Robert L. Stephenson, 96, passed away at home on Jan. 23, 2018. He was born in Nephi, Utah, on June 8, 1921. He was the son of William Warner and Lua Linton Stephenson. He grew up in Nephi, attending schools there and later attended Snow College, Michigan State University while in the Army, Brigham Young University and Utah State University where he graduated in 1948. Robert served in the Army in the European Theater including the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium.
While at Utah State he met and later married Ethel Christine Valgardson from Taber, Alberta, Canada. They were married in the Cardston, Alberta Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Nov. 16, 1949. They were the parents of seven children: Sharon (Kimball) Rogers, Cathy (Paul) Ehlert, William Robert (Cindy), Pamela (Spencer) Hill, Mark Alan, Brent (Kelly) and Scott (Trisha).
Upon graduating from Utah State, Robert worked in Logan for the Bureau of Reclamation. Because of World War II, Robert had not served a mission for the LDS church, so after much consideration, he and his wife, Ethel, went to their bishop for an interview. After being married seven months and with their first child on the way, Robert was called to serve in the Northwestern States Mission in Portland, Oregon. Upon returning from his mission, he and Ethel made their home in Spokane, Washington, for ten years, where most of their children were born. They then moved to Salt Lake City where they were engaged in several different business enterprises during the next many years.
Robert had many wonderful and exciting assignments in the church which he enjoyed very much. While on his first mission, he served as 2nd counselor to President James A. McMurrin. He served as bishop of the Valley View First Ward in Salt Lake City from 1966 to 1969, when he was called as President of the Cumorah Mission in upstate New York, serving from 1969 to 1972. Upon retirement in 1994, he was called to serve as director of the Visitors Centers in the Palmyra, New York area. He and Ethel moved to St. George in 1998 where they served as ordinance workers in the St. George LDS temple. He loved these callings and appreciated so much the wonderful people with whom he was privileged to work.
Robert is survived by his wife of 68 years and his children, 32 grandchildren and 43 great-grandchildren.
- Funeral services will be held Saturday, Jan. 27, at 11 a.m. at the Foremaster Ridge LDS Chapel, 912 S. 1740 East (Foremaster Drive), St. George.
- Visitations will be held Friday evening from 6-8 p.m. at Metcalf Mortuary, 288 W. St. George Blvd., and on Saturday, prior to services, from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the church.
- Interment will be Tonaquint Cemetery.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Metcalf Mortuary, 435-673-4221.
For condolences, full obituary and funeral listings please visit Metcalf Mortuary online.