Stephen Ira Chazen

August 26, 1946September 22, 2022
Obituary of Stephen Ira Chazen
Stephen Chazen passed peacefully to be with his Lord on September 22, 2022, after a hard-fought battle with cancer. His wife, Pat, and family were with him. Steve was born and raised in Buffalo, New York by his loving parents Marcia and Mike Chazen. He attended Rutgers University and received a degree in geology in 1968, and then that fall began graduate school at Michigan State University in the geology department. In 1969, Steve was drafted out of graduate school by the U.S. Army. While in boot camp he volunteered for the canine corps, and after graduation was subsequently shipped out to Vietnam, where he and his faithful dog led out in front of the troops to find and disable land mines so the troops could safely pass. After his return (fortunately in one piece) he continued his education (and his friendship with Pat) and in December they were married. He finished his PhD at MSU in 1973, and his first job was at NASA/JSC working with the lunar samples. During his stay at NASA, he also enrolled at UH/CLC and earned a degree in finance. He worked in the oil industry for a time, and then joined the M&A energy sector of Merrill Lynch. After a successful (and hectic) several years at ML, Steve changed careers again and joined Occidental Petroleum. In the 20+ years he was there, he advanced to become CEO in 2011. In 2015 he retired from Oxy but was still involved with other corporate and non-profit boards. During this time, he coauthored a book about the early postal history of Tibet – he was an avid stamp collector and collected stamps from all over the world. Then in 2016, he raised $650 million in an initial public offering to start a small oil company, now known as Magnolia Oil and Gas. He rejoined Oxy in 2020 as the Chairman of the Board, to help advise and guide the company to new growth. Steve’s endeavors were not only in industry, but he was involved in philanthropic work as well. He was appointed to the University of Houston System Board of Regents by Governor Greg Abbott, served as a director on the Houston Methodist Institute for Academic Medicine, was on the advisory board at Rice University’s Baker Institute and was on the board of the U.S. National Park Foundation. Also, he was a proud member of the All-American Wildcatters, and the Board Chair of the Catalina Island Conservancy from 2015 – 2017. In all his endeavors, Steve was a respected leader. He led with a quiet confidence and was a mentor and friend to many. He is survived by his sister Carole Sue Chazen and husband Robert Billingslea, sister Claire Levy and husband Jerry, brother-in-law Robert Orr, nephews Michael Levy and wife Darcy, Jeffery Kirschner and wife Devora, nieces Rochelle Jonson and husband Paul, Kristy Elliott and partner Ben Hockenull, Kati Elliott and fiancée Bill Macke, Jenna Cecchini and husband Tony, and grand-nieces Ava Cecchini and Elizabeth Jonson, grand-nephews Jacob Kirschner and Matthew Jonson. Visitation will be held Friday, September 30th from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Earthman Bellaire funeral home located at 4525 Bissonnet. A memorial service will be held on October 2nd at 2:00 p.m. at West University Baptist Church located at 6218 Auden. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to one of Steve’s favorite charities (listed below): Samaritans Purse International Disaster Relief ( P.O. Box 3000 Boone, N.C. 28607 Telephone: 828-262-1980 Make A Gift – National Park Foundation ( 1500K Street NW, Suite 700 Washington, D.C. 20005 Telephone: 202-796-2500 International Myeloma Foundation 4400 Coldwater Canyon Ave., Suite 300 Studio City, CA 91604 Telephone 818-487-7455 West University Baptist Church 6218 Auden Street Houston, Texas 77005 Telephone: 713-668-2319 Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Chazen family.

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Sunday, October 02, 2022

Memorial Service

2:00 pm

West University Baptist Church

6218 Auden Street Houston, Texas

Past Services

Friday, September 30, 2022