Edison Joseph Stephens


Grandpa passed away on August 17th. He was 94 years old. He was amazing. He was good-natured and good-humored. When we were in Phoenix almost 25 years ago trying to find my Aunt Colleen’s house we stopped at a payphone to get further directions. She must have indicated in the conversation that we needed to go down a few blocks and we would be there. Grandpa replied, “When it is right flat sis which way is down?” He milked cows for a living. And although I never saw him angry or heard him curse he did quip that if God had not wanted men to swear he would not have made cows. He served in the state legislature for many years and I remember sitting in the balcony at the Capitol watching the yays and nays tally up as the lawmakers did their work. He was colorful… in that he liked color. He wore a salmony pink sport coat and bought a pink and green car when my mom was young. He raced horses, cutter races, you know the kind with the chariot. We would watch the running and then lope on over in our muck boots and snowmobile suits to get in the pictures of the winners. He loved horses. In fact, I still remember when the trailer overturned on the way home from a contest and one of the beloved equine was killed in the accident. I don’t remember much racing after that, but a horse always. He had strong calloused hands with thick fingers and for a while after I realized that not all male hands were built this way I didn’t consider them real men. He played the harmonica, Red River Valley, his signature tune. He sang “Freckles.”  He was a USU Aggie attending Utah State for a while until the aftermath of the Depression called him back home to run the ranch. He raised seven kids and knew all of his many grandchildren and great grandchildren. He never said goodbye to me rather, “keep your nose clean sis” I was certain he knew I had been snooping through the Christmas presents. He was honest and stubborn and mischievous and tough. He was a gentleman. He always put his hat on when you entered the house and his shirt was neatly tucked in. His character was good. His family is good. His name was good, Edison Joseph Stephens. I’m hopeful one day there will be a namesake. There is so much I could write. He has been there my whole life and the world seems lessened without his physical presence. At his funeral his casket was carried to the burial place on the hill in Henefer by horse and carriage. His horse, Betsy followed along without her loyal rider. It was moving. I’m going to miss you grandpa… keep your nose clean and take all this love with you and share it with my mama.

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