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Elder L. Tom Perry’s son speaks after father’s death: ‘He was a good and faithful servant of the Lord’

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Posted at 6:55 PM, May 31, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-01 00:00:36-04

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – After being diagnosed with thyroid cancer in April, Elder L. Tom Perry, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Saturday afternoon surrounded by family. He was 92 years old.

His son, Lee Perry, spoke with FOX 13 News’ Kelly Keiter Sunday about what he’ll miss the most about his father.

“It was Friday night that he kind of slipped into a deeper sleep, and we were quite sure because he would nod his head that he could hear us, but he couldn’t speak to us after that point,” Lee Perry said.

Lee Perry shared the moments leading up to his father’s death.

Image courtesy Perry family.

Image courtesy Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“We were all surrounding him and trying to let him know that it was almost over and his mission was completed and he’d done well,” he said.

Elder L. Tom Perry was ordained an apostle for the LDS church in 1974. Lee said his father had a zest for life and put hard work and energy into everything he did--as a businessman, church leader and father.

“I’m going to miss his enthusiasm,” he said. “I’m going to miss him grabbing hold of my arm and walking fast with me. I’m going to miss talking about Red Sox games or any other sport with him.”

Perry passed away after a short battle with thyroid cancer and surrounded by family on Saturday around 3 p.m.

“He was struggling just over the last day, they couldn’t keep his oxygen levels up and so he was struggling to breathe and it just got to the point where his poor body couldn’t handle it anymore,” Lee Perry said.

Image courtesy Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Image courtesy Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Lee Perry said his father’s teachings about family and accepting others will forever resonate in the LDS Church.

“My father believed in traditional family, but he was also open to listen to others and he was thinking through what they said and was very receptive to their thoughts,” he said.

He said his father will be greatly missed by his family and members in the LDS Church community.

"He was a good and faithful servant of the Lord throughout,” Lee Perry said.

The LDS Church will announce details about funeral arrangements in the near future. It is still unclear when the vacancy in the LDS Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will be filled.