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Brother, boyhood chum of prophet dies at 88

SHARE Brother, boyhood chum of prophet dies at 88

Sherman Bitner Hinckley, 88, brother to President Gordon B. Hinckley, died Aug. 13, 2000, in Salt Lake City. During his semi-retirement, Brother Hinckley was instrumental, along with a cousin, the late Arza Hinckley, in the acquisition and donation of historic Cove Fort to the Church. Cove Fort Historical Site, located between the communities of Fillmore and Beaver just off Interstate 15 in central Utah, was constructed in 1867 as a way station for travelers along the "Mormon corridor" through Utah. It was built under the direction of Ira Nathaniel Hinckley, grandfather of President and Brother Hinckley.

Brother Hinckley later served as director of the visitors center at Cove Fort, using his background in engineering and business to further develop the historic site. He also served a mission to New Zealand with his wife, Eileen Ellis, whom he married in 1988. His first wife, Frances Jo Wadsworth Hinckley, died in 1985.

"Sherman and I were very close to one another throughout our childhood," said President Hinckley of his brother in a statement released through the Church's public affairs office. "In the winter we lived in the city and during the summer we lived on a farm. It was not a large farm, but it grew to about 35 acres and it was a place of great activity and serious responsibility.

"We had horses, cows, psigs and chickens. We raised, for the most part, fruit and hay. We had considerable machinery and, while we were very young, learned to handle it and to recognize the dangers in using it. Were were expected to work, but we also had time for a great deal of fun together. We enjoyed one anothers company and did many rather remarkable things, in consideration of our ages.

"We have been very good companions through all of these many years. I miss him greatly, but recognize the plan of the Almighty and that what has happened may have saved him from much suffering."

President Hinckley and his sister, Ramona H. Sullivan, are the remaining of the children of Bryant S. and Ada Bitner Hinckley.