SALT LAKE CITY – The man who sculpted the iconic statues of the Angel Moroni that sit atop all but a few of the temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has died.
According to a statement, Karl Quilter died during the Thanksgiving holidays at the age of 84.
In addition to the sculptures he is most well-known for, Quilter also sculpted works including the Memorial for the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, which is near the State Capitol, as well as the Nativity Scene that is displayed at many LDS temples during the Christmas season, according to the statement.
Quilter became involved with the LDS Church while he was experimenting with casting sculptures in fiber glass. The material was lighter than the bronze or other metals used to make the angels for LDS temples at the time, and it better complied with building codes. Quilter was commissioned to sculpt and cast an Angel Moroni in fiberglass and apply gold leaf to give it a light-reflecting quality.
Doctors discovered a tumor “the size of a man’s fist” in Quilter’s brain in 2010, and it was successfully removed. According to the statement, Quilter continued sculpting until the day he unexpectedly died.
Quilter also taught LDS Seminary classes at Highland, West and Olympus high schools. He has eight children, and more than 80 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Quilter lived with his wife, Verna, in Holladay. Quilter’s son, Paul Quilter, also sculpts and will continue casting his father’s work into the future, according to the statement.