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Posted 27 Aug 2001   For week ended August 24, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 20Aug01

By Kent Larsen

Noted Mormon Author and Intellectual Eugene England Dead

PROVO, UTAH -- Mormon author and intellecutal G. Eugene England, died Friday at his home in Provo, Utah at about 10:30 am after a six-month struggle with brain cancer. His family has released the following obituary. Mormon News plans its own obituary later this week.

Surrounded by his wife, Charlotte, and their six children, G. Eugene England, 68, died at home August 17, 2001, after a six-month struggle with brain cancer.

Gene England was born in Logan, Utah, July 22, 1933, to George Eugene and Dora Rose Hartvigsen England. Gene grew up on a wheat farm in Downey, Idaho. A brilliant and persistent man, he convinced Charlotte Ann Hawkins to marry him in the Salt Lake LDS Temple on Dec 22, 1953. As newlyweds, they served a mission to Samoa for The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints.

Inspired by the teachings and example of Jesus Christ and influenced by Lowell Bennion, together Gene and Charlotte led lives of generosity, service, creativity, and profound faith. They have run an open house, always making room for friends and strangers. Countless lives have felt their influence for good.

After serving as a captain in the Air Force, Gene was a Danforth Fellow at Stanford University, where he received a Ph.D. in English literature. He was Dean of Academic Affairs at St. Olaf's College in Northfield, Minnesota, but he always preferred teaching over administrating. He taught at St. Olaf's, the LDS Institutes of Religion at Stanford Univ. and the Univ. of Utah, and the English department at Brigham Young Univ. for 22 years until his retirement in 1998, and finally at Utah Valley State College as Writer-in-Residence and director of Study Abroad.

Gene has served as a branch president, a bishop and in several bishoprics. Until recently he was a Gospel Doctrine teacher in the Pleasant View 1st Ward.

A person of remarkable intelligence and faith, Gene never made anyone feel stupid or unworthy. Idealistic in his desire to continue the conversation between more conservative and liberal positions, he served as a bridge over troubled waters in the Mormon intellectual community. He naively assigned the best intentions to people, even those with whom he disagreed. As a founding editor of Dialogue and a ongoing contributor to Sunstone, he promoted Mormon scholarship and writing, especially the personal essay. A fine poet himself, he authored several books of personal essays and compiled and edited several collections of Mormon Literature.

Before his health failed, Gene especially enjoyed fly-fishing with his friend Doug Thayer, remembering childhood follies with Bert Wilson, seeing the best theatre in London, leading willing victims on impossible hikes, convincing people to watch, again, one of his favorite movies with him, telling stories to his grandchildren (Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight were favorites), and being at the cabin he built with Charlotte.

Gene's family includes his wife, Charlotte H. England, his sister, Ann England Barker (Duane A. Barker), his six children, Katherine England (Paul Nelson), Jody England Hansen (Mike Hansen), George Mark England, Jennifer England (Mark J. Asplund), Rebecca England (Jordan A. Kimball), and Jane England. Their 14 grandchildren are Jordan, Charlotte, Jacob, Anna, Hannah, Amelia, Christian, Bronte, Joseph, Porter, Janey, Maya, Isaac, Katy Rose.

The family appreciates the love and affection people have expressed for Gene. The family has established the Eugene and Charlotte England Memorial Education Fund at Zion's Bank to honor Gene and continue his work, especially his interest in Mormon studies. Those who can are invited to contribute.

Gene England was buried in a private graveside sevice Aug 18 at Wasatch Lawns in Salt Lake City. Friends are invited to honor Gene at a memorial service that will be held 1 pm Saturday Aug 25 at the Provo Tabernacle 100 S. University Ave., Provo, Utah.


Noted Mormon Author and Intellectual Eugene England Dead
England Family 19Aug01 A2


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