Elder Ronald T. Halverson, Emeritus General Authority, Dies at Age 80

Contributed By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News associate editor

  • 27 February 2017

Elder Ronald T. Halverson.

Elder Ronald T. Halverson, an emeritus General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Friday, February 24, at his home in Ogden, Utah. He was 80 years old.

Born on December 18, 1936, in Ogden, Utah, to Marlowe and Hilda Tomlinson Halverson, Elder Halverson dedicated his life to his family, the community, and the Church.

Elder Halverson served as a General Authority Seventy from 1998 to 2006, after serving as an Area Authority and Area Seventy from 1995 to 1998, as president of the Norway Oslo Mission from 1990 to 1993, and as a regional representative.

Elder Halverson told the Church News in 1998 that he was surprised to receive his call as a General Authority. “Out of all the wonderful, qualified people in the Church, I kept saying to myself, why me? When the reality of it set in, I had a knot in my stomach for a full month, wondering if I could measure up and do what the Lord asks. The only time I found peace was finally saying, ‘If this is what the Lord wants, I’ll just have to rely on Him.’”

Elder Halverson credited his strong work ethic to his parents.

When Elder Halverson was 10 years old, his father bought a farm in Weber County in northern Utah. “He built a home and we had cows and horses and chickens and pigs. Dad’s idea was, ‘I will keep my boys out of trouble because they’ll work,’” he said in a May 9, 1998, Church News article.

Elder Halverson served a full-time mission to Norway, received an associate’s degree in political science and history, and studied at the University of Utah. He married Linda Jensen on October 13, 1960, in the Salt Lake Temple. They had five children.

Sister Halverson called her husband an excellent leader. “He makes decisions well, and even better than that, he makes his decisions work,” she told the Church News. “He sees to the heart of a problem and has a real ability to zero in on the solution and go straight for it.”

Elder Halverson, a plumbing contractor and former president of Halverson Mechanical Inc., had a deep love for horses. In 1998, Sister Halverson said, “He is still the happiest when he has his cowboy boots on. When he’s on a horse, that’s his heaven.”

Elder Halverson served in many capacities in community and state government, including in the Utah House of Representatives (1966–1978), where he was majority whip and majority leader, and Utah State Senate (1978–1982). He also served on the Board of Trustees for Weber State University and as the Utah State Building Board Chairman, according to his obituary.

Elder Halverson is survived by his wife, Linda, their five children, 15 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, March 1, at 11:00 a.m. at the Ogden Utah Weber Stake Center.