LDS Church apostle Robert D. Hales dies at 85

ST. GEORGE —Robert D. Hales, apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died at 12:15 p.m. Sunday in the hospital surrounded by family at age 85 from causes incident to age.

Elder Robert D. Hales in his office, April 30, 2015 | Photo courtesy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, St. George News

Hales was admitted to the hospital several days ago for treatment of pulmonary and other conditions, according to a church-issued statement.

He had been a church general authority since 1975, first serving as an assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and later as a member of the Quorum of the Seventy. He was Presiding Bishop of the church from April 1985 until his call to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1994.

Hales was born in New York City on August 24, 1932. He was a graduate of the University of Utah and held a master of business administration degree from Harvard. He also served in the U.S. Air Force as a jet fighter pilot. He married Mary Crandall, and they have two sons.

He had a long history of church service and was president of the England London Mission in the late 1970s.

“Elder Hales is a builder of people,” church First Presidency member Henry B. Eyring said. “He has been helping people quietly over many years. When he finds out that someone has a need, he does something about it.”

Before being called to full-time church service, Hales had a business career, serving in executive positions with three major companies.

Eyring described Hales as a “phenomenal” businessman who was “sensitive” and loyal and possessed “an ability to read people.”

The church will announce details regarding funeral arrangements as they become available. It is undetermined when the vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will be filled.

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