Government and civil leaders responded with great sorrow to the passing of President Marion G. Romney, whom they said was a man loved by everyone who knew him.
Gov. Norm Bangerter met President Romney in September of 1967 when President Romney reorganized the Granger LDS Stake presidency."I had the privilege of having two interviews with him that day - one asking for my recommendations for a new stake president, and second when he privately called me to that assignment," Bangerter said.
"He was a man of great warmth, love, kindness and patience. I had the privilege over the years of knowing him even more personally and he has been one of the great examples in my life. I express to his family my deep sympathy in their personal loss and share with them many fond and endearing memories of this great man who, most of all, was human and fun."
Lt. Gov. W. Val Oveson also expressed sadness over the death of President Romney.
"He was a tremendous leader in our community who has a tremendous record of service, both in government and religious positions. We wish his family the very best."
Former governor Scott M. Matheson fondly recalled "a long and very gratifying association with him. I not only knew him well, he was a cousin of mine."
Matheson said President Romney's mother and his grandmother were half-sisters. He affectionately recalls his relationship with his cousin.
When running for governor in 1976, Matheson attended an event where President Romney was in the receiving line. The church official greeted his cousin warmly, with this remark: "I want everyone to know I am supporting my cousin for governor."
Vern Romney, Matheson's Republican opponent, was also President Romney's cousin.
"He has been a great inspiration to me," Matheson said. "His passing will be mourned by all of us. I extend my sympathy to his family. We certainly will miss him."
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said, "Marion G. Romney was not only a great church leader but a particularly outstanding community leader. He was a tremendous moral force in the community.
"He will be greatly missed, although he is released from a period of incapacitation, which I am sure was a tremendous source of frustration for him."
Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Utah, recalled that, when he was a boy, President Romney was his bishop in the old Salt Lake City 33rd Ward. "I remember distinctly him sitting in our home talking to us. I remember how impressed we were that this man we held in great respect would come and talk to us. He had a delightful, dry twinkling sense of humor."
Hansen said that in later years he was impressed with President Romney's "tremendous understanding of the Book of Mormon."
"I don't know of a man outside of (former LDS Church President) Harold B. Lee who had a better handle on welfare issues. President Romney was `Mr. Welfare' to many of us who served as church leaders under him," he added.
Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, said he knew and loved President Romney since he helped host him during a visit to France when Owens was a young missionary.
"He was a man who never forgot anyone or anything," Owens said. "I think his leadership on welfare issues in showing how principles of charity could be applied is unsurpassed in the church or the country. And his great spiritual leadership was key in the church for four decades."
Salt Lake City Mayor Palmer DePaulis said, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has lost a great leader in Marion G. Romney. All of us, regardless of our religious persuasion, have lost a wonderful role model. He was a good and great man, and his presence will be sorely missed."
Former Gov. Calvin L. Rampton, too, was sadden by President Romney's passing. "I have known President Romney since I was a law school student and he was assistant district attorney. He taught some classes at that time," Rampton recalled.
" During the years I served as governor and he was an apostle and a member of the First Presidency, we worked together closely," he reflected. "He was a warm and caring person and everyone who knew him loved him very much."
Salt Lake County Commission Chairman Bart Barker said, "President Romney has always been a source of doctrinal information for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and he's had a very strong testimony that has strengthened church members.
"He was always a scriptorian and he used the scriptures to explain doctrines that were difficult to understand," Barker said. "He will be missed."