PALMYRA, N.Y. — The president of an international church founded in the Rochester region has died.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that Thomas Monson passed away in his Salt Lake City home Tuesday night. He had served as president since 2008.

The Mormon religion has its roots in Palmyra of Wayne County. It was founded by Joseph Smith in the early 1800s.

Thousands of Mormons make a pilgrimage to Palmyra every year to take part in the Hill Cumorah pageant which celebrates the Book of Mormon.   

Local church leaders say Munson was known for making visits to widows or those battling illness.

“Somebody that needs to be spoken to," said Palmyra Stake President Terence Robinson. "Somebody that needs a quiet word or reassurance and he would visit with them, speak with them and spend that time with them and has taught us as church leaders, and members of the church in general, to do the same.”

A church spokesperson says there are more than 10,000 members of the Latter-day Saints Church in Western New York and 16 million worldwide.

President Thomas Monson was 90 years old. His successor will be named following his funeral on January 12.