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Duane E. Couey

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Duane E. Couey
Photo of Duane E. Couey standing at a podium
Presiding Patriarchs/Evangelist
Community of Christ
March 29, 1982 (1982-03-29) – April 5, 1992 (1992-04-05)
Called byWallace B. Smith
PredecessorReed M. Holmes
SuccessorPaul W. Booth
End reasonHonorably released
Counselor in the First Presidency
April 18, 1966 (1966-04-18) – March 1982 (1982-03)
Called byWallace B. Smith
PredecessorF. Henry Edwards
SuccessorAlan D. Tyree
End reasonCalled as Presiding Patriarchs/Evangelist
Council of Twelve Apostles
April 2, 1960 (1960-04-02) – April 18, 1966 (1966-04-18)
Called byW. Wallace Smith
PredecessorEdmund J. Gleazer
SuccessorEarl T. Higdon
End reasonCalled as counselor in the First Presidency
Personal details
BornDuane Emerson Couey[1]
(1924-09-13)September 13, 1924
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US
DiedMarch 26, 2004(2004-03-26) (aged 79)
Independence, Missouri, US
Spouse(s)Edith Griswold
Margaret Rushing
 Two (by Edith)
  Patricia Henshaw
  Ralph Couey
  Freda Clenden
  Cathy Davis
ParentsRalph Couey
Hazel Lindsey

Duane Emerson Couey (September 13, 1924 – March 26, 2004) was an American leader in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS Church). He was a member of the church's Council of Twelve Apostles and First Presidency and also served a term as the church's Presiding Patriarch.

Couey was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was in the United States Navy during World War II, serving as a Petty Officer First Class Radioman aboard the destroyer escort Earl K Olson. After the war, he briefly worked as a manager in a plastics plant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin before becoming a missionary for the RLDS Church, becoming a full-time RLDS Church minister in 1954. He was president of the Los Angeles, California Stake from 1958 to 1960.

On 2 April 1960, Couey was selected by RLDS Church president W. Wallace Smith to become an apostle of the church and a member of the Council of Twelve Apostles.[2] At this time, he moved to Independence, Missouri, where the headquarters of the RLDS Church were located. He served in the Council of Twelve Apostles until 1966, when Smith selected him to replace the retiring F. Henry Edwards as one of Smith's counselors in the First Presidency of the church.[3]

When W. Wallace Smith retired and was succeeded by his son Wallace B. Smith in 1978, Wallace B. Smith selected Couey and Howard S. Sheehy, Jr. to be his counselors in the new First Presidency.[4] In 1982, he was released in the First Presidency and succeeded by Alan D. Tyree.[5] At this time, Smith appointed Couey to succeed Reed M. Homes as the Presiding Patriarch of the RLDS Church.[5] In April 1992, he was released from this calling and retired from full-time ecclesiastical service.[6] He was succeeded in this position by Paul W. Booth.

Couey was also a theologian, administrator and mentor to many of the younger church appointees. He married Edith Griswold of Madison, Wisconsin in 1947, and had two children, Patricia Louise, born in Milwaukee in 1952, and Ralph Floyd, born in 1955 in Paris, Tennessee. Patricia was an expert in the field of learning disabilities. Ralph is an intelligence analyst with the U.S. Department of Justice. Edith died of cancer in 1982. Duane remarried Margaret Rushing of Paris, Tennessee, in 1987. She too died from cancer, in 2003. He died in 2004 in Independence, Missouri, aged 79.



  • "Obituary: Duane E. Couey": Obits For Life 2011
Community of Christ titles
Preceded by Presiding Patriarchs/Evangelist
29 March 1982 – 5 April 1992
Succeeded by
Preceded by Counselor in the First Presidency
18 April 1966 - 29 March 1982
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Edmund J. Gleazer
Council of Twelve Apostles
2 April 1960 – 18 April 1966
Succeeded by
Earl T. Higdon