Lawrence E. Stevens died in the early morning of May 14, 2021 surrounded by his family. He had fought the ravages of dementia for many years and is finally free to tell jokes with his contagious enthusiasm, a twinkle in his eye, and a touch of erudition.
Larry was born in Seattle, WA on Dec. 18, 1946 to Victor Lyman Stevens and Patricia Calder Stevens. He was raised in Salt Lake City, UT and attended Uintah Elementary, Clayton Jr. High, and East High School. He attended Washington State University initially but received his undergraduate degree from the University of Utah where he affiliated with Kappa Sigma fraternity. He earned his juris doctorate from the University of Utah School of Law. He married Jennifer Ralphs in 1969 and was later divorced. In 1992, he married Tracy Stevens and together they blended their families resulting in years and now generations of truly loving bonds. Tracy lovingly and selflessly cared for Larry as they fought his Alzheimer’s together, to the very end.
Larry distinguished himself early in his legal career when he was elected Outstanding Young Lawyer of the year by the Utah State Bar Association. What followed was a lifetime of service and recognition not only for his achievements among his colleagues in law but also for his service to the broader community. Among other boards and committees on which he served - too numerous to mention - he was President of the Salt Lake County Bar Association, served on the Boards of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Disability Law Center, was a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and served as Board President of the Summit Land Conservancy in Park City. He also Chaired the Utah Supreme Court’s Ethics and Disciplinary Committee, was President and Master of the Bench of the Sutherland Chapter of American Inns of Court, and at the time of the onset of his illness was serving as the sole Utah Delegate to the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association. Larry was an exceptional lawyer with a brilliant mind, a mentor to many young lawyers, a natural leader, and earned the respect of his colleagues as an honest, honorable opponent while litigating cases.
Larry loved being a gentleman farmer and horseman at his beloved Peoa farm on the Weber River. He was a gifted athlete. He was a competitive diver in his youth, an aggressive yet graceful skier, and a proficient sailor. He loved golf, sailing, Zion National Park, flyfishing, hiking, cycling, watching wolves in Yellowstone National Park, and any and all gear REI had to sell. He was quite proud of his yo-yo skills – quick to point out to his kids and grandkids that in his youth he had won first place in a yo-yo competition. He had a quick wit, was a great teller of jokes, and was a kind and attentive friend.
Larry has four wonderful children – Buddy, Binzo, Lollo, and the Emster, otherwise known as Colin, Lindsay, Lauren, and Emily. He delighted in their achievements, loved being in their company, and adored their children. In turn, they had a deep abiding respect for him and laughed heartily even at his worst jokes. Together our family shared many adventures near and far - mountains, deserts, and seas, but Larry’s favorite times were undoubtedly with family and friends around a campfire in Peoa.
Larry was preceded in death by his parents and his younger brother, Bruce. He is survived by his wife Tracy, his daughters Lindsay, Lauren (Donald Deshotels III), and Emily (Will McMaster), his son, Colin, and his grandchildren, Ruby, Mabel, Bowman, Cora, Remy, Rhys, and Frannie. He is also survived by his brother Ron Stevens (Barbara), and many nieces and nephews.
Our family would like to thank Larry’s dear friend Dan Allred for his enduring friendship and frequent companionship throughout Larry’s decline until the very end. We love you Dan. We’d also like to thank the management and staff of Legacy Village of Sugar House for their tender care of Larry during his final months.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Jewish Family Service of Utah, who provided us with immeasurable support on our Alzheimer’s journey, the ACLU of Utah, or Summit Land Conservancy.
A Memorial Service will be held on Wednesday, June 16 at 11:00 AM at Larkin Mortuary (260 E South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT). For those who wish to join via Zoom, may do so here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85691635245
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A private Celebration of Life will be held later for family and close friends.