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Tucson businessman, Spanish-language pioneer in radio, TV dies | Local news – Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona 2022-06-23 11:30:00 –

Oscar Umberto Stevens Sr., an international import and export businessman and a pioneer of Spanish radio and television programming in Arizona and northern Mexico, died at home on June 8. He was 90 years old.

“He died peacefully surrounded by his family,” said Umberto N. Stevens, son of the patriarch who married Aurora Varela 55 years ago. The couple raised six children and had 12 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.



Oscar and Aurora Stevens won the National Radio Broadcasting Station Award in Mexico in April 2011 and spent time with their children in Nogales, Sonora.


Courtesy Stevens Family


“My dad was always bigger than life for me,” his son said. “An energetic and cheerful man who greets everything and illuminates almost every room he stood in. An entrepreneur, a public, a community leader, but above all a loving son, husband, father. He called me Happily hugged, protected me, and finally said he loved me for the last few days. “

Stevens was born on January 28, 1932 in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico. His parents moved his family to Ciudad Juárez, and as a teenager Stevens learned about radio production from his uncle Trinilios.

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Stevens studied at El Paso, attended Catedral High School, and became a naturalized citizen. After graduating in 1950, he joined the Air Force and served for three years. He was assigned to the B-47 StratoJet Bomber Squadron and was assigned to the Davis Monthan Air Force Base in 1952.

While not working at the base, Stevens worked as a program director and radio announcer for KEVT-AM, Tucson’s first Spanish radio station. The audience was fascinated by his voice, and the audience grew as Stevens played the music of mariachis, classic rancheras, boleros and nortenhos.



Oscar Umberto Stevens Sr., Left, representing KXEW as founder / co-owner and stationmaster, Mario Moreno, also known as Cantinflas.


Courtesy Stevens Family


In 1963, he was co-owner and director of Radiofiesta KXEW-AM, known for his strong support for local charities, helping families in need, and announcing community events in Tucson and Southern Arizona. I am.

Her daughter, Arlette Stevens Castaño, remembered heartwarming memories of her dad, “When I got home from work after a long day, he was always happy and attentive to us as a family.” He especially liked playing music from different groups and singers in Spanish and big band type songs in English. Thanks to him, and of course my mother, learned about different genres of music in Spanish, from romantic songs such as bolero to brighter songs, and knows the song titles and singer names. “

He also opened the first local furniture store Stevens Home Furnishings in downtown 1956, and a few years later El Gigante Furniture in Nogales, Arizona. As a distributor of major companies, he exported electrical appliances and home appliances to Mexico and began importing Mexican art and antiques. Stevens also worked as general manager at a flash TV furniture and electronics store for decades.



Oscar Stevens at his furniture and electronics store El Gigante Furniture in Nogales, Arizona in 1965.


Courtesy Stevens Family


Stevens was interested in television, so he invested in television station KZAZ Channel 11 (now Fox-affiliated KMSB) to become executive producer and started the community program “Desdela Frontera” (from the border). From a studio in Nogales, Arizona. He and his wife Aurora also launched the television show “Telefiesta Mexicana”. The show aired live on Sunday from Tucson’s studio to Spanish-speaking viewers in southern Arizona and northern Mexico. The show aired in the mid-1960s and early 1980s.

Stevens’ love of music also led him to a concert promoter, who for many years promoted locally performing stars such as Loei Armstrong, Antonio Aguilar, Agustín Lara, Pedro Infante, Maria Felix and Alejandro Fernandez. did.

Stevens continued to work for a family-owned Stevens Productions company until 2010. The company was founded in 1956.

Stevens’ son, Umberto N. Stevens, described his father as “a compassionate person, at the same time a solid and ethical person who advised me when I asked and corrected me if necessary. It ’s a person. ” I was honored to witness his uncontrollable love for her mother Aurora, his “Vida” (her life), which he often called her. His passion for music, songs and poetry of all kinds filled our homes and hearts every day. He’s gone, but his joy that his father found in music will continue in my life, hoping to sing with him someday. “



Oscar and Aurora Stevens presented performers at the Mexican Superstar Music Festival / Dance in the 1980s at the Tucson Convention Center Arena.


Courtesy Stevens Family


In addition to his wife Aurora, son Umberto N. Stevens, and daughter Arlette Stephen Scatano, elder Stevens are sons Oscar H. Stevens II and Ramses D. Stevens, daughter Kim Stevens-Romero. And Chris Chance Stevens-survived by Acosta.

The Mass will take place on Thursday, June 23, at 9:45 am at St. Augustine Cathedral, 192 S. Stone Avenue. The public is welcomed by the reception at the Genie Clements Ballroom in the adjacent Cathedral Square and a compliment to Stevens’ life. To the church.

Contact reporter Carmen Duarte cduarte@tucson.com Or Twitter: @cduartestar

Tucson businessman, Spanish-language pioneer in radio, TV dies | Local news Source link Tucson businessman, Spanish-language pioneer in radio, TV dies | Local news

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