“Elder Stephen B. Oveson Of the Seventy,” Ensign, May 1999, 112
“We are here to establish Zion,” says Elder Stephen B. Oveson, a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, currently serving as president of the Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission. “Every member of the Church has to work to make this come to pass, and I plan do the best I can to help build up the kingdom.”
Born 9 July 1936 in Grass Valley, Oregon, to Merrill and Mal Berg Oveson, Stephen was the third child in a family of four. He grew up in Oregon, then attended Brigham Young University before serving in the Northern Mexican Mission from 1956 to 1959. Upon his return to BYU to study finance and banking, he met Dixie Randall of Tempe, Arizona. On 7 September 1960, they married in the Arizona Temple. After they graduated from BYU in 1961, they moved to Tempe.
Brother Oveson spent the first 10 years of his career in finance and banking. In 1970, he went to work for the founder of Granada Royale Hometels—the first all-suite hotel chain in the United States. This chain eventually became Embassy Suites. In 1985, Brother Oveson started his own hotel development and management company—Suite Thinking, Inc.
Now residents of San Juan Capistrano, California, the Ovesons are the parents of six children, all sons, and grandparents of 15. With a family of boys, the Ovesons have always enjoyed sports and outdoor activities. Among their favorite memories over the last 25 years are yearly family vacations on Lake Powell and skiing trips to Utah. All of the boys have served missions.
No strangers to heartache, the Ovesons lost a two-and-a-half-year-old son to death. Today, still aware of the suffering of little children, Brother Oveson has found time among his many activities to be involved with Pathway, a center for disadvantaged children in Madras, India.
“I have a strong conviction that Heavenly Father’s plan for me is the one that I need to follow,” says Elder Oveson, who has served as a bishop, a stake missionary, a stake high councilor, and a temple ordinance worker in the San Diego Temple. “I look upon this calling as another blessing and opportunity from the Lord, and I plan to fulfill it to the best of my abilities.”