Former General Authority Philip T. Sonntag Dies at Age 91

  • 9 July 2013

Article Highlights

  • As a Seventy, Elder Sonntag served in the Pacific Area Presidency, Sunday School general presidency, and North America Central Area and Philippines/Micronesia Area Presidencies.
  • Elder Sonntag later served as the president of the Portland Oregon Temple from 1995 to 1998 and as a stake patriarch since 1999.
  • He married Voloy Andreason in the Salt Lake Temple on March 7, 1944. They had three children, 23 grandchildren, and 64 great-grandchildren.

Philip T. Sonntag, a former General Authority, died Wednesday, June 26, at age 91 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He served as a bishop, stake president, and mission president to Australia. He served as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy from April 6, 1984, to April 1, 1989, and as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy from April 1 to September 30, 1989. 

As a Seventy, Elder Sonntag served as a second and then first counselor of the Pacific Area Presidency, as second counselor in the Sunday School general presidency, and as a counselor in the North America Central Area and Philippines/Micronesia Area Presidencies.  

Elder Sonntag served as the president of the Portland Oregon Temple from 1995 to 1998. He had served as a stake patriarch since 1999. 

He was born July 13, 1921, in Salt Lake City to Richard and Lena Tadje Sonntag, the sixth of 12 children. He married Voloy Andreason in the Salt Lake Temple on March 7, 1944.

His obituary said of the Sonntags, “Their love affair has been an example to all who have known them for 69 years. They were apart only once, while he served as a radar operator in the Navy.”

His wife preceded him in death two years ago. They had three children, 23 grandchildren, and 64 great-grandchildren. 

Elder Philip T. Sonntag

Elder Sonntag counted his service to the Lord as an honor. He said in a general conference talk in October 1984, “I am honored to … add my voice as a special witness of the divinity of this great work.”

He spoke of his love for the people of Australia and the Pacific, his children and grandchildren, and his wife, of whom he often said, “I loved her from the first moment I saw her.”

Elder Russell M. Nelson and Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve spoke at Elder Sonntag’s funeral on July 2, and several other current and former General Authorities also attended.