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SALT LAKE CITY — Frances B. Monson, wife of Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, passed away at 6:35 a.m. Friday in a Salt Lake City hospital.
Mormon Newsroom reports she had been hospitalized for several weeks and passed away peacefully of causes incident to age.
Sister Monson was 85 years old. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Mormon Newsroom said Sister Monson was recognized by her husband as the family's beacon of love, compassion and encouragement, and that she lived a Christ-centered life in word and deed.
"She will forever be remembered for her kindness and quiet, sustained support of her husband in his Church duties," the newsroom statement said. "Never purposely in the spotlight, Frances Beverly Johnson Monson, was always gracious, kind and supportive in everything she said and did. Her quiet influence felt around the world will be missed.
Author Sheri Dew, who knew Sister Monson for many years, told KSL Newsradio, "I've been deeply touched this morning to think about the loss of Sister Monson and what it means to President Monson, but really for all of us."
Dew said she can't image how Pres. Monson and his family are feeling, but one consolation is that "he will have an entire church praying for him."
Sister Monson was good at things from fixing items around the house to having enormous empathy and patience. "This is a woman who had patience that just knows no bounds," Dew said.
Frances Monson was a quiet, steady influence in her home and a great support for Pres. Monson. Dew called Sis. Monson "the spark plug for his life," and said, "In my opinion, she enabled him to do all he's been able to do."
"It's evident in so many things he said, over the pulpit in general conference and in so many other ways, about how he just adores her," Dew said.
Governor Gary Herbert issued a statement that said in part, "(Frances Monson) was unfailingly kind, a devoted humanitarian, an equal in service and dedication to her husband, and an exceptional example to all who knew her. The world is a better place for her having been here."
Heidi Swinton, who wrote Pres. Monson's biography, told KSL Friday morning, "I immediately thought of what a great contribution she has made to so many people who don't know her personally, but she has influenced just by her example as a wonderful, noble lady."
Several Utahns also expressed their feelings on hearing the news of Sister Monson's passing.
"You can just tell that she was like the sweetest lady and definitely someone I looked up to," said Salt Lake City resident, Heidi Randall.
While she was quiet and usually only seen in the background, many people have said they could feel the love she had for others.
Pamela Atkinson was one of many Utahns gathered at Temple Square Friday. She remembered Sister Monson's smile and grace.
"I think Frances Monson will be greatly missed. There are certain people who come into a room or a place (and) you feel what I call the presence," Atkinson said. "That's what Frances Monson had. There was something very special about her and that will be deeply missed."
Sister Monson was born Oct. 27, 1927 and grew up in Salt Lake City. She graduated from East High School and the University of Utah where she excelled in math and science.
She met Thomas S. Monson in 1944.
"The first time I met Frances, I knew I'd found the right one," Pres. Monson later said about their courtship. They were married in 1948 in the Salt Lake Temple.
The couple had three children: Thomas Lee, Ann Frances and Clark Spencer.
More information will be posted as it becomes available.