ST. GEORGE — Barbara Bowen Ballard, wife of LDS apostle M. Russell Ballard, died peacefully in her home Monday. She was 86.
She had faced various health issues, including Alzheimer’s, according to a statement from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ballard handled it “with her characteristic grace and sense of humor.”
M. Russell Ballard is the acting president of the church’s Quorum of Twelve Apostles.
The couple met while attending the University of Utah and were married Aug. 28, 1951, in the Salt Lake Temple.
She was born Jan. 5, 1932, in Salt Lake City.
Ballard was the mother of seven children from whom have come 43 grandchildren and 90 great-grandchildren. Family was her lifelong focus.
“She and her husband considered their family to be their greatest blessing,” the church statement reads. “Barbara adored her family.”
Of his wife, M. Russell Ballard said he had married “the right daughter of God” and credited her support with their family’s success.
“Without the help and direction of Barbara, our family relationships would not have been as happy and fulfilling as they were. Barbara is a treasure for our family forever,” he said. “We honor her for her constant love, good judgment, and counsel.”
Ballard served in various church callings, including the presidencies of the church’s Primary, Young Women and Relief Society programs. She also served a church mission with her husband to Canada when he was called to be the Canada Toronto Mission president from 1974 to 1977.
“Barbara was a person completely without guile. All who knew Barbara would say her constant, loving smile was her trademark of service to others. She never spoke poorly of anyone. She was very quick to see the light side of things and had the most fun laughing at herself,” according to the statement.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, Oct. 8, at noon at the Monument Park Stake Center, 1320 S. Wasatch Drive, Salt Lake City.
A public viewing will be held Sunday, Oct. 7, from 5-7:30 p.m. at the same location.
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