By Kristen Davidson
Utah”s local leaders react to the death of Elder Neal A. Maxwell, apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, educator and businessman.
Senator Robert Bennett of Utah is a good friend of the Maxwell family. Maxwell served as legislative assistant to former United States Senator Wallace F. Bennett when he was first elected.
“I”ve known Neal Maxwell since the ”50s when he worked for my father in the Senate, and have always considered him a close friend and a valued mentor,” Senator Bennett said. “I join with the entire Church in mourning his loss, but I feel a tremendous sense of personal loss as well. I extend my deepest sympathies to his family at this time.”
The University of Utah community shares their sadness in the loss of Maxwell, for he had close ties to the University of Utah.
Maxwell received a bachelor”s degree and master”s degree in political science from the University of Utah in 1952 and 1961 respectively. Elder Maxwell also worked at the U from 1951 until 1970.
Interim President Lorris Betz of the University of Utah spoke of Maxwell”s passing.
“In addition to his many contributions to his church and to our state and nation, Elder Maxwell worked as an administrator at the U for nearly two decades, and was instrumental in its growth and development,” Betz said. “The University feels fortunate to have benefited from his leadership and joins with the countless others who mourn his passing.”
Maxwell”s positions at the U included Dean of Students, Assistant to the President, Executive Vice President and Associate Professor of Political Science.
Maxwell was executive vice president at the University of Utah at the same time he was commissioner of education for the church educational system 1970-1976.
Maxwell never obtained his doctorate, but he was given many honorary doctorates. Maxwell received one such doctorate from Westminster College, Salt Lake City an honorary doctor of letters degree.
“Elder Neal A. Maxwell was a good friend of Westminster College and a man that we had great respect for,” President Michael Bassis of Westminster College said. “Westminster is grateful for all he did throughout this career, for higher education in the state of Utah and we know he”ll be missed for his thoughtful leadership.”
Prior to his church callings, Maxwell worked as a businessman with Questar Corporation. Curtis Burnett, vice president of public affairs for Questar spoke of Maxwell”s amiable nature.
“Maxwell had invaluable insights paired together with his pleasant conduct,” Burnett said. “His insights to the human condition and his balance of customer concerns with employee needs helped to secure Maxwell”s success as a businessman. Maxwell”s conduct helped secure his success as a businessman.”
Not many people know of the business aspect of Maxwell”s life.
“Let”s just say the Enron and Arthur Anderson scandals wouldn”t have occurred with Maxwell on the watch,” Burnett said.