Sister Mary Crandall Hales, wife of the late Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, died Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023, at her home in North Salt Lake at the age of 90.
President Russell M. Nelson described Sister Hales as “one of the noble and great women of this Church” in his remarks at Elder Hales’ funeral in October 2017.
“She has, with unwearyingness, supported, sustained and cared for her eternal companion. Mary, we thank you. We honor you. We love you,” said President Nelson, then President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Mary Crandall was born in Salt Lake City on Aug. 6, 1932, to Gordon Crandall and Elene Clegg Crandall. She had three brothers and one sister.
The family moved to California when Mary was a young child, and Mary and her siblings attended school in Los Angeles. After graduating from high school, Mary moved to Provo, Utah, to attend Brigham Young University, where she studied nutrition. The Crandall family moved to New York while Mary was studying at BYU.
Elder Hales first saw Mary as she boarded a bus in New York while visiting her family. To his surprise, he saw her again the next day at church; she and her family were new to the ward.
They began dating that summer. In the fall, she returned to BYU, and he returned to the University of Utah. Working up to 60 hours per week and taking 18 hours of class work exhausted Robert. Quite frequently, while driving to visit Mary in Provo, he would end up sleeping on a public lobby sofa as Mary, sitting nearby, did her homework. Her roommate said to her one evening, “I don’t know what you see in that boy. All he does is sleep.”
Mary indeed saw potential in “Bob” Hales. They married in the Salt Lake Temple on June 10, 1953. They are the parents of two sons, Stephen and David.
“One of the qualities that impressed me when we were dating is that he listened to me. My feelings mattered to him, and they still matter,” Sister Hales told the Church News in 1994 when Elder Hales was called as an Apostle. “We don’t always agree, and we have our own minds, but I know he listens and values my opinion. That is very important to me.”
In connection with Elder Hales’ work, the Hales family lived in England, Germany, Spain and several different areas of the United States. Elder Hales praised his wife’s tenacious ability to adapt.
During their ministry together, Sister and Elder Hales attended the Anchorage Alaska Temple rededication in February 2004, previewed the “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition” in May 2004 and taught new mission leaders together in the 2015 Mission Leadership Seminar.
Sister Hales died peacefully due to incident of age, according to a news release on ChurchofJesusChrist.org. Information on Sister Hales’ funeral services has not yet been announced.