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LDS Church leader Elder J. Thomas Fyans dies at 90

Published: Tuesday, May 20 2008 12:03 a.m. MDT

Elder J. Thomas Fyans, 90, an emeritus general authority for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died May 18, 2008, of causes incident to age.

Funeral services are pending.

Elder Fyans had just celebrated his 90th birthday with his family a day before his passing.

He was sustained as an assistant to the Twelve on April 6, 1974, and to the First Quorum of the Seventy on Oct. 1, 1976. He had served in the presidency of that quorum for nine years (1976-85) and was named an emeritus general authority on Oct. 1, 1989.

From August 1992 to September 1995, he served as St. George Temple president.

Elder Fyans served as executive director of the Priesthood, Correlation and Genealogical departments and managing director of the Internal Communications Department. He also served as president of the South America South, Utah North and Utah Central areas.

Elder Fyans was born May 17, 1918, in Moreland, Idaho, to Joseph Fyans and Mae Farnsworth Fyans. He married Helen Cook in the Salt Lake Temple on May, 28, 1943. They are the parents of five daughters.

As a young man, Elder Fyans served in the Spanish-American Mission and was a district president. He served as a counselor and as bishop of the Butler Ward, then for nine years in the presidency of the East Jordan Stake. He was a regional representative for nearly seven years.

In 1960, he was called as president of the Uruguay Mission, where the major project was to train and install local leadership in each branch and district.

Before his call as mission president, Elder Fyans had been general manager of the school office supply division of ZCMI in Salt Lake City and worked with that company for 20 years.

When Elder Fyans' mission was completed, he returned to his employment. He had been back less than a year when he was asked by the First Presidency to set up and head the Translation Department of the Church.

He was later an administrator in an electronics corporation, then became an administrative director in the office of the Presiding Bishopric.

Elder Fyans attended West High School and took management courses at the University of Utah and Brigham Young University, was named the Outstanding Young Man of Salt Lake City in 1952 and, with Elder Marion D. Hanks, shared the Outstanding Young Man of Utah award the next year.

He had also been national chairman of the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce.

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