Our father, Dallas Lynn Stevens, passed away on Friday, June 19, 2020.
Dad was born on September 18, 1936 in Salt Lake City, Utah, the first child of Horace Keene Stevens and Emma Ireta Tuttle. He married his eternal sweetheart, Sharon English, on June 24, 1960 in the Salt Lake Temple.
Dad loved his family more than anything. He was married to the love of his life for 60 years. He cherished her and always wanted to be by her. They were always with each other, even when they took short trips to the store. The happiness of his children and his grandchildren meant everything to him. He spent much of his time teaching them, sharing stories, and taking them on adventures.
He also opened his home to many other people. After having three children of their own, Mom and Dad adopted 7 children, and unofficially adopted many others who spent a lot of time at their house. They often sat around late into the evening laughing and joking about life. People felt loved when they were in their home.
Dad often had someone living in his home who needed a place to stay. Once, for a couple of months, he had his ten children, three or four friends and relatives, and a Cambodian refugee family of six, living in his house at the same time. One morning, a friend of Todd’s was eating breakfast and Dad walked into the kitchen. The friend asked Dad, “Who are you?” and Dad said, “I live here. Who are you?” The friend then said, “Oh, I live here too.” Yes, Dad had a big house and he filled it with the things that were important.
Dad had a way of talking and sharing knowledge about almost anything. He had an amazing memory for details, and he knew facts about many different things. He could watch a TV special and then recite facts about it years later. People loved talking with Dad and he enjoyed sharing what he knew with anyone who would listen.
Dad was a storyteller. His children and grandchildren will never forget the stories about the Beaver and the Bear, or Jack the Tyack, or the Indian and the Buffalo, stories he would tell for hours making them up as he went along. In reality, he was just spending as much time as he could with his grandchildren.
Dad was a patriot. He loved his country and tried to instill patriotism in all his children. He joined the Air National Guard when he was a senior in high school because “they had the best-looking raincoats.” He started in Radar, became a Load Master, and then became a Boom Operator, which allowed him to travel the world and refuel many different planes from his KC-135. Because he was able to see the world, he gave his kids an appreciation for the things we have here in the United States. He loved to share his experiences with everyone, especially with the veterans in the VA care center where he lived the final months of his life. The other veterans loved him and always wanted him to sit with them during meals and talk. He loved his 38 years in the Guard!
Dad served six missions during his life for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: five of those with his wife. He served in the East Central States Mission as a young man. With his wife, he served at the Family Tree Center in Park City (6 years), the Spanish Branch in the Park City Stake, the West Indies Mission (St. Maarten), the Salt Lake Inner City Mission, and finally served a Military Relations mission in Guam.
Dad also loved serving as a Scoutmaster. He tried to include everyone in the activities he planned and to make them fun. In addition to working on merit badges, he would take the scouts shooting, camping, jeeping, boating, and hiking. He enjoyed being with the kids.
Dad was very forgiving and kind. He loved people and he didn’t judge. He was a great example of what our Savior would do if he were here today.
He is survived by his wife, Sharon, and children, Troy (KariAnn), Dallas (Gabriela), Geeta (David), Raja (Brandon), Chris (Kristin), Josh (Tanah), Jessica (Tyson), Molly, and Nena (Pedro) and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his son Todd.
The family would like to thank the workers at the VA care center for taking loving care of him when they were unable to be with him due to Covid-19 restrictions, and for letting family members talk to him through the window of the care center via FaceTime; and for being with him as he passed since we could not. They have done more to help us get through this difficult time than they know, despite what the media or others may say. Thank You!
Due to Covid-19 and restrictions that are in place at the cemetery, a family-only graveside service will be held on Wednesday, June 24 (Mom and Dad’s 60th wedding anniversary). Dallas will be buried with full military honors.
We would also like to thank the people at Anderson & Goff Mortuary for helping with the interment.