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Elder William Grant Bangerter dies at 91

Published: Saturday, Aug. 1 2015 4:51 p.m. MDT

W. Grant Bangerter (Deseret News archives) W. Grant Bangerter (Deseret News archives)
SALT LAKE CITY — Elder William Grant Bangerter was a fairly unique general authority of the LDS Church in the 1980s, because he would come home at night, change out of his suit, and go out and milk cows.

One of his sons, Layne Bangerter, said his late father loved horses and his farm, plus he knew how to have fun with his family, camping, fishing and hunting.

Elder Bangerter, 91, emeritus general authority and former member of the Presidency of the Seventy of The
Elder W. Grant Bangerter, April 12, 1980. (Jack Monson, Deseret News archives) Elder W. Grant Bangerter, April 12, 1980. (Jack Monson, Deseret News archives)
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died at 5:08 a.m. on Sunday, April 18, 2010, of causes incident to age.

The older brother of former Utah Gov. Norm Bangerter and the father of LDS Relief Society General President Julie Bangerter Beck and 10 other children, Elder Bangerter served 14 years as a general authority. He was granted emeritus status on Sept. 30, 1989.

Elder Bangerter was sustained as an assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve on April 4, 1975, at the age of
Wm. Grant Bangerter, 1979. (Deseret News archives) Wm. Grant Bangerter, 1979. (Deseret News archives)
56. He was later sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy on Oct. 1, 1975. He served in the Presidency of the Seventy from Sept. 30, 1978, to April 5, 1980, and again from Feb. 17, 1985, to Sept. 30, 1989.

"He was a great brother, a great example of how a person ought to live," his youngest brother, Norm Bangerter, said. "He was totally committed to the church."

"He wasn't the kind of man to go out and demand attention," Paulo Bangerter, another son, said. "But he was very
William Grant Bangerter (Deseret News archives) William Grant Bangerter (Deseret News archives)
strong in a quiet way. ... He had a light touch on things, but firm ... and he couldn't stand negativity."

Elder Bangerter also had served as president of the Brazilian Mission of the church from 1958-1963. In 1974, he was called to open the Portugal Lisbon mission. He had also been first counselor in the North American Northeast Area Presidency from 1984-1985.

During his service as a general authority, he also had served as the executive director of the church's
Wm. Grant and Geraldine Bangerter. About 1959. (Deseret News archives) Wm. Grant and Geraldine Bangerter. About 1959. (Deseret News archives)
Temple Department and as managing director of the Genealogical Department. During his tenure in the Temple Department, the number of operating LDS temples increased from 17 to 42, and temple enhancements included increased video presentations for temple sessions, automated computer recording systems, translation of temple instructions into additional languages and presentations for deaf members.

After he was granted emeritus status, he served as president of the Jordan River Temple from 1990 to 1993.
Geraldine and Wm. Grant Bangerter (Deseret News archives) Geraldine and Wm. Grant Bangerter (Deseret News archives)
Following that call, he was a sealing supervisor in the Mount Timpanogos Temple and a patriarch in the Alpine Utah West Stake, from 2003 until his passing.

He was sometimes described as a quiet man, soft-spoken and deliberate, but one who displayed a sense of urgency.

Born June 8, 1918, in Granger, he was the second of 11 children to William Henry and Isabelle Bawden Bangerter. He was afflicted with polio as a child, but suffered no long-term effects. He was called as a regional representative for the church in 1967.

He served a first mission to Brazil from 1939-1941, later served as bishop of the Granger 1st Ward, as president of the North Jordan Stake and served on the church's home teaching committee.

He also spent four years in the armed forces, becoming a U.S. Army Air Force pilot and training squadron commander.

Elder Bangerter once served as vice chairman of Pioneer Welfare Region, a member of the executive committee of the board of trustees at LDS Hospital and as chairman of the Magna and Granger seminary boards.

His professional career was farming and also in the building and contracting business. He was considered an excellent carpenter.

He attended Cyprus High School and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Utah (1945-48), graduating with honors. He had also done graduate work there, with a major in history.

He married his first wife, Mildred Lee Schwantes, in 1944 and they were the parents of four children, one of whom died at birth. His first wife died of leukemia in 1952. He married Geraldine Hamblin in 1953 and they were the parents of seven children.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 24, at 11 a.m. in the American Fork Tabernacle, 110 E. Main, American Fork.

Friends may call Friday, April 23, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Alpine Stake Center, 98 E. Canyon Crest Road, Alpine, or at the American Fork Tabernacle from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., prior to services. Burial will be at Salt Lake City's Elysian Burial Gardens.



E-mail: lynn@desnews.com

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