Deirdre Stephens
1951 - 2021
Deirdre (Dede) Stephens

On May 15, 2021, Deirdre (Dede) Stephens, 70, peacefully passed away in Palm Springs, California after a brief battle with cancer. Dede was born May 6, 1951 in Salt Lake City, Utah to James and Kathryn Jane (Kearns) Stephens. A prankster and a joke-teller from an early age, she appreciated the lighter side of life and never took herself too seriously. Armed with an infectious and raucous laugh, she made the world a better and brighter place. She cherished a celebration, particularly when costumes were involved; but remained sensitive to the individual needs of others and was keen to providing personalized attention as reflected in her prolific letter writing, post cards, and greeting cards…where you could almost hear her chuckling on the other end. It was no laughing matter however, when it came to competition where she flourished in swimming, softball, and golf; and twice met the cancer-challenge with courage and composure.

Dede attended St. Mary's of the Wasatch High School where she was student body president and a member of the marching squad, and subsequently attended Marquette University. She worked as Circulation Supervisor for the Salt Lake Tribune newspaper and later served on their Board of Directors. She was married to her partner of 42 years Cindy Stewart, and together they owned Merrill's Beauty Salon.

She is survived by her wife Cindy, brothers Jamie (wife Lauren), Roger (wife Eileen), and Terry, several nieces and nephews, and preceded in death by her sister Kathryn (Wooz) and brother Tom Durkin. With a bit of wanderlust, Dede's easy-going spirit and super-sized mobile home took her places where she could connect with the thing she loved most - people. We wish her well on her new adventure.

Special thanks to Sonya Bowman for the care and comfort she provided during Dede's final days.

Memorial services to be announced and celebrated at a later date. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Well in the Desert, Huntsman Cancer Institute or L-Fund.

Published by The Desert Sun from May 20 to May 21, 2021.
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17 Entries
Cindy, I am so saddened to learn of your loss. Dede had a million dollar smile and a presence that could electrify any gathering. The photos are marvelous - you could have a portrait done of Dede, "Woman with Boa." I left for Oregon the day of the memorial service, but carried you both in my heart.
Libby Hunter
July 24, 2021
Sunrise sunset Swiftly fly the years One season following another Laden with happiness and tears. God Bless you DeDe Your Cousin Paddy Kearns
Paddy Kearns
July 13, 2021
Dear Cindy & Dede's family,
I want to offer my deepest, heartfelt sympathy to you. When someone passes away, part of you will never be the same. But what makes you you is all the love and care that you gave each other in the details and hours of your lives. She will always be in your heart, and your memories. You take her with you wherever you go.
I hope you find comfort in the thought that she is now tenderly wrapped in the arms of God.
I know that the love you shared and the memories you hold dear will help ease the pain of this loss. I will miss my childhood friend, her infectious laugh, her thoughtfulness & her enormous heart. I will continue to treasure the life long friendship we shared and smile when I look back at our old school days.

Diane Dyrenforth VanRoosendaal

May 28, 2021
Dear Cindy, Dede was one-in a million. We go back to our early years at Cosgriff and then St Mary of the Wasatch. In all my years no one has been as upbeat, carefree and easy going as Dede.
We played softball together for years, laughing, tearing up the field and just having a good time. While I didn't graduate from St Mary's I was invited to the 50th reunion and missed Dede's smiling face. I tried to get her to attend by calling her and emailing her... I did let her know she was missed.

Your life will not be the same without her. You to were always such a fun couple and I always enjoyed meeting up at Salt Lake social gatherings. My thoughts and prayers at with you Cindy. Dede will be missed by many. Hugs to you!
Toni Russell Carter
May 25, 2021
We lived across the street (Parleys Terrace, SLC)from Dede & her family. (Jackie Kearns, Colleen Kearns)
I was very lucky to see her periodically in our lives. She was joy & I admired her. It is a great loss to all.
Lots of love
Terry Nestel
May 24, 2021
Josh Brown & Martin Prew
May 24, 2021
Dede was a bright light in the lives of many of us at St. Mary's and afterwards in our lives. I will miss that laugh!!
Hunt Margaret
May 24, 2021
I am so sad to hear of Dee Dee’s passing. I worked with her at UPS. I remember her laugh. She was a joy to be around. Always positive and happy. I am a better person for having known her. My heart goes out to her family. Julie
May 23, 2021
Dear Cindy, I was so sorry to hear about Dede’s passing. She was always one of my favorite people, and one helluva first baseman when I was the catcher in CYO softball a hundred years ago!! It’s been many years since I’ve seen you both but have never forgotten you. My mom, Kay Lee, loved you too! Take care of yourself and know I’m sending much love from Utah. Jane Lee Fischer
Jane Lee Fischer
May 23, 2021
Dear Cindy, Jamie, Roger, Terry & Family & Friends -
Dede was a very special leader & friend for many years growing up - Girl Scouts, softball w/Mrs & Mr Trueblood at White Park, St Marys marching squad & Student Body Officer. My sibs & Stephens sibs were in same classes through school. Dede & Cindy took great care of our Mother Teresa Mates @ Merrill’s for years.
I can hear Dede’s laugh with fondness.
My thoughts, Prayers and memories are with you as we honor Dede’s completion of her circle of life.
May Dede RIP
Charlotte Mates
May 22, 2021
Bob Steiner
May 22, 2021
Dear Cindy:
I am so sorry for you loss of you beloved Dede. I think of you both every time I go by you house on Barrington. My heart reaches out to you at this sorrowful time. God Bless you.
Edna (Jo's sister)
Edna Holman
May 21, 2021
So sorry to learn of Dede's passing. She was a wonderful friend for many years. We will always remember her kind, inquisitive, and adventurous spirit.
Mark W Johnson
May 21, 2021
Roger, Terry & family, sending my warmest regards to all of you at this difficult time. Although it has been a "long time" since I have seen Dede, I have great memories of our playing softball together with she & Wooz ! So damn much fun ! My love to all of you.
Maggie Aloia
May 21, 2021
i was lucky to have spent time with her in the Uintas and at the salon and other family get togethers.
Peter Stewart
May 21, 2021
Mike & Glenda Shaw
May 20, 2021
Dede was a vibrant part of the Tahquitz women's golf community. She will always have a place in our hearts and never be forgotten by so many. May the winds of heaven blow softly over Tahquitz golf course and Dede be able to watch and laugh at the antics on the golf course below. We forever cherish having known this beautiful soul

May the winds of heaven blow softly and whisper in your ear. ...
You may be gone from my sight but you are never gone from my heart
Robyn Pierce
May 20, 2021
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