Sam Penrod, spokesman with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, released this statement to media on Sunday, July 23, 2023.
“A senior missionary couple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in the Vanuatu Port Vila Mission, was involved in a serious car accident on the island of Santo, Vanuatu, on Friday, July 21, 2023, after another vehicle reportedly veered into their lane of traffic causing a head-on collision. Both Elder Richard Carver and Sister Marina Carver, of Riverton, Utah, were taken to a local hospital and later transferred to a hospital in Port Vila. Sister Carver tragically passed away due to internal injuries on Saturday evening. Elder Carver is receiving additional medical evaluation but is expected to recover.
Elder and Sister Carver began serving in October 2022 and were assigned as member and leader support missionaries. We send our deepest condolences to Elder Carver, their children and extended family members. We pray they will be comforted with their understanding of Sister Carver’s faith in Heavenly Father’s plan for families to be together forever.”
Sister Sandra Stradley wrote in tribute on social media, “We are heartbroken by the passing of Sister Marina Carver. She is a dear friend and fellow missionary. Her and Elder Carver were perfect for this mission in every way. They had faith to trust Heavenly Father as they served with diligence, love, joy, patience, hard work, energy and wisdom. They fell in love with the beautiful people of Vanuatu and desired the very best for them. Elder Carver continues to be an example of a disciple of Jesus Christ in this very hard time. I want to follow their examples as I serve wherever I am.”
Teri Nicholls Brown shared, I am so heartbroken my friend of 50 years is no longer on earth with us. I have so many fond memories growing up in San Jose with her. Rina and I would mow lawns for a dollar to earn money to go to Frontier Village, a western theme amusement park. We went to our very first concert together to see the Jackson Five at circle star theatre. We ran up to the stage to touch Michael Jackson. In our teens we worked together at the Capitol Drive In and would watch movies after we got off work. Over the years we didn’t see or talk to each as much as we should have but recently had reconnected and I am so thankful for that.”
Dave Richards wrote, “Our heart breaks for the Carver family upon hearing the news of Rina’s passing. Rina has blessed our family and lives more than we could express! She has so many talents and gifts but I will always remember her nonsense way of tackling hard problems with passion and a good sense of humor. She embodies a “Can do Attitude”. I love her last post encouraging us all to reflect on our relationship with Jesus Christ. Undoubtedly he welcomed her home. Rina, we will miss you but will forever follow your light. Rich, we are praying for you.”