Elder Sterling W. Sill dies at age 91

Elder Sterling W. Sill, 91, former member of the First Quorum of the Seventy and Assistant to the Twelve for more than 24 years, died early Wednesday, May 25, 1994, of natural causes at his Salt Lake home.

A popular speaker and prolific writer, he was also a prominent businessman and educator. Elder Sill was named an emeritus General Authority on Dec. 31, 1978.He was an insurance executive at the time of his calling as an Assistant to the Twelve, to which he was sustained on April 6, 1954. During his service, he was the speaker over KSL Radio's Sunday Evening on Temple Square for 17 years, and addressed many Church and civic gatherings. He authored 47 books on religious and social themes, including a popular series on leadership. He served for 11 years as a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Utah, four as chairman of the board.

The University of Utah awarded him an honorary doctorate of laws and named "The Sterling W. Sill Home Living Center" in his honor. In February 1983, he was a recipient of a U. of U. Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Elder Sill was born March 31, 1903, in Layton, Utah, to Joseph A. and Marietta Welling Sill. He attended Utah State University and the University of Utah.

In 1924 he was called to the Southern States Mission, and later served as president of the Alabama District. Returning home in 1926, he taught school for a year and then became a life insurance salesman.

Elder Sill married Doris Mary Thornley of Kaysville, Utah, in the Salt Lake Temple on Sept. 4, 1929.

In 1932, Elder Sill became assistant manager of the Salt Lake office of the New York Life Insurance Co. Two years later, he was the first Utahn to receive the degree of certified life underwriter. He was president of the Utah State Association of Life Underwriters in 1935-1936.

In 1940, he was appointed as inspector of agencies for New York Life's offices in seven Western states. In 1987, New York Life Insurance Co. honored Elder Sill for 60 years of service to the company.

Elder Sill was the first bishop of the Garden Park Ward in Salt Lake City and served on the Davis North Stake and Bonneville Stake high councils. He was a Sunday School General Board member from 1952-54.

In August of 1980, residents of Layton proclaimed a "Sterling W. Sill Day," and he was honorary mayor for the occasion.

Survivors include his widow; a son, John Michael Sill and his wife, Diane, Salt Lake City; a daughter, Mary Carolyn Knepper and her husband, Don, of Mesa, Ariz.; 17 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; a sister, Marguerite Bourne, Farmington, Utah; a brother, Claude W. Sill, Idaho Falls. His sister-in-law, Alice T. Evans, Salt Lake City, is widow of the late Elder Richard L. Evans. A son, David Sterling Sill, died in July 1993.

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