Cover photo for John Robert "Bob" Stephens's Obituary
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1945 Bob Stephens 2024

John Robert "Bob" Stephens

March 16, 1945 — May 18, 2024

Words like father, brother, husband, uncle, friend, and grandfather are simply titles without the man behind them. 

The meaning of these words is defined by the type of man in your life, as unique as leaves on a tree. 

 Bob Stephens, our dad, was a kind and loving man. His face lit up with a sparkle in eye and a big grin whenever a loved one walked into the room. No one could greet you with genuine joy, like Bob could. He always had a joke in his shirt pocket ready to share "a good one" with you. His infectious laughter spread through a group until everyone was chuckling. The void of his absence is felt deeply by all who called him dad, friend and spouse. He passed away on May 18, 2024, at his home in Salt Lake City, UT.

 John Robert (Bob) Stephens was born in Salt Lake City to Iva Lou Thompson on March 16, 1945. He preferred to be called Bob. The first few years of his life, he was cared for by his Grandparents & Aunt Dixie in Circleville, UT, while Iva Lou finished her teaching degree at Utah State University. He often spoke about his wonderful Aunt Dixie and the love he felt in Circleville. When Iva Lou married Andy Stephens, they took him to Salt Lake City to live. Andy not only married Iva Lou, but he also formally adopted Bob and raised him as his own son. Years later, they were all sealed together as a family in the temple.

 Bob loved his toy truck, bow, and toy gun growing up. He shot bottle rockets in an empty field, with his friends, Raleigh & Brent. Bob worked hard to achieve an Eagle Scout Award. He attended the Coast Guard Academy and graduated from the University of Utah with a mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree. He worked for the same company, Alsco, for over 30 years, where his degree served him well.

 At a church dance, after he graduated from the University of Utah, he met a very pretty girl, Shirley Anne Adams. Soon after, they were married in 1969. They traveled throughout the US together as Bob progressed in his work. Shirley remained by his side, caring for him as his health declined.  Bob and his family would like to extend special gratitude to Julie Jensen and Wendy Gerber for their tender care and becoming part of our family. 

 As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Bob held many callings, but he loved teaching the High Priest’s Quorum the best.  He also loved going camping with the family as well as with his troop as a Scoutmaster.  

 Our childhood was filled with the Jude harp as he played his favorite songs. When he wasn't playing them, he sang Ghost Riders in the Sky, Susie Q, Credence Clearwater Revival and New Christy Minstrels songs. His music library was vast. He loved pens, collecting the smoothest writing instruments. Every knife in his possession was tied to a story and had meaning to him. Shooting guns was one of his favorite hobbies. He would jump and bounce with excitement during action-packed movie scenes.

 Christmas morning was the best time of the year with our dad. He stayed up late building Lego structures, doll houses, or staging all our toys around the tree. Our child’s questions on how anything worked were quickly answered. Because he had already opened, played, and figured out how it all operated. Then the day was spent with him playing next to us. 

 His greatest strength lay in the smallest detail. He listened. Speaking only to understand more. Bob's quiet nature paved the way for strong bonds of understanding. It wasn't necessary to explain everything when you were struggling because he already understood you.

 Bob is survived by his wife, Shirley and his brother, Alan (Patty).  He left a living legacy with his children, Luanne, Tanya (Shawn), Joe, Dan, and Will (Rachel). His grandchildren embody his kindness and zest in life; Toran, Ariana (Alston), Kaitlin (Tyler), Parker, Mark and Emily.

 The final words I shared with my dad were ones of peace and joy. He left his body to become part of the light. He now is free to travel to all his loved ones, explore, play music, sing, and share the best jokes. As the sunlight warms my body, I feel his embrace next to me whenever his support is needed. Excessive words were never necessary to express his love. He remains forever in our hearts. Rest in peace. Our lives are better from knowing you. 

His Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 15, at the Hyland Lake Ward Chapel, 981 Revere Circle, Murray 84117.  A Visitation will be held prior to the services from 10:00-10:45 a.m. 

 ....written by Tanya Stephens, daughter

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Saturday, June 15, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

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