Generosity and friendship
His generosity was also a hallmark, according to those close to him. After returning from serving as mission president in Scotland, Elder Haight was approached by BYU President Ernest L. Wilkinson to assist him in establishing an endowment program for potential students who couldn't afford to attend school.
To this request he said, "My wife and I felt we could help assist youth financially. We love the youth, and we feel that if the world is to get back on its feet morally, we must develop strong, moral leaders of the world."
In a 1986 profile in the church's Ensign magazine, Elder Ronald E. Poelman of the First Quorum of the Seventy described how both Elder and Ruby Haight went out of their way to be of service to others. In fact, their home was open to any who needed a place to stay for a night.
Their daughter, Karen Huntsman, said, "I could come home from college and never know who would be sleeping in our house, who would be eating around our table."
Son-in-law and billionaire industrialist Jon Huntsman said he regarded Elder Haight as a combination of a brother, close friend and father. "He could not be in a crowd, or even with an individual, without saying something that would build them collectively or individually."Elder Haight once said that one of the things he enjoyed most about representing the church around the world was meeting people that LDS missionaries had been teaching so he could testify in person that what they had been taught about the gospel was true.
Service and honors
David Bruce Haight was born Sept. 2, 1906, in Oakley, Idaho, to Hector C. and Clara Tuttle Haight. His father died when he was 9 years old, and he was reared primarily by his mother and his older brothers and sisters. After attending Oakley High School and Albion State Normal School in Idaho, he completed his schooling at Utah State University and served as a commander in the Navy during World War II, where he earned a special citation from the Pacific fleet commander.
He married Ruby Olson on Sept. 4, 1930, in the Salt Lake LDS Temple, and they have three children: Bruce, Robert and Karen. He served as mayor of Palo Alto, Calif., from 1959 to 1963, and resigned that position to serve the church as president of the Scottish Mission. After returning from Scotland, he served as assistant to the president of Brigham Young University.
Civic and business activities included executive positions with ZCMI and positions as district and regional manager in California and Chicago for Montgomery Ward and Co. Elder Haight had also served on the board of directors of Bonneville International, Deseret Management Corp., First Security Corp. and Huntsman Chemical Corp. Earlier civic service included work as a Red Cross campaign chairman, blood bank director, Stanford Area Boy Scout Council director, president of the Rotary Club, president of the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce and governor of the San Francisco Bay Area Council of Mayors.
Before his call as an LDS general authority, Elder Haight served the church as a regional representative, member of the Priesthood Missionary Committee, president of the Palo Alto California Stake, stake high councilor and bishop's counselor.
USU honored him with its "Distinguished Alumnus Award" in 1978 and again in 1989, and in 1991, the David B. Haight Alumni Center was dedicated at the school in his honor. He served on USU's national advisory board and received an honorary doctorate degree from BYU in 1998. Palo Alto recognized him for his community service in 1994, citing him at the time as the city's oldest living mayor.He is survived by his wife, Ruby, their three children, 19 grandchildren and 78 great-grandchildren.
Contributing: Tom Hatch and Lynn Arave
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