Birmingham Alabama Temple president dies of COVID-19

The president of the Birmingham Alabama Temple died Saturday after spending nearly seven weeks on a ventilator fighting COVID-19, his wife said.

Gary Pettus was 70. He had served as president of the temple for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since November with his wife, Cheryl Rooks Pettus, serving as the temple matron.

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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