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Stephen Mack & Hannah Saunders Covey family

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Irene, Stephen, Grandy, Helen Jean, John, Marilyn

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Grandy, Marilyn, Helen Jean, Irene

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Papa & Grandy

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Stephen Mack Covey, 4th from the right

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John, Helen Jean, Irene, Stephen

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Stephen L with his boys

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Family photo at Grandy & Papa's house

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Snake River cabin

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Stephen Longstroth Richards and Grandy in the dining room at the canyon cabin

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Christmas, approximately 1912

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Believed to be Mark & Susannah Ogden Bigler

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George Albert & Bathsheba Bigler Smith

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L to R, Stephen Glenn Covey, Irene Louise Richards Covey, Stephen Mack Covey

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Enoch & Janett Carruth Young Covey

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Stephen L & Irene Smith Merrill Richards

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Demas Ashdown & Hannah Barwell Saunders

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Stephen Glenn Covey (2nd from right, back row) with siblings

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Covey Family Photo at Grandy's and Papa's

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L to R, John, Marilyn, Helen Jean, Irene, Stephen

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Stephen Mack & Hannah Ashdown Covey

Example Frame

Stephen Richards Covey 1932 - 2012

My heart goes out to all of Stephens children and dear aunt Sandra. Ryan and I had the privilege of going to the hosptial in Idaho Falls late Sunday night and seeing Stephen one last time. He was surrounded by his children and their spouses and Sandra's siblings. What a powerful spirit that filled that hosptial room! As I looked into the faces of those great people I truly felt honored to be apart of the Covey family. The children made Ryan and I feel so welcomed as we poked our heads into the room and they even gave Ryan a few compliments on being a great OBGYN to some of their family members. They were generous and thoughtful of others just as uncle Steve would want them to be at a very difficult moment. We were touched. The spirit of God filled that room along with a deep love.
Thank you Stephen's children for the people you are and the legacy you carry on.
We love you!
Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

-Irene and Ryan Jones

I got the news that my great uncle Stephen Covey passed away this morning. What an amazing man, who impacted so many people. I'm reminded of the quote from Braveheart: "Every man dies. Not every man really lives."

-Michael Covey Nelson 
          I've been thinking of all the experiences I had with Stephen, and one stood out.
       I once sat next to Stephen at a dinner.  He was speaking with someone who was obviously upset at him.  He was even, from my perspective, being belittled by this person.
       I watched Stephen as he listened to the uncomfortable words.  I could see the wheels turning in his head.  I thought of that short time between stimulus and response he always talked about--that important moment where you have a choice.  "I'm seeing this as it's happening," I thought.
       I remember thinking that if it were me, I would want to really let this person have it.  The words weren't fair or kind or appropriate.  But, Stephen just sat there, choosing his response.  I'll never forget it.
       And, his response was...NOTHING.  He just smiled and changed the subject.  He didn't belittle the person across from him.  He didn't get angry.  He didn't set the record straight.  He didn't advocate for himself.  He simply changed the subject.  It was amazing.
       I gained a great deal of respect that day for my Uncle Stephen.
       I appreciate all Stephen has done for our extended family.  He spent so many years serving us, gathering us, helping us, making sure we had what we needed at Hebgen, having fun with us, and loving us.
        I'm going to miss you, Stephen!  Give Mom a hug for me.
Love to all...
Louise Williams Nelson
My great uncle, Stephen covey has passed has away. What an amazing legacy he left. He was an awesome man, who loved us all unconditionaly. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with my cousins and Aunt Sandra. Love You

-Melissa Hofmann Nichols

Stephen touched the lives of those close to him as well as those around the world through his love and words of wisdom. He was one of the most generous men I have known and he made everyone feel important. I am happy for the reunion he is having with my dear Nana and other loved ones who have passed on before him.

-Heidi Irene Nelson Cutler

Uncle Stephen R. Covey, we love you and will miss you. Thanks for the memories at Hebgen Lake, your books, your hard work, your passion, and the legacy you've left behind!

♥ -Meg Williams Miles

My Great Uncle Stephen R. Covey passed away early this morning. We'll miss you Stephen! Thanks for all the fun times at your house, making s'mores at Legacy, and singing at the top of our lungs on the beach at Hebgen! Thanks for all the lives you touched and will forever touch. 

-Joseph David Nelson
I didnt know him well, but my great uncle passed away today, and he did alot of good for alot of people!!

-Whitney Diane Jackson Johnson
Dear Cousins,
I am sad and have been thinking how Stephen's life has impacted mine. He was my hero, a mentor, a guiding light that I constantly refer to in my mind. His essence and love is in my heart. I am so sorry of his passing and for his family. His memory is cherished and life sustaining. Love to you

-Chris and Wendy 
Dear Cousins,
Like Chris, my life has also been greatly influenced by Stephen.  Perhaps the most inspiring thing to me is how he has looked out for so many, in spite of the enormous commitments that he was dealing with.  Over all those years, he could have been self consumed with his own work and success, and yet he was interested in and cared for each one of us.  What a great legacy he has left to us all. 
When I first learned of his illness, tears well up in my eyes, as I thought about the loss of this wonderful generous friend to us all. 
Denise and I send our love to Sandra and all of the Covey families.

