Elder Haight: City's oldest living ex-Mayor

The red carpet was rolled out to welcome Elder David B. Haight of the Council of the Twelve back to his former home town, Palo Alto, where he was honored as its oldest living ex-mayor at the city's centennial celebration April 16. He was accompanied by his wife, Ruby.

Elder Haight was the mayor of Palo Alto from 1961-63 and served on the city council for the two previous years.His term ended with the stroke of the gavel when he announced at his last council meeting his call to serve as president of the Scottish Mission. Members of the city council wanted to send a delegation to Salt Lake City to protest the demands his church was making on him. They felt Palo Alto needed him more.

The Haight family moved to Palo Alto in 1941, where they were popular members of their ward and community.

The yearlong centennial festivities celebrated the founding of Palo Alto in 1894 by Leland and Jane Stanford, who wanted a "clean-living" town to support the new Stanford University they built as a memorial to their deceased teenage son. It was highlighted by a centennial-eve, black-tie reception at the Palo Alto Center hosted by the city-sponsored Sister Cities organization, Neighbors Abroad.

Elder Haight and his wife were welcomed by the town crier, the mayor and other city, state and national leaders, other former mayors and prominent members of the community. He joined with members of the diplomatic corps and visitors from the five sister cities, Palo, Philippines; Oaxaca, Mexico; Enschede, Netherlands; Linkoping, Sweden; and Albi, France, who came to celebrate the birth of the city. Many of them wore their colorful national costumes.

Other guests were Jack Wheatley, a former mission president, Palo Alto Ward bishop and member of the stake presidency, who served on the city council and as Palo Alto's mayor in 1970-71; his wife, Mary Lois; and Ron Anderson, former bishop and high councilor, who is a present member of the city council; and his wife, Jan. Gail Schubert, former stake Young Women president and now president-elect of the 800-member Neighbors Abroad community organization and an active member of the centennial committee, was also present.

At the 100th birthday party the next day at the City Hall Plaza, Elder Haight was recognized for his position in the Church as well as his service to the community. Brother Wheatley joined the ranks of other past mayors who were also introduced to the audience of several thousand people.

Elder Haight finished his weekend by talking to youth in the Menlo Park California Stake and speaking in the Menlo Park Ward, where four of his granddaughters sang in a quartet and his son, Bruce, is the bishop.

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