LDS Church general authority Von G. Keetch dies at age 57

Von G. Keetch speaks during The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' General Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, October 2015 | Photo courtesy of Intellectual Reserve, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Von G. Keetch, a general authority for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Friday evening following a “brief and sudden illness,” according to a church-issued statement.

Von G. Keetch, general authority for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Friday evening following a sudden illness, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of Intellectual Reserve, St. George News

Keetch was the executive director of the church’s Public Affairs Department. He was sustained as a General Authority Seventy in April 2015, after serving as the main outside lawyer to the church.

“His loss is deeply felt, and we extend our love and prayers to his wife Bernice, his children and loved ones, and pray for the Lord’s blessings of peace to be with them at this tender time,” the church said in the statement.

Keetch was born in Provo on March 17, 1960. He married Bernice Pymm in November 1981, and they had six children.

Keetch received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Brigham Young University in 1984. In 1987, he received a juris doctor degree from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University.

Soon after law school, he served as a judicial clerk to Judge George C. Pratt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Subsequently, he served as a judicial clerk to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger and Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court. He practiced law at Kirton McConkie from 1990 to 2015.

His church service was prolific, including serving as a full-time missionary in Germany, counselor in a bishopric, counselor in a stake presidency, stake president and area seventy.

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