Clayton Reid “Bud” Stephen (1941-2019)
Bud passed away peacefully on the morning of September 3, 2019, just five days before his 78th birthday.
Bud was dearly loved by his wife, Anne, his sons, Dan (Kim) and Tim (Kelly), his three grandchildren, Joshua, Haley (Rhett), and Scott, his two great granddaughters, Kailah and Lily, as well as many nieces and nephews.
As a passionate educator/actor/director of high-school, UNLV, community theater (T.A.S.I.), mathematics, and physics for more than 30 years, he was also loved by thousands of Las Vegas students. Some of his adventurous science field trips were a Haley’s Comet event and 6 AM rocket launches. Bud was the consummate teacher!
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Bud was a first generation American, whose parents emigrated from Scotland and Bohemia. Bud was born to entertain and all the world was his stage. One of his favorite hobbies as a youth was dabbling in the art of filmmaking by making movies with his friends in the neighborhood streets. As part of a community theater troupe, he performed a magic act and was part of a singing duo with his best friend. Always interested in bowling, he would set the pins for the church bowling league. He always had a strong work ethic taking on a paper route at a young age and during high school he worked at Broadway Florist. His interest in baking and cooking began at a young age as he would help his mom make the traditional foods and desserts of her heritage.
After graduating from South High School, Bud attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he continued his passion for acting by performing in the theater. After two years at Miami University, he joined the Air Force, where he flew with The Strategic Air Command as a radar navigator bomber. F-111s and B-52s are two of the aircraft in which he navigated. Bud shared his expertise by being an instructor of Radar Navigation Bombing of F-111s and B-52s. During this time, he was married to Mary Ellen Chain and became a father to his two sons, Daniel and Timothy.
Throughout his 11 year stint in the Air Force, he worked his way up to the rank of Captain. His last assignment was at Nellis Air Force Base here in Las Vegas, and when he reentered the civilian world, he began his education at UNLV. There, he earned two undergraduate degrees; one in Education with a concentration in Mathematics and another in Speech/Theater Arts. Bud went on to earn his Master’s Degree in Theater Arts.
These years marked the beginning of his successful career as a theater director/actor at UNLV, Las Vegas High School, Reed Whipple, and Spring Mountain Ranch Super Summer Theater.
Concurrently with teaching theater classes and directing community shows, Bud taught high school mathematics and physics, where his enthusiasm for numbers and formulas inspired his students! He also was the instructor of Speech classes at the Community College. With his interest in the arts, science and sports, he was a modern day Renaissance man.
In 1974, during rehearsals for Peter Pan at Judy Bailey Theater, Bud’s interest was sparked by Anne, who was in the ensemble of the show. Bud and Anne had a long courtship and finally married in 1982.
Throughout their 37 years of marriage, Bud and Anne embraced life. Together they golfed, bowled, baked, cooked, and did crossword puzzles and SUDUKO. They took sailing lessons together and spent summers on San Diego Bay taking family and friends on sailboat excursions. Bud loved adventures and relished going on vacation with his family. Among his favorite destinations were, Hawaii, Victoria Island, San Diego, Oregon, Cedar Point, Washington D.C., Disneyland, San Francisco, Carlsbad Caverns, Disney World, New York City, Estes Park, Cedar City, and Los Angeles to watch their beloved Dodgers.
Throughout his life, Bud continued his love of magic by entertaining his grandchildren, as well as children of family and friends, with awe-inspiring magic tricks using simple household objects.
After retirement, Bud was the secretary of two senior leagues at the Strike Zone and managed the Southern Nevada Lamplight Carolers at Christmastime. An avid reader, Bud always knew what was on the Bestsellers list and spent hours reading with his dog lying by his side.
Here are some quotes (“Bud-isms”) that Bud would want you to remember.
“There are only three things you need to know to be a good teacher: Tell them what you are going to teach them, teach them, then tell them what you just taught them.”
“Any kid is capable of doing anything at anytime.”
“Before you to go to the DMV, remember to go the middle of the month, middle of week, middle of the day.”
“Remember the 10% rule.”
“Hit your mark and follow through.”
“Always leave your audience wanting more.”
“Gotta keep your sense of humor.”