Birmingham Alabama Temple president dies of COVID-19

President Gary W. Pettus, the Birmingham Alabama Temple president, died Saturday, Sept. 5, after fighting COVID-19. He was 70 years old.

His wife, Cheryl Rooks Pettus, told the Deseret News he had spent nearly seven weeks on a ventilator. They had been serving as temple president and matron since November 2019.

“We thoroughly enjoyed this short little season,” Cheryl Pettus said. “I look forward to the temple being reopened fully, because I’ll feel closer to him there probably than anywhere else.”

Pettus served as president of the Tupelo Mississippi Stake prior to his call as temple president. He was born in Florence, Alabama.

He had six children with his first wife, Vicki, who died in 1997. They had 19 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Pettus married Cheryl Pettus in June 1998.

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