was born Dec. 17, 1929, in Groton South Dakota, to Clarence and Iva Stephen. Siblings William (Bill) Stephen, John Stephen, Margaret (Peg) Graff, Lois (Toots) Ritchey, Joan (Jody) Rhoades, Alan Stephen, Dorothy (Sis) Cain and Helen (Skeeter) Nielsen preceded him in death.
Homer - the oldest of the Stephen Siblings - lives in Lincoln Nebraska. Homer is 98 years of age.
Don's childhood family moved from Groton to York, Nebraska, where he spent most of his childhood. The Stephen family still gathers for family reunions in York. At one of the recent family reunions, Don and Homer took the family on a tour of York, sharing their childhood memories.
Don enlisted in the Army immediately following his high-school graduation. He became a demolitions expert during the Korean conflict. While stationed in Fairbanks, an Army buddy encouraged Don to write letters to a girl he knew back home in San Bernadino, California (this buddy became Don's brother-in-law.). After corresponding a year, Don finally met the girl who became his adoring wife of 66 years. Don Stephen and Faye Semrau were married July 24, 1952.
In 1957, Don and Faye moved from California to Colorado where Don became part of a family construction business working with his brothers, Bill and John Stephen. In 1976, he started his own contracting business building custom homes. The name of that business was Don Stephen Construction.
In 1976, Colorado University football became a favorite of Big D. He purchased season tickets that year and every year since. He (and many family members) sat through some hard years cheering for the Buffs. He never left a game early either, no matter the score.
Survivors include his wife, Faye; his brother, Homer; sons, Monty (Debbie Stephen), Larry (Rebecca Phoenix) Stephen and Scott (Trish) Stephen; grandchildren; Mandy Stephen, Andrea Tate, Shannon (Paul) Jones, Jake Stephen and Adam (Carly) Stephen; great-grandchildren Shannon and Paul Jones) Isaac, Sarah, Micah, Mary, (Mandy Stephen) Kaitlyn and Gary.
Celebration of Don's life will be held 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday April 27, at the Eagle View Adult Center, 1150 Prairie Center Parkway, Brighton. If you wish to donate in Don's memory, please donate to the local organization Almost Home
Big Don (or Big D) was loved by many. He lived his life with integrity and always had a laugh or smile to share – at the very least a good story. He and Faye raised three loving sons who conduct their lives in much the same manner. Big D is sorely missed!

Published in Commerce City Sentinel Express on Apr. 30, 2019
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