Date of BirthDecember 26, 1928

Austin W. Stedham Obituary

Date of BirthDecember 26, 1928

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Date of DeathMay 19, 2017

Austin W. Stedham Obituary

from reno, Nevada, United States

Austin W. Stedham, Jr.Austin W. Stedham Jr, who was the chairman and CEO of Sierra Pacific Resources passed away May 18, 2017. He was 88 years old.He was born on Christmas day 1928 in Salina, Kansas and lived in the Lamer Hotel where his father was the president of a small hotel chain. Being an important overnight stop for cross country train travel, he remembered meeting Will Rogers, Boris Karloff, and others. Family meals were served in the hotel dining room or coffee shop. He would often run the elevator and hotel switchboard. He earned his pilot's license before he was old enough to have a driver's license.After graduation from high school he joined the navy and eventually was "Sparks" (radio/electronics tech) on the submarine Queenfish which patrolled the South China Sea. After his discharge he earned a degree in electrical engineering at Kansas State University. During this time he obtained his commercial pilots license and ferried new Cessna airplanes on the weekends and also joined the US Air Force reserves.In 1952, following graduation from college he began his long career in utilities starting at Kansas Power and Light as an engineer, where he quickly received hands-on experience with both electric and gas operations. A series of promotions followed as he moved from Salina, to Topeka, back to Salina, to Hutchison, to Junction City, to Great Bend, and then to Lawrence - all within 4 years. He remained in Lawrence until 1980, though the promotions continued, and eventually moved back to Topeka, finally taking early retirement from Kansas Power and Light as Senior VP of Operations in 1984 after 33 years of service. That same year he joined Sierra Pacific Power Company. In 1985 he was named president and joined the board of directors of the holding company, Sierra Pacific Resources. In 1990 he was named chairman and chief executive of Sierra Pacific Resources, where he served until his retirement in 1994.During his life-time he was very active in Rotary, serving as club president and then district governor while in Lawrence. He was also very active in the Boy Scouts and promoting the values held high by the Scouts. He served on countless local boards and organizations throughout his career and after retirement. During his working career and at every step in his management progression his over-riding philosophy was: the employees are number one. He will be remembered for his honesty, caring nature and sense of humor.He married Joan Yvonne Britegam, a high school sweetheart in 1952. She survives him at home. Also surviving is his sister, Thelma Jo Reed of Conroe, TX, his son David Michael Stedham and wife Yvonne, his daughter Susan Ann Calitri and husband Carmine, grandchildren Dominique Renate Stedham and Carmine Cole Calitri and great grandchildren Collin Michael Stedham and Story Owen Malady (Stedham). He was preceded in death by his parents, Austin W. Stedham Sr and Mollie Malinda (Everheart), and grandson Owen Laurence Stedham.A memorial service will be held on Monday, June 19, 2017 at 10:00am at South Reno United Methodist Church located at 200 De Spain Lane, near Galena High School. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Boy Scouts in his name (500 Double Eagle Court, Reno, NV 89521), or to . "Never let yesterday use up too much of today." Will Rogers