clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Malaria causes death of Samoan man serving Latter-day Saint mission in Sierra Leone

Elder Antonio Schwenke, 19, of Vailima, Samoa, died of complications due to malaria while serving in the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Friday, March 13, 2020.
Courtesy Schwenke family

SALT LAKE CITY — A 19-year-old Samoan has died of complications due to malaria while serving a mission in Sierra Leone for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Elder Antonio Schwenke of Vailima, Samoa, died Friday, according to a statement released by church spokesman Daniel Woodruff.

“Our hearts are heavy as we share news of the passing of a young missionary,” Woodruff said, adding, “We are deeply saddened by this news and pray sincerely for his family and loved ones as they mourn his passing and remember his life.”

Schwenke had served in the faith’s Sierra Leone Freetown Mission since May 2019.

Earlier this week, another missionary, Sister Katherine Pindar, 19, of Mesa, Arizona, died in her sleep between Wednesday night and Thursday morning after a brief illness. The exact cause of her death is undetermined.

“We are mindful of her family and loved ones and pray they will feel comfort and peace at this extremely difficult time,” Woodruff said in a statement released Thursday.

Sister Katharine Pindar, age 19, of Mesa, Arizona, died in her sleep following a brief illness while serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Texas Houston East Mission on Thursday, March 12, 2020.
Courtesy Pindar family