LOCAL NEWS

Kathleen Johnson Eyring, wife of President Henry B. Eyring, dies at 82

Oct 15, 2023, 1:56 PM | Updated: 4:35 pm

BOUNTIFUL — Kathleen Johnson Eyring, wife of President Henry B. Eyring, the Second Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Sunday at the age of 82, according to Church officials.

According to the Church press release, Kathleen was born in San Francisco, California, on May 11, 1941. She was the captain of her high school tennis team, the student body president, and valedictorian.

“After high school, Kathleen continued her education at the University of California at Berkeley, where her testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and commitment to her beliefs deepened,” according to the Church.

In the summer of 1961, while attending summer school in Boston, she met her future partner, Henry Bennion Eyring.

“He later said he was immediately impressed by her goodness and recalls thinking, ‘If I could only be with her, I could be every good thing I ever wanted to be,’ said Henry about Kathleen, according to the Church.

They began dating a week after meeting and married in the Logan Utah Temple on July 19, 1962.

Kathleen Johnson and Henry B. Eyring on their wedding day July 27, 1962. They were married in the Logan Utah Temple. (Henry B. Eyring)

Kathleen Johnson and Henry B. Eyring on their wedding day, July 27, 1962. They were married in the Logan Utah Temple. (Henry B. Eyring)

The couple lived in Palo Alto, California, and Rexburg, Idaho, before moving to Utah in 1977 when Henry was named deputy commissioner of Church Education for the Church, according to the Church.

“Kathleen served faithfully in many formal Church responsibilities, teaching lessons at church, serving as a visiting teacher and producing a newsletter for her congregation for many years,” the Church stated.

Kathleen offered editorial counsel to Henry throughout his career and Church service and took formal minutes for the monthly meetings with other wives of General Authorities. She also recorded family memories, wrote scripts for family events, and helped co-publish a monthly family newsletter.

President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency, and his wife, Kathleen, participated in the rededication of the Laie Hawaii Temple on Sunday, Nov. 21. (Deseret News)

President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency, and his wife, Kathleen, participated in the rededication of the Laie Hawaii Temple on Sunday, Nov. 21. (Deseret News)

According to the Church, Kathleen wrote a young adult novel and won a statewide prize for young adult literature in 1979.

In 1995, Henry was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and in 2007, Henry was called to the First Presidency.

“During this time, Kathleen began suffering from memory lapses, which her father had experienced as he grew older,” the Church stated. “As her memory continued to fade, President Eyring cared for Kathleen, often bringing her to his office to read and rest on a reclining chair while he was in meetings.”

The Church describes Kathleen as a woman who “believed in the importance of education and faith, (who) often taught in public addresses and in private teaching moments with her children that the most important thing to be learned in this life is how to return to the loving arms of our Heavenly Father.”

The Church said funeral arrangements are pending.

President Henry B. Eyring waves to the crowd during the Days of 47 parade Tuesday, July 24, 2012, in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Deseret News)

President Henry B. Eyring waves to the crowd during the Days of 47 parade Tuesday, July 24, 2012, in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Deseret News)


This is a developing story and will be updated when more information is provided. 

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Kathleen Johnson Eyring, wife of President Henry B. Eyring, dies at 82