Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
John H. Vandenberg John H. (Henry) Vandenberg

1904 - 1992

  • Born 1904 Ogden, Utah
  • Baptized as a child; Aaronic Priesthood as a youth; Melchizedek Priesthood as a young man
  • Mission to the Netherlands 1925-1928
  • Married Ariena Stok 1930, Salt Lake Temple; two daughters
  • Presiding Bishop 1961-1972
  • Assistant to Twelve 1972-1976
  • First Quorum of Seventy 1976-1978
  • Named Emeritus General Authority 1978
  • Died 1992 Sandy, Utah

This biographical sketch adapted from the "News of the Church: Elder John H. Vandenberg Eulogized" from the Ensign, August 1992, page 79.
    Elder John Henry Vandenberg, an Emeritus General Authority who served as Presiding Bishop for eleven years, an Assistant to the Twelve for four years, and in the First Quorum of Seventy for two years died 3 June 1992 of natural causes.

    Elder Vandenberg, eighty-seven, began his service as Presiding Bishop in 1961. He was named an Assistant to the Twelve in 1972 and was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy in 1976. He received emeritus status two years later.

    Born in Ogden, Utah, on 18 December 1904, Elder Vandenberg was the fifth child of Dirk and Maria Alkema Vandenberg, a Dutch immigrant couple.

    He graduated from Weber Academy (now Weber State University) in 1923 and worked as an accountant with John Clyde and Co., livestock commission agents at Ogden Stockyards. In 1925, Elder Vandenberg was called to serve a mission in the Netherlands, where he served a portion of his time as mission secretary.

    It was on his mission that Elder Vandenberg met his future wife, a young convert named Ariena Stok. She immigrated to Utah some time after Elder Vandenberg returned home. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on 10 June 1930. They had two daughters, Lenore V. Mendenhall of Alpine, Utah, and Norine V. Francis of Sandy, Utah. (Sister Vandenberg died on 13 June 1992.)

    During the early years of his marriage, Elder Vandenberg worked in Salt Lake City for a sheep and wool merchandising firm. He later transferred to Denver, where he continued to work with the same company. While in Denver, he served as stake mission president and counselor in a stake presidency.

    While serving as Presiding Bishop, Elder Vandenberg was a member of the Church Expenditures Committee, the General Priesthood Committee, and the Correlation Committee. He also served as chairman of the Church Welfare Committee, presided over the Aaronic Priesthood of the Church, and was chairman of the General Scouting Committee and Health Services Corporation.

    While serving as an Assistant to the Twelve, he served as managing director of the Church’s physical facilities department, supervising three major divisions: real estate, building, and maintenance.

    Elder Vandenber's widow, Ariena (Rena) Stok Vandenberg, died on June 13, 1992, a mere ten days after his death.

    "News of the Church: Elder John H. Vandenberg Eulogized," Ensign, Aug. 1992, p.79 (principal source)
    R. Scott Lloyd, "Eulogy Delivered for a 'Faithful Servant,'" Church News Archives, June 13, 1992
    "General Authority's Wife, Recently Widowed, dies at 88,"Church News Archives, June 20, 1992
    2005 Church Almanac, p.93

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