Lowell L. Bennion passed away peacefully on February 21, 1996 after a decade-long struggle with Parkinson's disease.
Born July 26, 1908, to Milton and Cora Lindsay Bennion, he grew up in the Forest Dale suburb of Salt Lake. Twenty years later he graduated from the University of Utah, married Merle Colton, and left for an LDS Swiss-German Mission. when he finished his mission, Merle joined him in Europe while he pursued a Ph.D in sociology, awarded him by the University of Strasbourg in December 1933. There they had their first child, a daughter named Laurel, who died of an infection at six months.Lowell had three careers spanning more than half a century. He directed the LDS Institute of Religion at the "U" from its inception in 1935 until his release in 1962. He then served as an Associate Dean of Students and a sociology professor at the "U" before retiring in 1972 to become director of the Salt Lake Community Services Council for 16 years. After the birth of a third son he moved his family to a four acre "farm" in East Millcreek in 1943, where he spent the rest of his life. Not content with four acres, he started the Teton Valley Boys Ranch in 1961. "Doc" derived immense satisfaction from supervising the work and recreation of more than 2,000 teenagers over a period of 24 summers.
Lowell held numerous positions in the LDS Church from the general to the local level. He probably enjoyed most of all a three-year tenure as bishop of the East Millcreek 12th Ward. Besides a lifetime of service to his church, community, and countless students, he has left his family and friends a legacy of publications all related to his primary values of doing justly and loving mercy. In recent years, Lowell seemed most pleased by the creation of the Bennion Community Center at the "U" and the success of the Food Bank and other Community Services Council programs.
His family asks that in lieu of flowers friends consider making a contribution to either the Bennion Center at 101 Olpin Union Bldg., U of U, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112 or the Community Services Council at 1025 So. 700 West, Salt Lake City, Utah 84104.
Lowell's survivors include five children, 15 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren. Daughter, Ellen B. Stone and sons, Howard W. and Douglas C. (Naomi) live in Salt Lake; Steven D. (Marjorie) and Lowell C. "Ben" (Sherilyn) reside in Rexburg, Idaho, and Bayside, Calif., respectively.
Funeral services will take place February 26, at noon, in the East Millcreek Stake Center, 3103 East 3600 South. A viewing will precede the funeral on Monday from 10-11:30 a.m. at the stake center, and another viewing will be held Sunday evening from 5-8 p.m., at the Wasatch Lawn Mortuary, 3401 So. Highland Dr.
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