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Steve Fordham passed away surrounded by family on May 10, 2021, in Provo, Utah at the age of 73 from complications due to Post-Polio Syndrome. He was born to Blake Taft and Fay Metta Covington Fordham on November 12, 1947 in Richfield, Utah. He was the 5th of 8 children. He was the first child to be born in a hospital instead of at home on the family farm in Grover, Utah.
Soon after he was born the family left Grover and moved to Pleasant Grove. Steve attended Grovecrest Elementary, Pleasant Grove Jr. High, and graduated from Pleasant Grove High School in 1966. He graduated from Utah Technical College with a degree in HVACR in 1970.
After high school graduation Steve served a full-time mission to the West Central States Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, serving as a Zone Leader and Assistant to the President. After returning from his mission, Steve met Nila Roper on a blind date on New Year’s Eve – being set up by Nila’s cousin who served in the same mission as Steve. They both said that it was a terrible date, but they both knew after that first date that they were meant to be together. They were sealed for time and all eternity on June 3, 1971 in the Salt Lake Temple. They would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in just a few short weeks.
Steve loved farming and all animals, especially horses. Steve and Nila purchased Steve’s family farm in Pleasant Grove, raising their four children next door to Steve’s parents. He also raised alfalfa in Manila. His tax man asked him every year at tax time why he farmed because he never made any money. Steve’s response was always “I don’t farm to make money. I farm to raise children.” He spent countless hours working on the farm, teaching his children, neighbor children, and numerous nephews and nieces the value of a hard day’s work and to appreciate animals. Steve and Nila were involved in several horse-riding clubs including the Roughouts and the Utah County Sheriff’s Posse in their younger years. Steve loved horses and loved to ride and always had at least one horse in the field. He also loved livestock and equipment and draft horse auctions.
Steve was a very active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He held numerous callings over the years in Sunday School and Elder’s Quorum Presidencies, Bishoprics, High Priest Groups, and on the High Council. As his health declined in recent years he sorely missed being able to go to church but enjoyed having the young men bring the sacrament to their home until the pandemic.
Steve worked for many years in the Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration field in sales and management, and also had a refrigeration repair business on the side. Steve was a natural born teacher, and taught Heating and Air Conditioning and Refrigeration at Utah Valley State College, and Utah Valley University until he retired in 2009. His students loved and respected him very much. He was nationally certified in his field, served as a Department Chair overseeing 6 other departments, trained students to compete nationally in Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA), and was awarded Teacher of the Year. While there he also was the Assistant College Rodeo Coach with Lewis Feild for several years, which was a highlight for him.
He is survived by his wife, Nila Roper Fordham, children Jennifer (Codie) Miller, Darrell (Becca) Fordham, Chad (Jennifer) Fordham, and Robert (Michelle) Fordham; 14 grandchildren; 2 brothers Gerry (Angie) Fordham, Todd (Lori) Fordham, and 1 sister Beverly (Bill) Jarvis). He was preceded in death by two brothers and two sisters. The family would also like to express their sincere thanks to Leland – Steve’s hospice nurse – who provided many, many hours of tender care and exceptional kindness.
All family and friends are invited to attend a viewing on Monday, May 17, 2021 from 10:30 am - 12:30 pm at Olpin Family Mortuary, 494 South 300 East, Pleasant Grove. Graveside services will immediately follow at 1:00 pm in the Pleasant Grove City Cemetery, 550 North 100 East, Pleasant Grove. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.olpinmortuary.com. In lieu of flowers donations can be sent via Venmo to @nila-fordham
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