Donna Edith Smith Packer, the wife of President Boyd K. Packer, passed away at home on March 5, 2022.
Sister Packer was born on October 20, 1927, in Brigham City, Utah. From her youth, Donna developed a love of reading, a keen interest in family history and a talent for music, playing the piano and violin. As a young woman growing up during World War II, she worked at her father’s gas station, in the local cannery and in Brigham City orchards picking fruit. She graduated from Box Elder High School in 1945 and earned a scholarship in music to attend Weber State College. She was president of the pep club, a sorority member, and lettered in women’s basketball. She graduated with an associate degree of science in 1947.
She met Boyd K. Packer in 1946 at a Church gathering where he was the guest speaker. They married on July 28, 1947, in the Logan Utah Temple and they had ten children.
She served with him when he presided over the New England Mission, which required the family to move to Boston in 1965. In addition to caring for their then-nine children, she also managed the mission home and supervised and trained local Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary leaders.
She was an avid family genealogist and helped publish a volume about the Packer family in 1988. In addition to writing life stories for her direct ancestors and producing videos of present and past generations, she took family history courses at Brigham Young University and earned a certificate in family history in 2012.
She also served in the Primary organization for 30 years.
Sister Packer traveled frequently with President Packer as he fulfilled his calling as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. From 1994 to 2014, she was also responsible for the meetings with the wives of General Authorities, inspiring and lifting the women as they served with their husbands throughout the world.
The Boyd K. and Donna S. Packer Center for Family and Community Education on the Weber State University campus was named in their honor in 2013.
Ricks College presented her with the “Exemplary Woman of the Year Award” in 1973.