David B. Haight
David B. Haight, 97, the eldest member of a high-ranking body of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died July 31 at his home in Salt Lake City. No specific cause of death was given.
Mr. Haight was named 28 years ago to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, part of the Mormon church's top leadership. Mr. Haight oversaw the church's global missionary effort and helped the church's outreach to other faiths. He previously worked as an executive with various department stores and as assistant to the president of Brigham Young University.
Mr. Haight, who was born in Oakley, Idaho, received a degree from Utah State University. He served as a commander in the Navy during World War II.
He was mayor of Palo Alto, Calif., from 1959 to 1963, then resigned to serve as president of a Mormon mission in Scotland.
Survivors include his wife of 73 years, Ruby Haight of Salt Lake City; three children; 18 grandchildren; and more than 70 great-grandchildren.
Lacy Van Zant
Father of Rock Bands
Lacy Van Zant, father of members of the Southern rock bands Lynyrd Skynyrd and 38 Special, died Tuesday in Jacksonville, Fla., of pulmonary illness, according to a release posted on Lynyrd Skynyrd's Web site. He was 89.
He was the father of Ronnie Van Zant, the founder of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Johnny Van Zant, the band's current lead singer. Ronnie Van Zant and two other band members died in a 1977 plane crash near McComb, Miss. Another son, Donnie Van Zant, was a member of 38 Special.
Mr. Van Zant, known for his long beard, white hair and overalls, purchased music equipment, drove the bands to shows, lent them money and repaired their vehicles. Early versions of Lynyrd Skynyrd would practice at his home, which he later opened to fans so they could see the bands' gold and platinum records.
Carl Sawyer, 96, once one of the top steer ropers in professional rodeo, died July 30 in Torrington, Wyo., from injuries suffered in a vehicle accident two months ago, his family said.
Mr. Sawyer set the world steer-roping record at Laramie Jubilee Days in 1957; the record stood for 21/2 years.
Mr. Sawyer, who owned Sawyer Stockliners, supplied stock to the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo and had attended or competed in the event every year since 1927.
Hall of Fame horse trainer Phil Johnson, 78, who won the 2002 Breeders' Cup Classic with long shot Volponi, died Aug. 6 at his home in Rockville Centre, N.Y. He had cancer.
Mr. Johnson bred, owned and trained Volponi, who won the $4 million BC Classic at Arlington Park at 43-1 odds. It was the biggest win of Mr. Johnson's 60-plus year training career.
Mr. Johnson, who was born in Chicago, broke into racing in 1942, when he bought a horse named Song Master for $75 at an auction. Two years later, the horse gave Mr. Johnson his first winner.
Last year, Mr. Johnson's horses won 20 of 166 starts, with 22 seconds and 26 thirds for earnings of $1,376,268. He had 11 winners from 76 starters this year, with a promising 2-year-old colt, Port Chester, scheduled to run in Friday's fourth race at Saratoga.
Mr. Johnson, also known as "P.G.," was elected to racing's Hall of Fame in 1997.