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.
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
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
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
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,
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]