Facebook Twitter



A memorial Eucharist was held Thursday in the Cathedral Church of St. Mark for the Right Rev. Wesley Frensdorff, 61, former dean of the cathedral, who was killed Tuesday in an Arizona plane crash.

The Right Rev. Frensdorff, dean and rector of the cathedral between 1962 and 1971, died in the crash near the Grand Canyon.The plane he was riding in was flying low when it struck trees on the North Rim of the canyon and exploded into flames, authorities said. The craft, piloted by Charles Arnold, 52, another former Utahn, had taken off from Page, Ariz., at 8:40 p.m. en route to Tucson, Civil Air Patrol officials said.

"The late bishop was a very close friend to those active in the church in Utah. He was the dean of the cathedral for a decade," said Mary Beth McDavid, cathedral staff member.

"The common reaction I have heard today has been shock and pain," she said Wednesday.

Since leaving Utah, the Right Rev. Frensdorff had served as the Episcopal bishop of Nevada and was ordained the assistant bishop for Arizona in 1985. He was also bishop-in-charge of the church's Navajo ministry, Navajoland. He was presently living in Tucson.

As dean at St. Mark's, he acted as senior priest and directed cathedral congregation worship and activities, McDavid said.

The Right Rev. Frensdorff was born in Germany, where his parents died in a Nazi concentration camp.

Before coming to Utah he served as vicar of North Cascade Mission, Darrington, Wash., and of several churches in Nevada. He graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor's degree in 1948 and from General Theological Seminary, New York City, in 1951.

Mr. Arnold had worked for the Phelps Dodge Corp. in Salt Lake City as a geologist from 1966-1980 before moving to Arizona. A Navy pilot in World War II, he had flown the bishop to various Arizona Indian reservations for the past three years and had flown over the canyon numerous times.