Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin in 1994. The Mormon apostle died Monday at 91.
SALT LAKE CITY — The Mormon church’s oldest living apostle has died.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced that Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin died Monday night at his home. He was 91.
The church said Wirthlin died of causes related to his age. Daughter Jane Wirthlin Parker was with him. Wirthlin had continued to work at his office until Thanksgiving.
Wirthlin was ordained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the second tier of church leadership, on Oct. 9, 1986, about a decade after being called to full-time church service.
Wirthlin’s other church posts included serving as a counselor to the Sunday school president, director of the church military relations committee, director of the church curriculum department and as an editor of church magazines. He also led church operations in continental Europe, Britain, Ireland and Africa.
In a statement, Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and his wife, Mary Kaye Huntsman, offered condolences to Wirthlin’s family. Huntsman, a Mormon, called Wirthlin an example of service to others.
“We join with so many others touched by his words and deeds, in remembering his service to his community and church,” Huntsman said. “He will be remembered for his sincere heart and ability to laugh with those around him.”
A native of Salt Lakee City, Wirthlin played football for the University of Utah football team. He graduated with a degree in business administration.
In 2001, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from church-owned Brigham Young University.
In his secular life, Wirthlin was president of a family-run wholesale food distribution business. He was also president of a business and trade association in Utah.
Wirthlin married Elisa Young Rogers Wirthlin on May 26, 1941, in the Salt Lake Temple. She died in 2006. The couple had eight children.