William Taft Thurman, 92, a former U.S. attorney for Utah, died at his Salt Lake City home on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2001, the day after the death of his wife, Zettella Wheeler Thurman.
He was born in Provo and graduated from the University of Utah. He and Zettella Wheeler were married in the Salt Lake LDS Temple on May 30, 1931. After graduating from George Washington Law School, he served as a legal expert in several federal positions in Washington, D.C. As a lawyer, he practiced before the U.S. Supreme Court and the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Denver.
He returned to Salt Lake City, where he entered the private practice of law. In 1952 he was elected chairman of the Salt Lake County Democratic Central Committee. He was a Utah delegate to the 1960 National Democratic Convention and became the state chairman for the Democratic Party.
For eight years, he served as chief civil deputy in the Salt Lake County Attorney's Office.
Presidents Kennedy and Johnson appointed him U.S. attorney for Utah, and he served eight years in the position.
Mr. Thurman was president of the legal firm McKay, Burton & Thurman, the Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake and the Utah Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. He was a co-founder of the Utah Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and was president of the East Mill Creek Lions Club.
Funeral services for the couple are slated for noon Wednesday at the Monument Park 17th LDS Ward Chapel, 2795 E. Crestview Drive.