James Russell Stephen


LTC James Russell Stephen, Ret, died peacefully due to complications of a brain tumor on November 24, 2021, while surrounded by loving family and friends. He was preceded in death by his father (Russell), mothers (Bertha Luella Austin and Anna DeWitt), and brother (Gordon). He was born on April 27,1949 in Richfield, Utah.

LTC Stephen served as a Chaplain in the US Army for 21 years. During his distinguished service, he earned the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service (6), US Army Achievement Medal (2), Army Superior Award, National Defense Service Medal (3), Korea Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (2), Air Assault Badge, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. His service allowed him and his family to see many different parts of the country and world, including assignments in Korea, Germany, and Spain.

LTC Stephen's educational training included a Bachelor's in Communication and Master's in Guidance and Counseling from Brigham Young University. He completed Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI, an Air Assault course at Fort Campbell, KY, The School of the Americas at Fort Benning, GA; as well as basic and advanced Chaplains Officer courses, at Fort Monmouth, NJ. As a military chaplain, he was able to provide suicide awareness training, and grief and marriage counseling.

Prior to his service time in the US Army, LTC Stephen joined the US Navy and served from 1971-1980 as an electronic technician. During this time, he received other assignments and was stationed in Tennessee, San Diego, Rota (Spain), and Oxnard, CA. While in the Navy, he earned the Achievement and Good Conduct medals as well as the Navy/Marine Corp Overseas Service Ribbon and the Aviation Badge.

His devotion to his country as listed is remarkable, but it is his devotion to his faith and family that truly merits special attention. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, LTC Stephen received a missionary assignment to the Texas San Antonio Mission (1968-1970). He later met his eternal companion while in basic training in Tennessee. In April 1972, they were married in the Oakland California Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Four children were born over the next six years. Additional service opportunities were given which included Branch President, Elders Quorum President, Stake High Councilor, councilor in Mission Presidency, Organist, Choir Director, Seminary and Primary Teacher, Clerk, Family History Center Coordinator, Cook for Trek and Scout Encampments, and along with Robin, Missionary Program Facilitator for BYU-Idaho Pathway.

James Stephen is survived by his spouse Robin, four children, Rebecca (Dominic), Sharlyn (Scott), Gordon, and Anna (Ryan); 10 grandchildren: Stephen, Joseph, Alexa, Jennifer, Sarah, Jessica, Brody, Sadie, Kellan, and Madison; and his three sisters: Mabel (John), Virginia, Reita (Kirke).

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