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
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
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.