This biographical shetch is adapted from "News of
the Church: Elder James A. Cullimore Dies" in the Ensign,
Aug. 1986, page 74.
Elder James A. Cullimore, an emeritus member of the
First Quorum of the Seventy, was memorialized by members of the First Presidency,
of his quorum, and of his family at funeral services in the Assembly Hall
on Temple Square Wednesday, June 18.
He died in a Salt Lake City hospital on Saturday
morning, June 14. He was eighty years old.
President Gordon B. Hinckley,
First Counselor in the First Presidency, conducted the funeral and read
a brief note from President Ezra Taft Benson,
who had himself been hospitalized briefly because of a flu-like illness
and was unable to attend.
“God bless this great man. I loved him dearly,” President
President Thomas S. Monson,
Second Counselor in the First Presidency, spoke of Elder Cullimore as a
man of good cheer, a man of talent, a man of peace, a man of love, a man
of God. He was a man without guile who loved everyone and was eager
to serve wherever called.
Elder Marion D. Hanks
of the presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy testified that his
brother in the priesthood “still lives, and always will.” He quoted from
Isaiah 61:3, which speaks of those who are “trees of righteousness,” and
noted that Elder Cullimore was one of those.
Elder Cullimore’s son Kelvyn outlined his father’s
exemplary service as husband, father, Church leader, and employer, referring
to him as “a beacon light that has set each of us on the path to peace
Elder Cullimore had served as a General Authority
for more than twenty years, having been sustained as an Assistant to the
Twelve on 6 April 1966. He was one of the original members of the First
Quorum of the Seventy when it was organized in 1976, and was named to emeritus
status in 1978.
James Alfred Cullimore was born 17 January 1906 in
Lindon, Utah, one of twelve children of Albert Lorenzo and Luella Keetch
Cullimore. His father was a bishop and also owner of a grocery store, where
young James received his early experience in retailing.
He served a mission to California in 1925-27, then
returned to his schooling at Brigham Young University, where he had attended
one year before his mission. He was elected student body president for
It was in 1931 that he married another BYU student,
Grace Gardner, in the Salt Lake Temple. She died in 1975, and he married
Florence Prows in 1977, also in the Salt Lake Temple.
After receiving his bachelor of science degree from
BYU in 1931, James Cullimore attended New York University School of Retailing
on a scholarship, receiving a master’s degree in 1932. He worked as a furniture
buyer for Gimbel Brothers
department store in New York City, then for a Chicago department store.
He also worked in Sioux City, Iowa, before taking a job with an Oklahoma
City store in 1937.
In 1946, he opened his own Oklahoma City furniture
store, which quickly became successful.
James Cullimore served the Church in a variety of
positions during his business career, including as a branch president in
Sioux City and Oklahoma City and as president of the West Oklahoma District.
When the Oklahoma Stake was organized in 1960, he was called as its first
president. He had served in that position for only a matter of weeks when
he was called as president of the Central British Mission.
Following his return from England, he was called
to be a member of the Church’s Priesthood Welfare Committee. Then in April
of 1966, he was called as an Assistant to the Twelve.
Elder Cullimore served as an Assistant to the Twelve until October of 1976 when all the Assistants were released and called into the then newly reorganized First Quorum of the Seventy.
In 1978, in recognition of his long years of service and due to factors of age and health, Elder Cullimore was granted Emeritus status and named an Emeritus General Authority. As noted, he died