James (Jay) Dallas Stephens, Ph.D., professionally known as Doctor Stephens, a resident of Blackfoot since November 1976 passed away at home on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013.
Jay was the youngest of five siblings born to John W. Stephens and Ellen (Irene) Fogarty Stephens, at the hospital in Salmon City on Nov. 27, 1931. He grew up on the family ranch in the Goldburg, Idaho area of the upper (south-eastern) end of the Pahsimeroi River Valley along with his three living siblings. He graduated from the Goldburg Elementary School and then he graduated from Challis High School in 1949.
The following fall he was enrolled at Washington State College (now Washington State University), Pullman, Wash., to study geology. He graduated in 1953 with a B.S. degree in geology. Following graduation he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in Korea where he taught G. I. draftees to read English.
Immediately upon discharge from the Army, he applied to and was accepted under the G.I. Bill to study mineralogy at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City with a Ph.D. degree in Mineralogy as his goal. A significant portion of his graduate work was accomplished in a mineralogy research laboratory associated with the Kennecott Copper Company.
After receiving his Ph.D. in 1960, he was employed by the Kennecott Copper Company in their research laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he remained until Kennecott’s open pit mine near Salt Lake City, Utah was closed.
Kennecott retired or terminated employment of its entire work force except Jay and two other scientists who were transferred to Cincinnati, Ohio to continue their research work.
Ultimately, this entire operation became a part of British Petroleum from which he took early retirement. At this time, Jay returned to Blackfoot to live full time. However, he was not through with his research work, focusing on crystallography study via electron microscope. Thus, he entered into a long and satisfying relationship with Idaho State University at Pocatello which continued for a number of years until he became so disabled with diabetes and other illnesses that he could no longer drive his Toyota pickup truck from Blackfoot to Pocatello.
Jay never married and was predeceased by his parents, and his brother LTC William L. Stephens, baby sister Winnie Rose Stephens and adult sister Bonnie Rose Stephens.
His surviving family consists of his older brother, John L. Stephens and his wife Dorothy Evelyn; sister-in-law Betty G. Stephens Dobbs, wife of deceased brother LTC William L. Stephens: eight nieces and nephews, eight grand nieces and nephews and two great-grandnieces.
Jay’s passions were his two cats, geology/mineralogy with special focus on crystallography in which he accomplished significant cutting edge research work via radiography and electron microscope and managing his many investments, basically, in mining.
Jay has willed that his estate be shared via living trusts with the John W. and Ellen Irene Stephens Family, the University of Idaho and Idaho State University to provide scholarships to qualified scholars.
Jay was a very private person, quite opinionated in his politics. He enjoyed being alone, free, to wander on foot about the hills and mountains with his geology pick/hammer and magnifying glass in hand, searching for unusual rocks, mineral formations, especially crystals.
Jay has directed that he be cremated and that his ashes be interred near his mother and sister in Blackfoot’s Grove City Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the direction of Hawker Funeral Home.
Condolences may be sent to the family at: firstname.lastname@example.org .