SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH — Donald L. Staheli, the retired chairman, president and chief executive officer of Continental Grain Co., died May 29 at his home following an extended illness. He was 78.

Mr. Staheli joined Allied Mills, Inc., which was a subsidiary of Continental Grain, in 1969. He was named president of Continental in 1984 and c.e.o. in 1988. Mr. Staheli was elected chairman of the Continental board in 1994.

Prior to joining Allied Mills, Mr. Staheli was with Swift and Co. for 11 years. There he held a variety of management positions.

A native of St. George in the southwest corner of Utah, Mr. Staheli attended Utah State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in 1953. As a junior in college Mr. Staheli was elected national president of Future Farmers of America, and spent a year traveling to major cities across the United States, meeting with the president, Cabinet members and heads of corporations. After college, Mr. Staheli went to graduate school at the University of Illinois, where he received master’s and doctorate degrees.

In addition to his work at Continental, Mr. Staheli was director of the U.S.–China Business Council, the National Committee on United States-China Relations and the U.S.-Russia Trade Council. He was chairman of the International Business Leaders’ Advisory Council for the mayor of Shanghai. He also was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Mr. Staheli also served on corporate boards and was chairman of the Points of Light Foundation. His gift of $1.5 million established the Donald L. Staheli Chair of International Management at Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management.

Following his retirement from Continental in 1997, Mr. Staheli was very active and a prominent figure in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mr. Staheli is survived by his wife of 57 years, Afton Stratton Staheli; four children, Shannon Staheli White (and her husband, Don); Sharmaine Staheli Barone (Richard); Todd Donald Staheli (Kimberly); and Gaye Staheli Price (Glenn); 13 grandchildren; and three siblings, Clark Staheli (Deni), Kent Staheli (Susan) and Sharlene Staheli Thompson (Lorin).

Funeral services will be Saturday, June 5 at 11:00 a.m. at the Bloomington LDS Stake Center, 200 W. Brigham Road St. George, Utah. Visitations will be from Friday, June 4 6-8pm at Metcalf Mortuary, 288 West St. George Blvd. and again on Saturday June 5 from 9:30-10:30am at the Bloomington Stake Center.
Interment will be in the St. George City Cemetery.