Former Davis Commissioner Gayle Stevenson, 84, dies

Friday , February 28, 2014 - 12:34 PM

Bryon Saxton, Standard-Examiner Staff

CENTERVILLE — Former longtime Davis County Commissioner Gayle Stevenson died Sunday night at his Centerville home due to complications of Parkinson’s disease.

Stevenson, 84, known for a swath of neatly combed gray hair, and a contagious smile, served as a county commissioner from July of 1988 to December of 2000. Prior to that, Stevenson, formerly of Layton, was an associate superintendent with the Davis School District.

Stevenson also worked as a history and debate teacher at Davis High; a vice-principal at Viewmont High and principal at Clearfield High.

Marian Storey, former Davis School Board member, worked as a teacher at Clearfield High when Stevenson served as principal. “He had a tremendous sense of humor, and an infectious laugh,” Storey said.

Stevenson also valued his employees, being a fair and honorable man, who had the ability to motivate others, she said.

“He was the kind of person that you met, that you remembered,” Storey said.

During his 12-plus years in county office, Stevenson was most proud of being able to reopen Antelope Island State Park after the county restored the 7 1/2-mile causeway leading out to it, and for setting into motion the plans to build the Davis Conference Center in Layton, said Mont Stevenson, Stevenson’s youngest of five children.

Gayle Stevenson, a veteran of the Korean War, was also instrumental in developing a flood control plan throughout the county in response to the 1983 Farmington floods that destroyed a number of homes after a debris basin failed.

“He was also proud of the fact that in all his time (on the commission) he had never raised taxes. They were always in budget, within their means, and he was proud of that," Mont Stevenson said of his father.

Stevenson enjoyed gardening, putting his produce out on the curb of his Layton home with a sign reading: “Take what you need.”

But over time, Mont Stevenson said, his father’s Parkinson’s disease prevented him from gardening.

“There are a few sad faces around here today," Davis County Commissioner Bret Millburn said of the longtime county staff members at the courthouse offices who once worked with Stevenson.

Millburn said although he never commissioned with Stevenson, based on what has been shared with him, Stevenson was well-respected, friendly and kind, “but took the position as commissioner very serious.”

Stevenson also served as campaign chairman for the United Way in Davis County, and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Davis Hospital and Medical Center, then known as the North Davis Medical Center.

Stevenson was active in the LDS Church, serving as a bishop and stake president.

“Even though he was very busy, he was always there, always teaching, always supporting everything we did,” Mont Stevenson said.

Stevenson’s first wife Beverly died in 1997 of a brain tumor. He married the former Nancy Burningham in 2001. Nancy was with him at the time of his death.

Stevenson is survived by five children, 25 grandchildren, and 48 great-grandchildren.

Viewing services are set for Thursday evening at the Layton Lindquist Mortuary, with funeral services to be held Friday at an LDS Stake Center in west Layton.

Contact reporter Bryon Saxton at 801-625-4244 or, or follow him on Twitter at @BryonSaxton.

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