We lost our beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, great-great grandfather, uncle, cousin, friend and truly incredible man. Hafford Eddie Stephens, at the age of 83, was called home to our Heavenly Father on March 1, 2023, in West Jordan, Utah. He was born August 20, 1939, in Bassett, Arkansas to Charles Hafford Stephens and Hazel Bell Cissell Stephens. He married Lena Joan Goad on July 3, 1958, in West Memphis, Arkansas. Together they raised five children.
During his school years, his family moved around for work and he attended 7 different schools, located in Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and New York. He graduated from West Memphis High School in June 1958.
Eddie joined the Arkansas National Guard September 19, 1957. He was activated in the US Army September 20, 1957, for the Little Rock Integration assignment. In 1959, he spent 6 months active duty at Fort Chaffee in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He attended Radio school for Radio Operator in International Morse Code. He worked 9 years as Communication Specialist, 6 years in Motor Pool, and 1 year as Mess Steward, reaching the rank of SFC (E-7). He was Honorably Discharged in 1973 from the Army Reserve.
In January 1974, he joined the US Navy SeaBees as a Mess Management Specialist Chief (E-7) and retired December 31, 1989, as a Mess Senior Chief Specialist (E-8). He served our Country for over 30 years, serving in Arkansas, Utah and Texas.
Eddie worked as an Iron Worker for Union 167, working on many projects, including tilt up buildings, the Memphis Coliseum, and the Hernando De Soto Bridge, also called “the new bridge” over the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tennessee to West Memphis, Arkansas. He also built underground silos for 3 months in Wichita, Kansas for Titan II missiles and in Minot, North Dakota for 9 months for Minute-Man missiles.
On July 1, 1977, the family arrived in the Salt Lake valley and moved to Taylorsville. At the time, not many jobs were available for iron workers, so he began working for Pemco as a welder and drafting designs for overpasses on I-80 near the airport. Pemco then had him working at Shale Oil plant for Chevron. When the Shale Oil plant was completed, he was hired by Chevron to work at the El Paso Refinery in 1985 as a Processor Trainee III. Eddie and Joan relocated to El Paso, Texas. They were later joined by their youngest son Evan, who attended his senior year of high school in El Paso. During his time in El Paso, he became an Inspector.
In 1991, he accepted a position with Amoco Oil Refinery in Utah as a Reliability Inspector. Eddie and Joan moved back to Utah and bought their current home in West Jordan. Over the years, the Refinery changed ownership a few times, he obtained numerous certifications and retired from Tesoro in 2008. After he retired, he became a Reliability Inspector with a Consultant Firm, working at Chevron in Salt Lake. He worked there until 2014, at which time, he officially retired from working.
Eddie and Joan Stephens joined the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on December 22, 1962, in the Minot Branch, in Minot, North Dakota. On December 30, 1962, Eddie was ordained to the Aaronic priesthood. On September 13, 1964, Eddie was ordained to the office of an Elder in the Melchizedek priesthood. In 1974, Eddie was set apart as the first Branch President of the newly created West Memphis Branch of the Memphis, Tennessee Stake. He was ordained as a High Priest January 18, 1975. Eddie, Joan and their five children were sealed for time and all eternity in the Washington DC Temple on March 28, 1975. He was sealed to his parents in 1979.
In addition to serving as a Branch President, Eddie served in various callings, including Scout Master, High Priest Group Leader, serving in the Elders Quorum and the Bishopric in El Paso, and in their current ward, he has served as the Ward Clerk and as Ward Temple and Family History Leader, a calling that he has loved and was fortunate to serve with his wife Joan. Over the years as a member of the church, he converted a lot people to the church and also helped many prepare to participate in sacred ceremonies in the temple.
Eddie loved camping, fishing, reading and genealogy. He has traced two lines of his heritage back to Adam and Eve. He loved teaching and helping others work on their family history. However, the thing he loved most was his family, and especially his grandkids. He loved taking them camping and fishing. He was loved and admired by all of his family, and he will be missed every day. Because of his love for the gospel, we know we will all be together again for all time and all eternity.
Eddie was survived by his wife of nearly 65 years, Joan Stephens, his brother Joseph (Joey) & Denise Stephens, and children Steve and Ileana Stephens, Rita Matsamas, Michael & Jody Stephens, Amanda Hahn and Evan and Tiffany Stephens, 28 grandchildren, 40 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his father Charles Hafford Stephens, his mother Hazel Bell Cissell Stephens and his brother Charles Bert Stephens.
We welcome all to attend the services. For those who can’t make the services, you are welcome to join us via live stream of the funeral services.
A viewing will be held, Sunday, March 12, 2023 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the West Jordan Chapel, 9353 Vistawest Drive, West Jordan, Utah 84088. A funeral service will be held Monday, March 13, 2023 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at the same location. Interment will take place Monday, March 13, 2023 from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the Utah Veterans Cemetery and Memorial, 17111 S. Redwood Road, Bluffdale, Utah 84065.
For those who would like to send flower arrangements, please send them to the Memorial Murray Mortuary, 5850 South 900 East, Murray, Utah 84121.Service Information
Viewing March 12, 2023 at 5:00-8:00 pm
9353 Vistawest Drive, West Jordan, Utah 84088
March 13, 2023 at 11:00 AM-1:00 PM
9353 Vistawest Drive, West Jordan, Utah 84088