Latter-day Saint Missionary, 19, Dies in Accidental Fall in Australia

Contributed By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News editor

  • 25 July 2018

A 19-year-old Latter-day Saint missionary serving in the Australia Sydney Mission died Monday, July 23, after slipping and falling from a cliff in a popular sightseeing area.

Elder Gavin Paul Zimmerman, 19, from West Haven, Utah, had been serving in Australia since August 2017.

“Elder Zimmerman and a group of missionaries were at a popular sightseeing area on Monday when he slipped and fell from a cliff,” said Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff. “Our sincerest condolences and prayers are with Elder Zimmerman’s family and loved ones as they remember his life and mourn his passing. We pray they will feel the love of our Heavenly Father at this tragic time.”

Elder Gavin Paul Zimmerman, 19, from West Haven, Utah, died Monday, July 23, in an accidental fall while serving as a missionary in the Australia Sydney Mission. Photo by David Hales.

Raymond and Jeanette Zimmerman, Elder Zimmerman’s parents, issued the following statement in connection with their son’s death:

“It is with deep sorrow and heavy hearts that we share the news of our son’s passing from this earth to return home to his Heavenly Father. Gavin Paul Zimmerman grew up in Roy and West Haven. He attended Fremont High and participated in both track and football. Gavin was called to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Australia Sydney Mission. He began his mission on August 16, 2017. Gavin served in several leadership positions in the mission field. He was a great example to us all, and he loved his mission very much. He enjoyed teaching people and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. He loved the Savior Jesus Christ and his family, and we loved him. Gavin was a bright light in our lives! We are so grateful for our Father in Heaven’s plan of salvation. We know that we will be with him again one day. Our family will miss him greatly until we meet again.”