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Elder Devere Harris, 90, dies

Elder Devere Harris, who served in the First and Second Quorums of the Seventy, died Thursday, July 6, 2006, at his home in Logan, Utah. He was 90 years old.

Elder Harris was sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy on April 7, 1984, at age 67. He was sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy on April 1, 1989, and released on Sept. 30, 1989.

The sixth of nine children of Robert Cromwell and Sylvia Green Harris, he was born in Portage, in Box Elder County, Utah, on May 30, 1916. After graduating from Bear River High School in Tremonton, Utah, he attended Stevens-Henager's Business School in Salt Lake City and Hartford Management School in Hartford, Conn. On July 12, 1938, in the Logan Utah Temple, he married Velda Gibbs, also of Portage, Utah. They lived in Portage until 1980. During his 34-year career in the insurance business, he worked as a regional manager for Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Montana until his retirement.

Elder Harris was serving as the president of the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple (1980-1984) when he was called to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy, one of the first six called to serve in that quorum for a term of three to five years. In announcing the callings, President Gordon B. Hinckley, then second counselor in the First Presidency, said short terms of service as a General Authority "will provide a constant infusion of new talent and a much widened opportunity for men of ability and faith to serve in these offices." (Please see April 15, 1984, Church News.)

On April 1, 1989, the creation of the Second Quorum of the Seventy was announced by President Thomas S. Monson, then second counselor in the First Presidency. Those, including Elder Harris, who were serving in the First Quorum of the Seventy under a five-year call, were transferred to the newly created quorum. (See April 8 and Oct. 7, 1989, Church News.) Among his responsibilities as a General Authority, Elder Harris served in the General Sunday School Presidency and as a counselor in the North America Southwest Area presidency. He was also a former stake president, high councilor and bishop.

Interment was in the Portage, Utah, cemetery. Elder Harris is survived by his wife, six children, 26 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren, and a sister and a brother.

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