Sister Merlene M. Featherstone, wife of Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone, remembered for enthusiasm, energy and love for the Savior

Sister Featherstone served alongside her husband as he served in general Church assignments for close to 30 years. He passed away in 2018

Sister Merlene Miner Featherstone, widow of Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone — an emeritus general authority — died Thursday, July 21, 2022, at her home in Bountiful, Utah. She was 90.

Sister Featherstone served alongside her husband as he fulfilled general Church assignments for close to 30 years. Elder Featherstone passed away in 2018.

Elder Featherstone served as a member of the Presiding Bishopric from 1972 to 1976, as a General Authority Seventy from 1976 to 2001 and, with his wife, presided over the Texas San Antonio Mission from 1976 to 1978.

Through the years, Sister Featherstone faithfully magnified many callings at the ward and stake levels but one of her greatest joys was serving as matron in the Logan Utah Temple from 2002 to 2005.

Her obituary noted that “her answer was ‘yes’ to anything she was asked to do for the cause of Christ.” And she did so with the same verve and energy she brought to other areas of her life. 

Merlene Miner was born on Dec. 29, 1931, in Ogden, Utah, and was adopted by Hazel Naomi Duke Miner and James A. Miner as the youngest of their three children. 

She married her high school sweetheart, Vaughn J. Featherstone, in the Salt Lake Temple on Sept. 15, 1950. She dedicated herself to raising their seven children — six sons and one daughter. Her and Elder Featherstone’s posterity currently numbers 158, including grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

Vaughn J. and Merlene Featherstone | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

In a 1976 New Era article, Elder Featherstone wrote of his wife’s compassionate heart, gentle spirit, soft spot for animals and love for people. “She met no strangers, only future friends,” her obituary states

Elder Featherstone also described her as a fierce defender of her family and leaders of the Church. “She is the kind of person you would want to take tiger hunting in the night — you could always turn around and know that she was there,” he wrote.

In several talks, Elder Featherstone paid tribute to his wife by quoting King Arthur in the musical “Camelot.” “If I could choose, from every woman who breathes on this earth, the face I would most love, the smile, the touch, the voice, the heart, the laugh, the soul itself, every detail and feature to the smallest strand of hair — they would all be [Merlene’s].” 

She loved sports, gardening and the outdoors and was quick to thank her Heavenly Father. 

“Most of all, [she] loved her Heavenly Father and her Savior, Jesus Christ. She knew them personally, spoke of them daily and followed them completely.”

She is preceded in death by her husband, Vaughn J. Featherstone; her brothers, Carl and Bob; her oldest son, Ronald Vaughn Featherstone; and her mother and father. She is survived by David James Featherstone (Laura), Joseph M. Featherstone (Marianne), Jeffery Scott Featherstone (Lori), Lawrence Featherstone (Laurel), Jill Featherstone Taylor (Brian), Paul Thomas Featherstone (Meredith), Debra Luke, and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held Monday morning, Aug. 1, at the Mueller Park Stake Center in Bountiful, Utah.

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