‘Enjoy it!’ was Sister Geraldine H. Bangerter’s life refrain. She lived to be 97

Sister Geraldine Hamblin Bangerter, wife of Elder W. Grant Bangerter, died Sunday, May 9, in Alpine, Utah, at age 97. Her late husband served as a General Authority Seventy from 1976 to 1989, in the Presidency of the Seventy in 1979 and again from 1985 to 1989, and passed away in 2010. She is also the mother of former Relief Society General President Julie B. Beck.

When Elder and Sister Bangerter started their service as mission president and companion in the Brazil Central Mission in 1958, they adopted a shift in their attitude when faced with hardships. “Enjoy it!” is the phrase they began to repeat to each other and their children for the rest of their lives.

“We all agreed that no matter what ups and downs we faced, we would enjoy them,” she wrote in an Ensign article in 1991.

The Church in Brazil was new during the Bangerters’ service. They started a branch in São Paulo, where the Relief Society consisted of seven women during their first meeting. Sister Bangerter, who was the mission Relief Society president, worked with her counselors to “teach the women how to visit each other and learn about their needs.”

“Out of that little group and others like them has grown a wonderful, vibrant, faith-filled body of women in the country of Brazil,” wrote Sister Beck in “Daughters in My Kingdom.”

In 1974, Elder and Sister Bangerter were called to open the Portugal Lisbon Mission. The following year, Elder Bangerter was called as an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and later into the First Quorum of the Seventy.

“Over the next 14 years they travelled extensively to fulfill those responsibilities, living in Brazil again from 1977 to 1979 and presiding over the completion of the São Paulo Brazil Temple,” Sister Bangerter’s obituary reads. They also worked for two years in Chile.

After their service abroad, Elder and Sister Bangerter returned to Utah to serve as president and matron of the Jordan River Utah Temple from 1990 to 1993.

Sister Bangerter was born on March 3, 1924, in Salt Lake City. She is survived by five daughters, LeAnn, Glenda, Julie, Peggy and Duella; five sons, Cory, Grant, Howard, Paulo and Layne; 64 grandchildren; 178 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.