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In Memoriam: Jack Wheatley, 1928–2020

“Weigh success not in gain, but in improvements to the world.”

Eleven powerful words from Jack Wheatley captured his approach to a life of meaningful service, hard work and true patriotism. By any standard, Jack Wheatley’s life of family commitment, military service, church work, public office, commercial accomplishment and philanthropy was a huge success.

Using his own demanding measure of success, however, we may never know the full reach of his work — in part because so much was done without any fanfare, and because so much of it laid lasting foundations that others are building upon.

We will never know, for example, how many students at Brigham Young University have had their pursuit of what is true, what is beautiful and what is good augmented by Jack’s enormous contributions to our campus buildings and landscapes.

Jack Wheatley’s passing this last Saturday leaves a huge hole in our hearts. The community of fellows and scholars at Wheatley Institute sends its sincere condolences to the Wheatley Family at this time of loss.

As the institute that bears Jack’s name and embodies his profound concern for the well-being of the core institutions of society, his passing at this turbulent time in the history of America’s institutions has us at the Wheatley Institute resolved to redouble our efforts to fulfill his mission and to weigh our success in improvement to the world.

For an account of Jack & Mary Lois Wheatley’s enormous generosity, please see the following BYU Magazine Article: The Roots of Generosity