Elder A. Theodore Tuttle, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, was eulogized by President Ezra Taft Benson as “a man with deep spiritual insight, with Christlike attributes” during funeral services at the Cottonwood Creek Stake Center in Sandy, Utah, December 2.
Elder Tuttle, who had undergone several months’ treatment for malignancy, died Friday, November 28, in LDS Hospital, Salt Lake City.
President Benson, who presided over the funeral services, praised Elder Tuttle for the faith, dedication, and love of the gospel he exhibited during his life of service. He is “one whom the Lord loves and has magnified,” President Benson said, adding that “he will be magnified further as he goes into the spirit world.”
Other speakers included President Gordon B. Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency; Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve; and Elder Marion D. Hanks of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy. President Thomas S. Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency, conducted the services.
President Hinckley characterized Elder Tuttle as “a man of peace and gentleness,” but noted he had also witnessed the misery of war. “He was accorded a measure of renown [because] he was the Marine who went back to get the flag from the landing ship to give to the men who planted it atop Mount Suribachi.” The photograph taken of that flag being raised on Iwo Jima became the most famous photograph of World War II.
“He did not shout when he spoke,” President Hinckley added. “He spoke quietly, reasoning methodically, bearing witness with solemnity, and all who heard him were touched by the strength of his testimony.”
Elder Tuttle had been a General Authority of the Church since April 1958, when he was called to be a member of the First Council of the Seventy. When the Council was dissolved and the First Quorum of the Seventy organized in 1976, he was called to be a member of the quorum presidency; he served in that capacity until 1980.
He had served in administrative positions in several areas of the Church, particularly in South America. At the time of his death he was a managing director in the Priesthood Department and second counselor in the General Presidency of the Sunday School.
Albert Theodore Tuttle, the only son of Albert Mervin and Clarice Beal Tuttle, was born March 2, 1919, in Manti, Utah. He served as president of his high school student body and as seminary president. He was active in drama and excelled in debate, an activity he continued while attending Snow College.
As a young man, he was called to serve in the Northern States Mission. During this time he served as branch president, district president, and mission recorder.
He later attended Brigham Young University, where he was named the outstanding student in religion. After receiving a bachelor’s degree, he went on to earn his master’s degree at Stanford University.
While at BYU, Elder Tuttle met Marne Whitaker, from Ellensburg, Washington. They were marred in the Manti Temple July 26, 1943.
During World War II, Elder Tuttle served two and a half years as a line officer in the Marine Corps in the Pacific theater.
When he returned from the war, Elder Tuttle taught seminary in Idaho and Utah before being named director of the Institute of Religion at the University of Nevada-Reno. In 1953 he was named supervisor of all seminaries and institutes in the western states. While serving in this capacity, he was called to be a General Authority.
Elder Tuttle served as president of the South America West, South America South, and North America Northwest areas, and as president of the Provo Temple.
In addition to his wife, Elder Tuttle is survived by four sons and three daughters, twenty-six grandchildren; and a sister, Mrs. Clifford U. (June) Gee, Salt Lake City.