Paul Van Hyer, a founding member of Asian Studies at Brigham Young
University and LDS mission and temple president in Taipei, Taiwan, died on January 22, 2018. He was 91.
Paul was born in Ogden, Utah on June 2, 1926 to Ariel Christian and Johanna (Van Woerkom) Hyer. He served in the U.S. Navy in Hawaii during World
War II and returned to Hawaii to serve a Japanese speaking LDS mission after the war. He married Harriet Catherine Johns in the Logan Temple on December 15, 1948.
Paul received his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University; a PhD in History
from the University of California at Berkeley; and taught Chinese History for 52 years in the BYU History Department. He received the Karl G. Maeser Excellence in Teaching Award. He was fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, and was internationally known
for his scholarship on Mongolia and Inner Asia. He was a real “Indiana Jones” and loved adventure and traveling throughout the world. With his family, he lived in Japan, Taiwan, and China, and led members of his family on three round-the-world
Paul is survived by his wife, Karen Shellabarger Claus Hyer; two sisters, Joyce Hyer Kotter and Barbara Hyer Montgomery; one brother, Blaine Hyer; five daughters: Paulette (Lynn) Patterson, Luanne (Paul) Olson, Jana (Bruce) McDonald, Carol
(Michael) Toone, and Annette (Ted) Luymes; and three sons: Scott (Christie Powell) Hyer, Eric (Jeanie Kader) Hyer, David (Maren Clegg) Hyer; step-son, James (Heather Rooke) Claus; 39 grandchildren; and 75 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his
wife, Harriet Johns Hyer, his parents, and other extended family.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, February 9, 2018 at the Oak Hills Stake Center, 925 East North Temple Drive, Provo, Utah. A viewing will be held at the
Berg Mortuary of Provo, 185 East Center Street, Thursday, February 8 from 6-8:00 p.m. as well as at the church Friday from 9:30-10:30 a.m. prior to services. Interment will be in the Provo City Cemetery.
Pres. Paul V. Hyer and Pres. Larry Y. C. Chen (July, 1985)