Stanley Stephens

Obituary of Stanley Welmon Stephens

Stan (Steve) Stephens, loving husband and father, and doting grandpa and great-grandpa, passed away on January 26, 2022 at age 85, surrounded by his family.


Stan was born on October 11, 1936 in McNary, Arizona, to George Stanley Stephens and Martha Elizabeth Welmon Stephens. As a young boy, Stan lived in Phoenix and Maverick and supported his family by picking vegetables and cotton. He adored his older sisters and affectionately cared for his younger siblings.


At McNary high school, Stan was known as a star athlete in multiple sports, played the saxophone, and showcased his beautiful singing voice in school band shows. He often said he would have liked to be a musician like his father but knew he would not be able to support a family that way.


When Stan met the love of his life, Jodeen, she says he had his head under the hood of a car. They dated for a couple of years, even while Stan attended Eastern Arizona College on a football scholarship and majored in civil engineering. He soon returned to Pinetop though to marry Jodeen and start a family.


Having grown up poor, Stan was always determined to provide his children with better opportunities and often held three jobs at the same time. He worked in the lumber business for Southwest Forest Industries in McNary, Phoenix, and Flagstaff for 16 years, where he quickly progressed through the ranks of production and sales.


Later, Stan was general manager for White Sands Forest Products in Alamogordo, New Mexico, before becoming president of Allied Forest Products in Portland, Oregon, in 1977. During this time, he also lobbied for the timber industry before Congress. After retiring in 1993, he briefly acted as a consultant for a Latvian lumber company, and liked telling stories of the rough climate and living conditions there.


Even while working so hard, Stan made time to build lasting friendships wherever he and his family lived. He especially enjoyed going on camping trips, hunting for arrowheads, listening to old time country music, and raising his wild pack of children together with Jodeen.

In 1994, Stan and Jodeen settled down in Sedona, Arizona. They filled their time traveling with family and friends and doting on their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Stan affectionately cared for the many plants and rocks (but not the deer) in his yard and was known as an expert landscaper around the neighborhood. He continued to be an avid fan of sports and could frequently be found in his favorite chair watching and talking shop about football, baseball, basketball, or tennis.


Stan will be remembered as an extraordinary, generous, kind, and gentle man who was loved by all. He especially showed his character as a loving caregiver for his parents-in-law, George and Nola Poer. Glad to share his wealth of knowledge and experience with everyone, he was always ready to help and care for his family, friends, and neighbors. Everyone who knew Stan appreciated his witty sense of humor and could count on him telling a fitting story from his rich life in any situation.


Stan was preceded in death by his siblings Bonnie Lou, Memory Lynn, and Melody Hope. He is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Jodeen, his children Steve (Allison), Jody (Terie), Shanna (Rob), and Rhoda (Thomas), his siblings Bobbie Lee, Brian, Kenny Beth and Tara Faith, his grandchildren Renée (Ron), Nathanial (Heather), Daniel (Jonell), Conner, Stephanie, and Rebecca, and his great-grandchildren Jonah, Mariah, Lydia, and Ian.


A celebration of life will be held on March 5, 2022, at the Sedona Creative Life Center at 11 a.m. Masks are required.


We will miss him dearly. But as Stan would say, “it’s all part of growing up.”

Share Your Memory of