Provo City Councilman Stephen Hales, whose district included BYU, died Jan. 21 at the age of 55.
“Although his death came unexpectedly, he was at peace and surrounded by family as he passed Wednesday morning, January 21, 2015, at his Provo home,” said a representative from the Hales family.
Hales served as municipal councilman for Provo’s District 5, also known as the heart of Provo.
“My heart is hurting today due to the sudden passing of my friend and colleague, Stephen Hales,” Mayor John Curtis said. “Residents would need to search long and hard to find a more dedicated, tireless advocate of downtown Provo. Stephen always looked for the best ways to help his area and constituents and brought a sound, thoughtful voice to the council. Stephen will be greatly missed. Our love and compassion go out to Calli and the entire Hales family.”
Hales received his initial diagnosis a mere two months ago and had received treatment for brain cancer for just a month since then, including recuperating from a surgery performed last month. Hales’ oldest son passed away from brain cancer in 2012.
Shortly after his surgery, Hales released a statement saying he was ready to return to work. “My wife Calli, my family and I thank everyone who have reached out through their service, thoughts and prayers. I am anxious to continue my work with my family, church, business, teaching and as a Provo City council member representing District 5.”
Born and raised in Provo, Hales received his B.F.A. and M.A. from BYU and decided to stay close to home when he began professional work. Hales’ district included numerous historic sites and Provo’s Brigham Young University. Hales was anxious to bring real representation to such a varied constituency. He took major steps to improve the Provo community and is most recently known for his considerable efforts in improving Provo’s Bus Rapid Transit system.
“As a city council, we are filled with sadness and grief at Stephen’s sudden, unexpected passing,” said Gary Garrett, council chairman, and Kim Santiago, vice chairman, in a news release. “He is a man of great faith and exceptional integrity. He was thoughtful in his community service and creative and brilliant in his profession. … We extend our love and sympathy to Calli and to all of Stephen’s family.”
In addition to his many responsibilities as a councilman, Hales is also known for his advertising agency, Stephen Hales Creative, his service on the executive board of America’s Freedom Festival, his work teaching graphic design part-time at BYU and full-time at UVU and his activity in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The family’s spokesman, Randy Christiansen, said Hales lived a life full of service. “I think just the best way to remember him is by devoting our lives to serving others.”
Hales is survived by his wife, Calli, and seven children.
The funeral service for Hales will be held on Thursday, Jan. 29, at 11 a.m. at the Provo East Stake Center located at 667 N. 600 East. The viewing will be held from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at the same location. Another viewing will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 28, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Berg Mortuary located at 185 E. Center Street.