A Church member, Gary Marc Farwell, died in a helicopter crash during a routine training mission in Germany.
Brother Farwell, 39, who enlisted age 26, was a decorated combat veteran and chief warrant officer in the U.S. Army. He had been serving since 1996, and during his 14 years of service, he had completed two tours in Iraq and two tours in Afghanistan flying UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.
"Since Marc's UH-60 Black Hawk went down on Wednesday night, killing all three soldiers on board, our world has been turned upside-down," the Farwell family said in a statement on their Web site. "We are grateful for the love and support from across the world. The outpouring of funny stories, great pictures, condolences and expressions of love sent is humbling and a source of great comfort."
Brother Farwell and his wife, Tawnya, had been living in Germany for the past seven years with their three children: daughters Ashlyn, 12, and Isabella, 3; and son, Ethan, 8. Each of Brother Farwell's four deployments has been from Germany.
Brother Farwell served a mission to the Massachusetts Boston Mission from 1989-91. He graduated from Ricks College (now BYU—Idaho), and then graduated with a degree in history from the University of Utah in 1995. At the time of his death, he had been working on a master's degree.
He grew up in Orem, Utah, and attended Bonneville Elementary School, Orem Junior High School and the Waterford School, which at that time was located in Provo. He enjoyed outdoor activities like skiing, hiking and fly-fishing.
"That so many others saw and appreciated the special light, tender kindness, insatiable appetite for fun and love Marc had for his family, his friends, his army and his country is very special, and no small comfort," the family statement said.
Friends and family said that Brother Farwell was a highly skilled pilot who was able to still be humble and enjoy life.
"There was just something special about the way that he worked with his kids, and I think it had to do with his empathy and his level of kindness," his brother Matt Farwell told the Deseret News. "As far as I'm concerned, he went out at the top of his game doing something he loved and doing it really well. You can't deny that there was honor and meaning in his job."