LOCAL NEWS

Donna Edith Smith Packer, wife of President Boyd K. Packer, passes away at 94 

Mar 6, 2022, 9:53 AM | Updated: Mar 7, 2022, 6:10 am
President Boyd K. Packer leaves the October 2010 general conference with his wife, Donna. (Used by ...
President Boyd K. Packer leaves the October 2010 general conference with his wife, Donna. (Used by permission, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
(Used by permission, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

SALT LAKE CITY – Donna Edith Smith Packer, wife of the late President Boyd K. Packer of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Saturday night. 

A news release from the Church said she died in her home from old age at 10:25 p.m. She was 94.

The news release said, “she will be remembered for her strong belief in the eternal nature of families. Known for prioritizing traditions and togetherness, she made a lasting impact on her posterity totaling more than 200 members.” 

President Packer shared his love for his beloved when he addressed the general conference in April of 2015. 

“When it comes to my wife, the mother of our children, I am without words,” President Packer said. “The feeling is so deep and the gratitude so powerful that I am left almost without expression. I am grateful for each moment I am with her side by side and for the promise the Lord has given that there will be no end.” 

Donna Packer was born on Oct. 20, 1927, in Brigham City, Utah. She was the oldest of four kids and the only daughter. 

The news release said she loved to read and play music on the piano and violin. 

She worked at her father’s gas station during World War II and a cannery in Brigham City where she also picked fruit. 

Donna Packer was a graduate of Box Elder High School in 1945. She earned a music scholarship and went to college at Weber State where she graduated with an associate degree of science in 1947. 

She met Boyd Kenneth Packer at a Church gathering in 1946. He was the guest speaker.

“I couldn’t say I knew he was the one,” she said, “but I knew he was the kind of person I wanted to marry.”

That’s what happened. They married on July 28, 1947, at the Logan Utah Temple.

They had 10 children — seven sons and three daughters.

The family moved to Boston in 1965. Donna Packer served with her husband as he presided over the New England Mission. She supervised the local Relief Society, Young Women and Primary leaders.

Sister Donna Packer, wife of President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. (Used by permission,  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Boyd and Donna Packer were married in the Logan Temple, July 27, 1947. (Used by permission, The Packer family) (Used by permission, The Packer family)  The Boyd and Donna Packer family, 1961.(Used by permission, The Packer family) Elder and Sister Packer in the Tabernacle at general conference, April 1970. (Used by permission,  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) President Boyd K. Packer, his wife Donna and their son Elder Allan F. Packer of the Seventy and his wife Terri participated in the cornerstone and dedication of the Brigham City Utah Temple. (Used by permission,  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) President Boyd K. Packer leaves the October 2010 general conference with his wife, Donna. (Used by permission,  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

They returned from Boston in 1973. Ricks College, which is now named BYU-Idaho honored Donna Packer with the “Exemplary Woman of the Year Award” for her work in the community and as a volunteer in the local schools.

She loved to work on family genealogical research. A Packer family volume was published in 1988. Donna Packer also worked on her family history and it resulted in many stories and videos. Through the years she took family history courses at Brigham Young University. She earned a certificate of history when she was 84.

The release said Donna Packer spent 30 years in the Primary organization. Her oldest son, Elder Allan Packer, said, “Her deep spirituality, skills as a teacher of both children and adults, and ability to plan and organize motivated and inspired all she taught.”

Donna was at President Packer’s side as he served in the Church. President Packer was ordained an apostle on April 9, 1970. He was the longest-serving member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles when he died on July 3, 2015, at age 90.

Funeral arrangements for Donna Edith Smith Packer will be announced at a later date.

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Donna Edith Smith Packer, wife of President Boyd K. Packer, passes away at 94