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Francis Marion Gibbons


1921 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Francis Marion Gibbons Obituary
Francis Marion Gibbons
1921 - 2016
Francis Marion Gibbons, age 95, an emeritus General Authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died at home in his sleep on July 16, 2016, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was born on April 10, 1921, in St. Johns, Arizona, to Judge Andrew Smith Gibbons and Adeline Christensen Gibbons. Known as Frank by his family and friends, he grew up in St. Johns and later in Phoenix, the youngest of five children. Frank served a mission to the Southern States from 1942 to 1944. After his mission, Frank served as an officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
On June 7, 1945, he married Helen Bay in the Salt Lake Temple, and they became the parents of four children-Suzanne, Mark, Ruth, and Daniel. Frank studied at the University of Utah and Stanford University. Following law school, Frank practiced law in Salt Lake City for nineteen years with the firm of Senior & Senior. During those years, Frank served in the Church as a guide on Temple Square, stake mission president, high councilor, stake executive secretary, and as bishop of the Yalecrest Ward.
In April of 1970, Frank was asked by the First Presidency to leave his law practice and serve as the secretary to the First Presidency. He served in this capacity for sixteen years under the administrations of Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, Spencer W. Kimball, and Ezra Taft Benson, and also worked closely with future Church Presidents Howard W. Hunter, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Thomas S. Monson.
Frank served as the president of the Bonneville Stake from 1971 to 1980. In this capacity he sought to inspire the stake members to develop their hidden talents, and striving to heed his own counsel, he decided to try his hand at writing a biography of Joseph Smith. His book "Joseph Smith: Martyr, Prophet of God" was published in 1977, and Frank went on to write biographies of all of the Presidents of the Church.
In 1986 Frank was called as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and spent three years living in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Frank became fluent in Portuguese, conducting his leadership interviews and preaching to the Saints in their language.
Released from active service as a General Authority at age seventy, Frank was called to serve as Patriarch at Large for the Church, giving blessings at Church headquarters to those who lived outside the boundaries of stakes. During this time he also served as the Ensign Stake Patriarch. After seventy years of marriage, Helen predeceased Frank on August 2, 2015, at the age of 93. At the time of his death Frank was the oldest living General Authority of the Church.
Frank is survived by his children: Suzanne Bay Gibbons Burton (Tim), Mark Bay Gibbons (Shari), Ruth Bay Gibbons Stoneman (Allen), and Daniel Bay Gibbons (Julie); 18 grandchildren; and 42 great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his wife, Helen Bay Gibbons.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 23, 2016, at 11:00 a.m. at the Ensign Stake Center, 135 A Street, Salt Lake City, Utah. A viewing will be held on Friday, July 22, 2016, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Larkin Mortuary, 260 E. South Temple, and the day of the service at the church from 9:30 to 10:40 a.m. He will be interred at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, 1342 East 500 South, Salt Lake City.
Published in Deseret News on July 21, 2016
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