Elder Harold G. Hillam dies at age 77

Elder Harold G. Hillam, an emeritus General Authority and a former member of the Presidency of the Seventy, died March 27, 2012, at his home in Bountiful, Utah. He was 77.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Sister Carol Rasmussen Hillam. They are the parents of seven children: Linda (John) Maddox, Rodney (Melani), Bonnie (Derek) Cordon, Glenn (Debbie), Mark (Rebecca), Ryan (Lisa) and Jared (Sarah) and have 29 grandchildren.

Born Sept. 1, 1934, in Sugar City, Idaho, to Gordon and Evelyn Skidmore Hillam, Elder Hillam's life was defined by Church service. He served a full-time mission to Brazil and would later accept callings as a bishop's counselor, high councilor, stake president and counselor and a regional representative.

In 1981, he was able to again utilize the Portuguese language skills he learned in Brazil when he was called to preside over the Portugal Lisbon Mission. Sister Hillam served as his companion.

President Ezra Taft Benson called Elder Hillam to the Second Quorum of the Seventy on March 31, 1990. He was sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy a year later and also served in the Presidency of the Seventy from Aug. 15, 1995, to Aug. 15, 2000. From 2000-2005, he served in the Europe West Area presidency, part of that time as president.

A short time after being named an emeritus General Authority on Oct. 1, 2005, he was called to be the president of the Boise Idaho Temple. Sister Hillam was once again his companion, serving as the temple matron. He would preside at the temple for three years.

An orthodontist by profession, Elder Hillam attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University and earned his D.D.S. degree from Northwestern University in Chicago and also specialized in orthodontics at Northwestern. He would establish his practice in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

In a 1990 interview with the Church News following his call to the Seventy, Elder Hillam spoke of serving as a bishop's counselor even while experiencing the rigor of dental school. "I was very busy as a dental student — but I feel strongly that you just can't not serve in the Church. Students sometimes use their schedules as an excuse not to accept callings, but the Lord will help you. He will be there."

Even with heavy Church responsibilities, Elder Hillam graduated from Northwestern with honors.

Elder Hillam was also known as a champion of Scouting. He served in several Scouting capacities, including president of the Teton Peaks Council in Idaho. He received the Silver Beaver award.

A dedicated husband, father and grandfather, Elder Hillam cherished time spent outdoors and with his family. The Hillams learned to scuba dive as a family and enjoyed diving excursions in Hawaii, Mexico and in the lakes and rivers of Idaho.

Throughout their marriage, the Hillams demonstrated their commitment to serving the Lord and members of the Church across the globe.

"There is never a compromise with the gospel and gospel principles," Elder Hillam declared in 1990. "Whatever the Lord asks, we will do."

Funeral services will be held April 2 at 11 a.m., in the Bountiful Utah Orchard Stake Center, 3599 S. Orchard Drive, Bountiful, Utah. Viewings will be from 6:30-8:30 p.m. the evening before at Russon Brothers Funeral Home, 29 N. Main St., Bountiful, Utah, and 9:30-10:30 a.m. prior to the funeral at the stake center. Interment will be in thePineview Cemetery, Ashton, Idaho.

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed