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1940 Stephen 2024

Stephen George Tatum

December 29, 1940 — January 18, 2024

Santa Clara, Utah

Santa Clara, UT- Stephen George Tatum, age 83, of Santa Clara, UT, passed away peacefully on January 18, 2024, in his home surrounded by the loving warmth of his family. 

Steve was born December 29, 1940, in Tucson, Arizona. He was the son of George Dennis Tatum and Ruth Merle Curtis. 

Steve was raised in Phoenix, Arizona and as he grew spent a lot of time working on his father’s farm in Buckeye. He first went to college at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California planning to get a degree in Animal Science and then take over his father’s farm. A conversation with a cousin however led his life in a new direction. 

In 1961, Steve left to serve a two-year LDS mission in the West Central States Mission in Billings Montana, the same area his grandfather had served a mission on in 1909. When he returned, he joined the Army Reserves and went to Basic Training and Medical Aidman Training. 

He began college at Phoenix College, majoring in Medical Technology. While there he met a pretty, dark-haired girl in one of his classes carrying a BYU Cougars notebook. He would marry that girl, Carol Ann Schafer, four years later September 13, 1968, in the Mesa Arizona temple. Carol was the love of his life. He went on to have a career as a Medical Technologist and continued serving as an Army Reservist. He was called up to active duty during Desert Storm and worked at a hospital in Germany, caring for wounded soldiers.

Steve was known for his kindness and acts of service. To the consternation of others in the vehicle, whenever he saw a hitchhiker, he would stop and give them a ride. He was always the first to volunteer and was very faithful in fulfilling his church callings. 

Steve loved to learn and share his knowledge with others. He was never without a book to read and loved to share his knowledge. Whether on walks or drives, he would share interesting facts about the area and things that you passed. This also made him the best tour guide if you ever went with him to a museum. His love for classical music continued throughout his life. He kept bees for several years and loved classic cars. His 1934 Ford pickup truck was his pride and joy, and he had many happy hours working on it. He loved to laugh and joke and had a great sense of humor. It was always a joy to see that twinkle in his eye when he was trying to “pull one over” on someone.

He is survived by his devoted wife: Carol Tatum; loving children: Rebecca Rasmussen (Scott) of Santa Clara, UT; Rachel Suchla of Santa Clara, UT; Debra Stowell (Todd) of Cody, WY; Matthew Tatum (Katia) of Cañon City, CO; Daniel Tatum of Lehi, UT; along with 11 grandchildren. He is also survived by his remaining sibling, Pamela Johnston of Spokane, WA, and his dear nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Michael Tatum, and his grandson Nathan Rasmussen.

The family extends their heartfelt gratitude to the staff and organizations of Dixie Hospice, Home Helpers Home Care, and Good Samaritan Senior Care for their compassionate care during the last year. Thank you, Rachel Suchla, his daughter and CNA, who provided countless hours of loving care, in a way that only a daughter could provide.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 27, 2024, at 11 am at the Rachel Chapel, 3815 Rachel Drive, Santa Clara, UT 84765. A viewing will be held before the funeral services from 9:30-10:45 am. Interment will be at the Santa Clara City Cemetery under the direction of McMillan Mortuary.

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