Elder Donald L. Staheli succumbs at age 78

Former General Authority was serving as temple president

Elder Donald Lafayette Staheli, former member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, passed away at his home in St. George, Utah, on May 29, 2010. He was 78.

At the time of his death, Elder Staheli and his wife, Afton Stratton Staheli, were serving as president and matron of the Draper Utah Temple. Elder and Sister Staheli were in their second year of serving as the first couple called to preside in the temple since its dedication on March 20, 2009.

Elder Donald L. Staheli
Elder Donald L. Staheli

Prior to his call as temple president, Elder Staheli was sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy in general conference on April 5, 1997, at the age of 65. He served in that capacity for nine years.

In his assignments as a member of the Seventy, Elder Staheli served in many capacities, including the presidencies of the North America Northeast and North America Central areas, and later as the North America Central area president.

He was released from the Seventy on Sept. 30, 2006.

At the time of his call to serve as a General Authority in 1997, Elder Staheli, who was serving as the Yorktown New York Stake president, retired from working as the chairman and chief executive officer of Continental Grain Company, a New York City-based international agri-business company. Known for his involvement in business, Elder Staheli served on several corporate and non profit boards. Some of those assignments included chairman of the U.S.-China Business Council, director of the U.S. China Society, National Committee on U.S.-China relations, U.S. Russia Trade Council and chairman of an International Business Leaders Advisory Council for the mayor of Shanghai.

"[He] was a very influential man to many, powerful leader and great example," his obituary reads. "He made a difference wherever he went and formed many lasting friendships. But most importantly he was a loving husband, father, grandfather, son and brother. He will be missed by many but his values, influence, principles and examples will be remembered and carried forward for many generations to come."

Elder Staheli was born on Oct. 19, 1931, in St. George, Utah, to Grace Sullivan and Lafayette Staheli. He and his wife had four children and 13 grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, June 5, at 11 a.m., in the Bloomington Utah Stake Center in St. George, Utah.

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