W.R. Stephen, Jr., 93

Former Lake Orion resident W.R. Stephen Jr. passed away in Clarkston on April 12, 2021. He was 93 years old.
He was born in Pontiac on Dec. 29, 1927. He is survived by loving wife of 61 years Josephine; son Craig, wife Barbara, grandson Blake, son Garth, wife Pamela and grandchildren Alex and Anika; brother Harry Stephen and wife Carol.
Called by his middle name “Dick” amongst the family (and called “Steve” later on), his mother Phylis died of TB when he was 5-years-old. Dick spent his summers as a boy in Lake Orion, Pontiac and often wintered near Sarasota, FL with his grandmother.
During high school Dick worked at Speakers Hardware in Lake Orion (now Lucky’s). He also showed movies at lunch for 3¢ per student. By his senior year class profits from this venture totaled approximately $10,000 (about $160,000 today). It paid for a Senior Class Prom at Indianwood Country Club, along with other extravagances for the class that year.
Dick was a charter member of the Lake Orion Boat Club and claimed to have coined the phrase “Lake Orion: Where Living is a Vacation.”
Upon graduation from Lake Orion High School in 1944 (at 16) Dick joined the U.S. Army. During basic training his young age was discovered and he was reassigned to University of Illinois to study Industrial Engineering for war production. Now called “Steve,” he then saw service in the Aleutians by war’s end. After discharge, during the summer, he saved to complete his degree by working at a beer store in town, and by delivering the community’s mail by boat around Lake Orion. It was one of the only official Marine U.S. Mail routes ever established in the United States.
Steve’s first career job was with Ford in 1950. He later took engineering positions in Indiana where he met a charming young lady named Josephine Tull. In the early 1960s they moved back to Michigan where he worked for Parke Davis Pharmaceuticals. Steve held a number of US Patents for Capsule filling processes. After retiring from Parke Davis in 1979, he immediately founded a company called DataLyzer, where he worked 27 more years traveling hundreds of thousands of miles, throughout every populated continent to consult with industrial clients. The company continues today.
Steve was a two term Mayor of Orchard Lake where he lived for more than 30 years. He was also a VFR pilot.
He was a loving husband, father and grandfather; a brilliant leader and entrepreneur; a gifted industrial advisor and a loyal friend. Arrantmens entrusted to Modetz Funeral Home & Cremation Service Silverbell Chapel.

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