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Utah dignitaries express sorrow, love

In expressing their condolences Saturday, Utah dignitaries described Elder David B. Haight as a good friend, dedicated leader and a great man. Here are some of their comments:

Utah State University President Kermit Hall: "Elder Haight was very supportive when I first came to Utah State and was not only a good friend of the university but also a good friend of the students. The alumni house is named after him. He was always very concerned about the students."

Gov. Olene Walker: "I knew Elder Haight when I was a student at Stanford University. He was a local mayor and also a stake president. He was a remarkable individual and had a great career. I was always amazed at his sharp and keen intellect and outstanding kindness. The passing of Elder Haight is a great loss and he will be deeply missed."

U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch: "He was a very dear man who had kindness, executive ability, tremendous capacity to love the Lord, and to spread his word. He personally befriended me, and was a tremendous guide and adviser to me. Also, when he served on the public affairs of the church, he showed his astuteness with regard to politics, government, and the world at large. We will all tremendously miss him. He set such a good example for everyone, and his faith was unexcelled; his loyalty to the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve was something to behold. I loved him. I extend my condolences to his family, both his close and extended family, all of whom are credits to his fatherhood."

Elder Cecil O. Samuelson, president of Brigham Young University: "A man of humble roots, Elder Haight has had a profound influence upon me and upon BYU, where he has touched the lives of thousands of students through his wise leadership, his plain-spoken messages and his personable demeanor. Even in his later years, he traveled to Provo to counsel with us, where with humor and much love, he encouraged us to be better as a university and as individuals. My prayers and sympathy are with the Haight family. May they know of the gratitude so many have for this great man."

Utah House Speaker Marty Stephens: "It's obviously a sad time. Elder Haight is someone who I think all of us could relate to. As the senior apostle in age, he was like a grandfather or great-grandfather to most of us, someone we all enjoyed listening to and appreciated the words of wisdom he would share with us. He's going to be greatly missed."

Rep. Chris Cannon: "Elder Haight was one of the great leaders of the church: inspirational, thoughtful, humorous when he spoke, and highly and clearly committed to the gospel. We will miss him greatly."

Rep. Rob Bishop: "The length of Elder Haight's life is extraordinary in itself, but the real miracle is what he accomplished in those nearly 98 years. From political service to his community to complete commitment to his faith, Elder Haight was a reminder of the power for good one person can have."

Utah Senate President Al Mansell: Elder Haight has been a mainstay in the community for many years. It's very sad to lose him. . . . He has certainly led a long life of outstanding performance and dedication to the church and to the community, and we will miss him."