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DON GRAYSTON, Deseret News
Elder Ronald Halverson, with his wife, Linda, served in the Second Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

OGDEN, Utah — Elder Ronald T. Halverson, 80, a plumbing contractor and former Utah legislator who served for eight years as an LDS Church general authoriy, passed away peacefully at home Friday, Feb. 24, 2017.

Elder Halverson, former president of Halverson Mechanical Inc., was sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy at April 1998 general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was a counselor and president in the Pacific Islands Area presidency and later a counselor in the North America East Area presidency. He was released from the Seventy on Sept. 30, 2006.

Elder Halverson also served in the Utah House of Representatives from 1967 to 1978, then four years in the Senate. He was majority whip and majority leader in the House and was a strong advocate for then-Weber State College.

He also was chairman of the State Building Board.

Born Ronald Tomlinson Halverson on Dec. 18, 1936, in Ogden to Marlowe Halverson and Hilda Tomlinson Halverson, he graduated from Weber High School and received an associate’s degree in political science and history. He then studied at the University of Utah.

When Elder Halverson was 10, his father bought a farm in Weber County, and there he and his brothers learned to work together. He told the Church News after he was sustained as a general authority that his dad’s idea was "I will keep my boys out of trouble because they’ll work."

From that farm life came a lifetime love of horses.

Elder Halverson served a mission to Norway, then upon returning home, received a football scholarship to Weber State College, where he played halfback. During his mission, he was a counselor in the mission presidency.

After spending a stint in the Army at Fort Ord, California, he married Linda Jensen on Oct. 13, 1960, in the Salt Lake Temple. They have five children, 16 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Elder Halverson’s college career was cut short when his father asked him to join the family business along with his brothers. But, he told the Church News, “We have not stopped learning. That’s part of the church. You can’t do what I’ve been doing for years without learning."

He also recalled his father's influence in prompting pursuit of public office. "I was sitting in the office just grumbling about what I thought government was doing in our business. Dad said, 'Why don’t you quit grumbling and do something about it.’”

As a result, Elder Halverson ran for and won his House seat.

He was an Area Seventy in the Utah North Area when called as a general authority and earlier was a regional representative to the Farmington and Centerville regions. He also was president of the Norway Oslo Mission in the early 1990s and served as a stake president and counselor in the Weber Heights Stake presidency.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 1, at the Weber LDS Stake Center, 5855 Skyline Drive, Ogden.