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Deseret News archives
W. Grant Bangerter

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

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

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

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

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.

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


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


He also spent four years in the armed

forces, becoming a U.S. Army Air Force pilot and training squadron


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


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: [email protected]