Elder James M. Dunn, Emeritus Seventy, Dies

Contributed By Marianne Holman Prescott, Church News staff writer

  • 31 January 2017

Elder James “Jim” Meyers Dunn, an emeritus General Authority Seventy, died on January 24, 2017, at the age of 76.

Elder James “Jim” Meyers Dunn, an emeritus General Authority Seventy, died on January 24, 2017, at the age of 76.

Called as a General Authority in October of 2002, Elder Dunn served in that capacity for seven years until his release in October of 2009. While serving as a General Authority, Elder Dunn served as First Counselor in the South America West Area for three years before serving as President of that same area for a year. He also served on general committees and as Assistant Executive Director of the Correlation Department.

Born on April 16, 1940, to Billy Ellertson and Melba Meyers Dunn in Pocatello, Idaho, Elder Dunn grew up in Salt Lake City in a family with four brothers and one sister.

In a “Friend to Friend” article published in the Friend magazine in May 2005, Elder Dunn was quoted as saying, “I’ve been blessed to be around good people my whole life. My parents were very good people in every way. They were outgoing, happy, and positive. Others loved to be around them, including my friends and my brothers’ friends. They were great parents, and they encouraged us to do our best.”

As a teenager at Granite High School, Jim met his future wife, Sandra “Penny” Barker. Prior to their marriage, Jim attended the University of Utah and served as a missionary in the Uruguayan Mission from 1960 to 1963. After his return from serving a full-time mission, Jim married Penny in the Salt Lake Temple on August 7, 1963. They are the parents of six daughters.

Before he was called to serve as a General Authority, Elder Dunn served in many capacities within the Church, including as an Area Seventy, stake president, and bishop. He presided over the Colombia Bogota Mission from 1980 to 1983, where his wife and all six of his children joined him. After his service as a General Authority, Elder Dunn worked as a sealer in the Bountiful Utah Temple for as long as his health allowed him to serve.

Elder Dunn served as a commissioned officer in the Utah National Guard, received his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University, and went on to earn a law degree from the University of Utah. Prior to his service as a General Authority Seventy, his career included working for the Salt Lake County Attorney’s office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and later as a trial lawyer and founding partner of the law firm Jardine, Linebaugh & Dunn.

It was recorded at the time of his call as a General Authority Seventy, “One wonders why these things happen, what life will be like in the next years. But from past callings I know that serving will be a tremendous blessing. Over the years, the Church has been at the center of all the good things in my family and in my life.”

A funeral was held on January 30, 2017, in North Salt Lake, Utah.