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Larkin Mortuary

Gary Lynn Schwendiman

11/16/1930 - 10/20/2019

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Gary Lynn Schwendiman passed away peacefully on the morning of October 20, 2019, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Gary was born on November 16, 1930, in Rexburg, Idaho to Lynn A and Myrtle Irene Holley Schwendiman. In his early childhood, they moved to Idaho Falls, Idaho, where he graduated from Idaho Falls High School. Gary graduated from BYU.

His eternal companion, Marva Jorgensen was brought to him in a miraculous way through his uncle Fred and aunt Lillian. Gary and Marva were married in the Salt Lake Temple on December 18, 1953. Gary graduated from Harvard Law School. He practiced law both in private practice and for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Most of his life was focused on his family and service in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In the early 1950’s, Gary served a mission to the Swiss-Austrian mission, serving the majority of his time in Basel, Switzerland. In the 1960’s, Gary traveled with his young family to Frankfurt, Germany where he served as area attorney for the Church. In 1973, he was called to serve as the president of the Hamburg Germany Mission which included responsibility for East Germany. Gary and Marva were called in 1978 to serve in the International Mission Presidency of the Church and traveled all over the world in that assignment. Gary was called to be the Patriarch for the Brighton Stake in Cottonwood Heights, Utah in 1979. In 1981, Gary was called to serve as a sealer in the Jordan River Temple. Gary and Marva were called in 1999 to serve as President and Matron of the Bern, Switzerland Temple. After Switzerland, Gary and Marva moved into Canyon Road Towers and served in the ward and stake. They also served in the Salt Lake Temple. Gary and Marva loved serving the people of Europe and hosted many in their home. Gary loved serving in the temple and shared his love and testimony with his children.

Gary was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He lived his life preparing himself to be together with his family forever and in sharing his testimony of Jesus Christ and His temples.

Gary is survived by his four sons, Lynn (Tanja), Henry (Renee), Ronald (Peggy), and Mark (Tami), his brothers-in-law Jerry (LaRae) Jorgensen, Dan (Elaine) Jorgensen, John (Marcia Jorgensen) Peterson, Jerry (DeAnn Schwendiman) Smith, as well as 18 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his eternal companion Marva, his father and mother, sister DeAnn, and sister-in-law Marcia Jorgensen Peterson.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, October 25, 2019, at 11:00 am at the Ensign Stake Center (135 N. A Street).  Friends and family may visit Thursday, October 24th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Larkin Mortuary (260 East South Temple) and from 10:00 to 10:45 am at the stake center prior to the service.  Interment will be at Wasatch Lawn cemetery (3401 S. Highland Drive). Online condolences at

Recent Condolences

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  • I am deeply saddened by news of President Schwendiman’s passing. Although I understand the title “President” is not a permanent one in the Church, that is how I knew him, and that is how I will always remember him. I met him in March of 1974 as a new missionary in what was then the Germany North Mission, where he was my Mission President. To this day, on a regular basis, I recall things he taught me about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As a Bishop, as a Counselor in a Stake Presidency, and in nearly every calling I’ve had the privilege to serve during my lifetime in the Church, I have shared Gospel truths I first learned from him. I had the rare privilege to serve as one of his Assistants for the last nine months of my mission, seeing him nearly every day. His example taught me even more. In fact, I became a lawyer because he was a lawyer–even though I knew nothing about what that meant. I was also privileged to spend several days with him and his dear wife (and three of their sons) during the last few weeks of their service as President and Matron of the Swiss Temple, and to attend the temple with him there, just as I had in Provo after his service as a Mission President ended. In so many ways, he was like a father to me. My own father passed-away in 1987, while I was still a young father myself. As a result, I often took advantage of his willingness to give advice I could no longer get from my own father. His life of service to the Lord and his family is exemplary. Indeed, I know very few men who have lived the Savior’s admonition to “lose ourselves” in His service as President Schwendiman did. If I had to describe him with a single word, that word would be “consecrated.” He truly lived that sacred covenant. I will be forever grateful for the privilege to know him, to learn from him, and to serve with him when I was still a young man. Of all the many blessings I’ve received in life, my association with him was one of the greatest. I would love to be in attendance this Friday for his funeral, but other obligations will prevent that from happening. Nonetheless, please accept my sincerest condolences to his entire family and posterity. I know you will all miss him for a short time, but I also know we will see him and enjoy his companionship once again. Our real challenge now is to live our lives so as to be worthy of that opportunity. With great love, Paul J. Mooney

    — Paul J Mooney
  • To the family of President and Sister Schwendiman – I was a missionary in the Germany North Mission from 1972 – 1974 and I loved your parents. I never forgot their influence on my life. I visited them on September 15, 2017 in the apartment in SLC. It was so fun to review the memories of the mission. Even at their age, I loved their enthusiasm for life.
    May the Lord give you peace in this special time of celebrating the life of your father.
    My wife, Geri, and I are currently serving a full-time mission in Frankfurt, Germany – my second mission in Germany. My granddaughter will enter the MTC in Provo on Wednesday, Oct 23 to serve in the same mission as all of us – the Germany Berlin mission.

    — Scott Conlin
  • I am so sorry to see the separation of your father from his children, but know that he is rejoicing as he is once again with Marva. Although separation is difficult, a new stage in life is a true celebration of progress through the Plan of Happiness. May the Lord bless you and your family and give you strength as you remember the good, the special, the uplifting teachings of a great man in your life. He did so much good for you and for others.

    — Steve & Afton Baxter

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