Love, Clayt


Published in Salt Lake Tribune from July 19 to July 21, 2012 

Stephen Richards Covey

1932 ~ 2012
Our beloved husband, father, and grandfather, Stephen R. Covey, passed away peacefully at a hospital in Idaho Falls, Idaho, early on the morning of July 16, 2012, due to the residual effects of a bicycle accident he sustained this past April. He was in his 80th year. In his final hours, he was surrounded by his loving wife and each of his nine children and their spouses, which was a tender mercy of the Lord and something he always desired.
Stephen was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Stephen Glenn and Irene Louise Richards Covey. He attended East High School and graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in business. Following his graduation, Stephen served a mission to the British Isles. Upon his return, he earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and then began his teaching career at Brigham Young University where he later earned his doctorate degree.
Stephen was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in various capacities, including as a bishop, regional representative, temple sealer, and an advisor to the LDS Church Missionary Committee. At the age of 29, Stephen was called as the first mission president to Ireland, a calling he loved and which became a formative experience in his life.
It was while serving as a missionary in England that he discovered his talent and passion for teaching. In 1983, he made the decision to leave his full time teaching position at BYU, which he had thoroughly enjoyed for over 25 years, to start an organization, Covey Leadership Center (which later became FranklinCovey), with the mission of taking Principle-Centered Leadership to the world. This mission influenced him to grow a global organization with operations in over 125 countries and to personally deliver thousands of speeches to individuals, leaders, CEO's, Generals, and Heads of State from all around the globe and to write dozens of books which have sold millions of copies in numerous languages. He thereby influenced literally tens of millions of people and thousands of organizations and communities everywhere. He was always surprised and embarrassed by his professional success and simply saw himself as a steward of the great work he was doing, always giving credit to God.
Dad's greatest joy was his family. He'd prefer to spend time with his wife, kids, and grandkids than with anyone else. He loved family trips, special one-on-one dates, birthdays, farewells and homecomings, kids' sporting events, skiing at Sundance, and late night talks. He loved spending time in Montana on the lake where he taught us to water-ski, drive boats, ride bikes, fish, and shoot the bow and arrow and BB guns. He loved gathering his family and holding family councils and firesides where he would teach us important lessons such as how to make Christ the center of our lives or how to better serve Mom so that we "don't kill her off."
Dad simply adored Mom, the former Sandra Merrill, and the love of his life, whom he met while he was a missionary and she was traveling abroad as the youngest member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They later married on August 14, 1956, in the Salt Lake Temple, a marriage which led to nine children, 52 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
Dad loved the Savior and believed that if you put Him at the center of your life, everything else would fall into place. He was humble, compassionate, and generous to a fault. He had unbelievable optimism, was so affirming, and saw the good in everyone.
He frequently played practical jokes on his friends, and let the kids build peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on his bald head more than once. He had a multitude of friends from all walks of life. He enjoyed riding his bike, watching inspiring movies, eating Chinese food and cherry-chocolate malts, attending BYU sporting events, and asking his wife to sing in public without any warning whatsoever.
Throughout his life, on most mornings, he would arise early, go to a place where he could be alone, and he would pray, meditate, and study the scriptures. This daily private victory, as he coined it, became the source of his security, guidance, wisdom, and power and he often told us kids that "if you will spend twenty minutes each day with the Savior of the world in private worship, you will spend eternity in his presence."
We are grateful for our knowledge of the Plan of Salvation and know that our patriarch has been taken home to a loving Heavenly Father and is now with his sweet mother and father, his sister Marilyn, and many other relatives and friends. We will sorely miss our "Papa" and long for the day when we will once again be united.
Stephen is survived by his wife of nearly 56 years, Sandra Merrill; his nine children and their spouses: Cynthia (Kameron) Haller, Maria (David) Cole, Stephen M.R. (Jerolyn) Covey, Sean (Rebecca) Covey, David (Pamelyn) Covey, Catherine (Paul) Sagers, Colleen (Matthew) Brown, Jenny (Jason) Pitt, Joshua (Jenny) Covey; his siblings: Irene (Cal) Gaddis, Helen Jean Williams, and his best friend and brother John (Jane) Covey.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, July 21, 2012 at the UCCU Events Center at Utah Valley University, 800 W. University Parkway, Orem, Utah (just off of the University Parkway freeway exit). Friends may call from 5:00-8:00 p.m., Friday, July 20 at the Oak Hills Stake Center, 925 East North Temple Drive, Provo, Utah (across from the Provo LDS Temple) and at the UCCU Events Center, Saturday, from 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. prior to services. Condolences may be entered on his obituary at
If desired, donations may be made to the I Am A Leader Foundation, a charity supported by Stephen and dedicated to developing character and leadership skills in children and youth in public schools. Please visit any Zions Bank location for assistance or send your donation to: I Am A Leader Foundation, PO Box 1936, Provo, UT 84603, USA.


  1. Write your memories for posterity here.

  2. I am a Muslim man from saudi arabia. I in fact, dr. Covey has not pass away,he is in my heart. He is on of the most ( or the most ) person who affect me. I really like him, and one of my hopes was to meet him. But it will not.. But his steps are remaining,,,to follow

    Marthad, KSA, Makkah

  3. Stephen Covey has inspired millions of people around the world, through his self-example. One of the greatest leaders of our time. May his soul rest in peace...


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