Norman Bangerter

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Courtesy Deseret News

Norman Howard Bangerter was Utah’s thirteenth governor, serving two terms from 1985 to 1993. He did not seek a third term.

His administration highlights include building $60 million pumps in the West Desert to deal with flooding from the Great Salt Lake that threatened Interstate 80, raising taxes to protect schools in a declining economy, and slashing state spending. Dave Buhler, who served in Bangerter’s administration, said that Bangerter saw his role as “a stewardship for the state. He did not worry about how he would be remembered. He was not somebody who liked spin or fluff.”[1] He also served ten years in the state legislature, four of which he served as speaker of the House.

A 1991 Newsweek poll of U.S. governors listed him as the eighth most effective, as chosen by his peers. He also received honorary doctorate degrees from Utah State University, the University of Utah and Dixie College. Utah’s Bangerter Highway was named in his honor.

Bangerter was born on January 4, 1933, in Granger, Utah (now West Valley City). As a teen, he worked as a farmer and carpenter with his father, William Henry Bangerter. He served in the Korean War from 1953 to 1954. He attended Brigham Young University and the University of Utah. He worked in real estate and business and founded NHB Construction, a residential real estate development. He also had been a partner in Bangerter & Hendrickson Enterprises and had been secretary for Dixie-Six Land Development.

He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served as president of the South Africa Johannesburg Mission from 1996 to 1999 with his wife, Colleen Monson. They had six children a raised a foster son. After her death in 2011, he married Judy Schiffman. He passed away on April 14, 2015, after suffering a stroke.

His older brother William Grant Bangerter served as a general authority in the Church of Jesus Christ.