Stephen Jeffers, emeritus trustee to the University of La Verne Board, died in his home Oct. 8. He was 88.
Born in 1925 in La Canada Flintridge, Mr. Jeffers enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps as an aviator during WWII, flying a B-24 liberator on his missions.
After his military service, he attended the University of Southern California from 1945 to 1948, where he graduated with a business degree. While at USC, he participated with his fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Soon after graduating, Mr. Jeffers served again as a jet fighter pilot in the Korean War from 1950 to 1952.
After returning home from another war, Mr. Jeffers became president of USC’s Cardinal and Gold organization, an athletics booster club. He later began his professional career at Coldwell Banker, later moving into the oil business where his involvement with oil field processing equipment lead to his role as chairman and president of numerous companies like Pacific Tank and Construction.
In 1954 he met his wife, Jacqueline De Blois, and together they would have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this January. Although he never attended the University of La Verne, his dedication to the school was evident in his role as trustee from 1994 to 2005. In 2006 he become Emeritus. While on the board, Mr. Jeffers served on numerous committees involved with auditing, investing, financing and developing the University.
Trustee Jim Long reminisced about the time Mr. Jeffers and he won an auction to participate in a simulated aerial dogfight, similar to what they had both done in WWII. Going out over the Pacific Ocean, the two dueled for an hour, with each man winning a round.
“I didn’t know all his personal things, but he was a great guy,” Long said.
“We were shocked to hear of his passing, and very saddened to lose a person who had so much integrity,” Marie Long, Jim Long’s wife, said.
The University was not Mr. Jeffers’ only involvement. He was planning commissioner from 1994 to 1998 and a member of the Redevelopment Agency as well.
Mr. Jeffers is survived by his wife and their children Jim, Julie and Stephen Jr. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. today at the Holy Name of Mary Church at 724 E. Bonita Ave. in San Dimas.
Amanda Larsh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.