Monday, February 8, 2010

Funeral Services Held For Two LDS Missionaries Who Died Of Natural Gas Asphyxiation In Romania; Apostles Attend Both Funerals

Funeral services have taken place for the two missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who died of natural gas asphyxiation sometime during the night of Friday January 29th, 2010 in Timisoara, Romania.

KSL Channel 5 reports that the Alpine Tabernacle in American Fork, Utah was filled to capacity as the services were held for Elder McKay Choy Burrows. Family members and many friends of Elder Burrows gathered on Monday February 8th, 2010 for the 90-minute service. Also in attendance was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Russell M. Nelson, who represented Church leaders. He offered condolences to the family, reading a letter on behalf of the First Presidency. KSL news video embedded below:

Video Courtesy of

Elder Burrows grew up in nearby Highland, Utah. He was an honor student at Lone Peak High School and had attended BYU on a scholarship. He was remembered Monday as an accomplished musician who loved writing, drawing and sports and had a life-long goal of serving a mission. Since this post, the Mormon Times has also published a story about Burrows' funeral.

KSL also reported that services were also held Monday in Logandale, NV for Elder Jace Edwards Davis. Elder Quinton L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles represented Church leaders at that service. No other details were offered, but the Las Vegas Review-Journal published the following obituary on Elder Davis:

ELDER JACE DAVIS Elder Jace Edwards Davis passed away Jan. 30, 2010. He was born Jan. 11, 1989, to Larry and Donna Davis, in Las Vegas. Elder Davis was serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Romania Bucharest mission. Elder Davis was serving as a district leader and second counselor in a branch presidency when he was called home by his Heavenly Father. He had been on his mission for just over a year. He loved his mission and the Romanian people. Jace was a 2007 Moapa Valley High School graduate. He was a valedictorian and editor of the yearbook. He was also an Eagle Scout. He showed his love for music by playing violin in the Chamber Orchestra, as well as the piano. He enjoyed sports and was Academic All-State in both baseball and tennis. After high school, he attended Brigham Young University Idaho for one year. Jace will be missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his parents, Larry and Donna Davis; two sisters, Rachel and Sarah; and one brother, Taylor, all of Logandale. Surviving grandparents are S. Mahlon and Carole Edwards of Logandale, and Dola Davis of Las Vegas...

Since this post, the Mormon Times has published a story about the funeral of Jace Davis that offers more details.

Another tribute to their service is penned on the Mormon Missions blog. Even though we as Mormons are taught to look upon death as a return to our heavenly home, it is still a sad occasion when two 20-year-olds die in service on a mission before they've had a chance to marry and begin their families. Mormonism doesn't eliminate grief from death; it merely gives us a more holistic strategy to manage the grief and emerge from it a more complete person.

I've added their names to my unofficial list of LDS missionaries who have died while serving their missions.

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