On June 17, 2023, our beloved husband and father, David Bitner Wirthlin, 87, passed away doing what he loved -- playing tennis. Vibrant and engaged and physically active until the last moment, he leaves a legacy of unbounded joy of living life to its fullest.

David was born on September 19, 1935, in Salt Lake City to Joseph L. Wirthlin and Madeline Bitner Wirthlin. He was the youngest of five children. When David was 12, his parents moved from the big city to a 100-acre farm on 5300 South in Murray. It was there that David learned valuable skills of leadership and drive, of hard work and perseverance that benefitted him throughout his life. He graduated from Murray High School where he was a track star and the student body president. During his tenure as student body president, he left an enduring legacy by changing the school’s mascot from the Smelterites to the Spartans, a change generations of students have cheered. He began his education at the University of Utah before his call to serve as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in Switzerland and Austria where he gained a love for the people and a deep commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ. After his mission, he completed his B.S. in Business Administration at the University of Utah and received his Master’s degree in Hospital Administration at the University of Minnesota. It was during these years that he made many lifelong friends with whom he stayed close throughout his life.

There was no greater blessing in David’s life than his sweetheart, Anne Goalen. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on April 25th 62 years ago. The depth of their love and the strength of their partnership was felt by their six children and all who knew them. They were truly one in love and purpose.

David lived a remarkably full life. He found the greatest satisfaction in his professional career in Hospital Administration. He served as Administrator of LDS Hospital, a rewarding work that blessed him with life-long associations. In this capacity, he brought innovative and valuable services to the communities LDS Hospital served such as the Life Flight helicopter service for trauma care throughout Utah and parts of Idaho and Wyoming. With the formation of Intermountain Health Care, David was appointed Regional Vice President for the southern region of hospitals in the urban and rural settings. Following service as a Mission President, David returned to Intermountain Health Care and served as the Executive Director of Fund Development where he oversaw the performance of 14 hospital foundations supporting the Intermountain Health Care system.

David was a faithful and devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He loved opportunities to serve in many capacities. He was blessed to serve as a bishop and as a stake president. He served as mission president in the Frankfurt Germany Mission and mission president of the Provo Missionary Training Center. David had a special love for temple service. He served in the Presidency of the Salt Lake Temple and as President of the Nauvoo Temple, a seminal experience in his life. These provided rich and rewarding opportunities for David and Anne to serve together deepening their love and commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ. To each calling, he brought his great faith and love for those he served and his natural ability to counsel, mentor, and advise.

Throughout his life, David found joy in service to others. He liked to get down in the trenches where he could make a difference. This desire provided service opportunities in the community. He served as the Board Chair for Habitat for Humanity, a board member for Utah Youth Village, the National President for the Sons of Utah Pioneers, a board member for the University of Utah Alumni Association, board member of More Good Foundation, and most recently, a member of the Salt Lake City Library board.

Above all, David loved his family. There was no greater joy than having his family all together. Home was a gathering place where family bonds were solidified around good food, laughter, and lively conversations. The hallmark of each year was the family trip to Wolf Creek for boating, waterskiing, jet skiing, and lots of time talking with kids and grandkids on the beach. David was an avid University of Utah Football fan and held season tickets for nearly 50 years. His great joy was to have Anne or one of his children with him cheering for the Running Utes.

David’s exemplary life will be a constant guiding light in the lives of his children. By his loving and wise counsel, he instilled in them important virtues of faith and confidence to help them meet the challenges of life.

David is survived by his wife, Anne, their six children and their spouses: Kim, Jennifer (Royal), David (Laura), Deborah (Cameron), John (Suzanne), Marianne (Steve), 23 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, his sister-in-law, Pat Lake, and brother and sister-in-law Steve and Jeannie Goalen.

We express deep gratitude to the University of Utah Neuro-Critical Care team for their kind, professional, and compassionate care of our dad and dear husband.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am on Thursday, June 29, 2023 at the Monument Park Stake Center, 1320 Wasatch Drive, Salt Lake City, UT. There will be a visitation on Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Larkin Sunset Lawn Mortuary, 2350 East 1300 South, Salt Lake City, UT and on Thursday from 9:30 to 10:30 am prior to services at the church. For those unable to attend, services will be streamed via Zoom. Please visit www.larkinmortuary.com for information.

Services

Services Handled By

Larkin Sunset Lawn
2350 E 1300 S
Salt Lake City, UT

Life Story Info

Post Date

Jun 22, 2023

Personal Info

Age

87
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NEXT Thelma Colene Oviatt Thelma Colene Oviatt

Guestbook

We had the privilege of serving with David and Ann Wirthlin in the Nauvoo Temple Mission from April 2007 to November of 2007. It was a wonderful experience which we will always cherish. What a wonderful example they are. We send our love to his family at this very difficult time.

Larry and Marilyn Curtis

Marilyn Curtis Jul 01, 2023

We had the privilege of serving with David and Ann Wirthlin in the Nauvoo Temple Mission from April 2007 to November of 2007. It was a wonderful experience which we will always cherish. What a wonderful example they are. We send our love to his family at this very difficult time.

Larry and Marilyn Curtis

Marilyn Curtis Jul 01, 2023

What a giant of a man! Thank you for your eloquent obituary. My condolences to his family.

Kelli Allred , Midvale, UT, US Jun 30, 2023

What a giant of a man! Thank you for your eloquent obituary. My condolences to his family.

Kelli Allred , Midvale, UT, US Jun 30, 2023

President and Sister Wirthlin were a great support to me while I served a mission in Frankfurt, Germany. I still hold many of those missionary experiences dear to my heart.

God bless him and his family.

CJ Wolf , Draper, UT, US Jun 23, 2023

President and Sister Wirthlin were a great support to me while I served a mission in Frankfurt, Germany. I still hold many of those missionary experiences dear to my heart.

God bless him and his family.

CJ Wolf , Draper, UT, US Jun 23, 2023

Loved having him as my mission president for the latter half of my time there. I will never forget his kindness and Christlike attitude. His wife is also one of my favorite humans ever! Wish I could attend the viewing or funeral, but I know the missionaries who served under him will show up in force.

Mark Gibson , Green River, WY, US Jun 22, 2023

Loved having him as my mission president for the latter half of my time there. I will never forget his kindness and Christlike attitude. His wife is also one of my favorite humans ever! Wish I could attend the viewing or funeral, but I know the missionaries who served under him will show up in force.

Mark Gibson , Green River, WY, US Jun 22, 2023

President Wirthlin was a great man and I am grateful to have served under him, although it was just for a few months.

Marsha West McCullar , Mesa, AZ, US Jun 22, 2023

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