Secretary to 5 Church presidents lauded for 'unsullied character'
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After vocalist Harry Brown sang "Aloha Oe," the traditional Hawaiian song of love and farewell, the casket bearing the body of D. Arthur Haycock was wheeled from the Orchard 7th Ward meetinghouse. It was a fitting and moving end to the funeral services March 1 of Brother Haycock, who died Friday, Feb. 25, 1994, of complications from heart surgery.
Brother Haycock, 77, was personal secretary to five Church presidents: Presidents George Albert Smith, Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, Spencer W. Kimball and Ezra Taft Benson.The funeral congregation filled the chapel, cultural hall, stage and overflow areas of the meetinghouse, where President Gordon B. Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson, first and second counselors in the First Presidency, spoke. A eulogy was delivered by F. Michael Watson, secretary to the First Presidency.
"There was only one Arthur Haycock," President Hinckley mused. "I think everyone here could agree with that. There was nobody quite like him. He was funny, he was serious, he was informal, he could be extremely formal. He just was a different kind of man."
He added, "This huge attendance here today and the large crowd who came to the mortuary last night bear testimony of the affection in which he was held."
Brother Haycock served as a missionary, mission president and temple president in Hawaii, and "the Hawaiians absolutely marveled at his capacity to speak their tongue," President Hinckley said. "He spoke it better than they did, and they knew it. These beautiful leis that are here today are a testament of the love and affection for this good man."
President Hinckley said that during the time Brother Haycock was temple president, a hill behind the temple was covered with jungle growth and had become a dumping ground for junk.
"He took me out there one day and said, `This ought to be cleaned up.' And I said, `You're the temple president.' And he said, `I know, but that isn't my duty.' I said, `It isn't your duty, but you know you want to do it.' And he went to work and secured help, contributions and cleaned all that rubbish out of there, tons and tons of it. . . . He exposed it as an old Hawaiian burial ground, cleaned up the headstones, put them in place, built walks and a beautiful driveway, and a gazebo sort of thing on the top of the hill, planted grass on those rolling slopes and made it beautiful, a place of quiet meditation. I have thought many times that ought to be called the Haycock Sanctuary. He was a man who carried in his heart a spirit of reverence, a great regard for that which is sacred, for that which is divine, for that which is holy, for that which is beautiful."
Regarding Brother Haycock's service to the presidents of the Church, President Hinckley said he could envision Presidents George Albert Smith, Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee and Spencer W. Kimball "seated around a table of some kind up there, talking about the work they had to do and saying, `We need Arthur here to take the minutes of what we're saying.' I think there might be some element of truth in that. These men whom he served with such great loyalty loved him and respected him and honored him. And he loved them and respected them and honored them as he served them faithfully and well. I think he was the ablest secretary in many respects that I have ever known."
He said Brother Haycock had a knack for getting things done. "He knew who to call, how to get there, how to get through, whether it was the president of the United States or the president of a little branch out in the Pacific somewhere. He was respectful and courteous. He was not only their secretary, he was their bag carrier, he was their valet, he was their nurse. The doctors told him what to do in some circumstances to take care of emergency situations that would arise, and he did it. He saw that they were always impeccably dressed."
President Hinckley said he felt a "terrible, terrible sense of loss," when Brother Haycock's wife, Maurine, called him on Friday to inform him of her husband's death.
"I love this man. I've worked with him all the years that he worked in the administrative offices of the Church. I think I knew him. I think I knew his heart. And I think I knew his soul. I salute him as one whose character was totally unsullied, as a man whose first loyalty was to his beloved companion and children and immediately behind that the servants of the Lord and this great cause over which they presided."
President Monson recalled his association with Brother Haycock when they were bishopric members of neighboring wards and later as bishops of wards in the same stake. They also worked together at the Deseret News, where Brother Haycock was secretary-treasurer and President Monson was an executive in marketing and management, and later chairman of the board of directors.
Brother Haycock always carried the bags of the Church presidents whom he served, President Monson related, adding that he found it interesting that one of the shortest men in the traveling party had to carry the biggest bags.
"Throughout the world they went. Indicative of his experience was going way beyond the Iron Curtain down by the Czechoslovakian border and accompanying President Kimball. . . . Fearless, away they went to Dresden. And the members of the Church, so starved to see the prophet of the Lord gathered in great numbers. The hall would not contain all of them. . . ."
One faithful woman became ill and could not attend the conference, President Monson said. The Lord heard her prayer and opened the way for her and her bishop, then a branch president in East Berlin, to come to Salt Lake City. As they visited President Kimball, he turned to Brother Haycock and said, "We met these folks when we were in East Germany, didn't we Arthur?" He replied, "Yes we did, president, but this sweet woman was unable to be there and she's here today."
"And Brother Kimball expressed his gratitude. Then he turned to the branch president. He didn't ask how the home teaching was or how the Sunday School attendance was. He said, `Brother Schult, do your people have enough to eat?' Brother Schult answered yes. Then he began to cry, he loved President Kimball so. And President Kimball got up from behind his desk, walked over to Brother Schult and took his hand in his own hand. Brother Schult said, `Brother Kimball, may I embrace you?' And Brother Kimball replied, `I would honor that. It's wonderful to embrace a man as short as I am!' And then Arthur Haycock, out of nowhere, said, `And Brother Kimball's no taller than I am, Brother Schult, so let's you and I embrace.' That's how Arthur was. He literally embraced the entire Church in his long and effective ministry."
President Monson said Brother Haycock took care of the needs of each Church president whom he served. He recalled seeing President Kimball in the temple one day with a hole in his shoe. "I said to Arthur, `Art, you can't let President Kimball come to the temple with a hole in his shoe!' Arthur said, `Has he got that pair on again? I've taken that pair away from him and hidden them a dozen times! He's got all kind of new shoes, but he loves that old pair of shoes.' But he said, `I'm going to hide them real carefully this time.' Arthur's service reflected the words of President Kimball, who said, `My life is like my shoes, to be worn out in the service of the Lord.' "
President Monson said it was particularly touching that Maurine had the opportunity to be present as Arthur bid goodbye to mortality and to her, and "she had that confidence, that testimony to say, `Art, do you have your notebook and pen with you? You're going to need them.' And then Maurine said tears formed in Arthur's eyes and coursed down his cheeks, with a comment, `I have them.' "
In his eulogy, Brother Watson quoted Brother Haycock as saying: "I testify that if we follow the prophets we will never get on forbidden paths. They are the Lord's servants and His mouthpieces of the earth in these latter days."
Brother Watson declared: "From the pen and pad of Brother Haycock the records of the Church contain prayers, testimony, decisions, and revelation. These important things Brother Haycock never took for granted. He always stood stalwart with a vision of service and a commitment to the mission of the Church of Jesus Christ and its seers."
Also on the funeral program was a vocal solo, "O Divine Redeemer," by Ralph G. Rodgers Jr., and a piano medley of hymns by Lenora Brown.
Brother Haycock was born in Farmington, Utah, Sept. 4, 1916, a son of David and Lily Crane Haycock. He married Maurine McClellan May 6, 1938, in the Salt Lake Temple. In the late 1930s, he began work in the Church financial department during the administration of President Heber J. Grant.
In addition to his service to five Church presidents, he was assistant secretary to the First Presidency and secretary to the Council of the Twelve during the presidency of President David O. McKay. He also was an administrative assistant to President Benson when he was U.S. secretary of agriculture from December 1952 to June 1954.
He was president of the Hawaiian Mission from 1954-58 and president of the Hawaii Temple from 1986-89. At the time of his death, he was a sealer in the Salt Lake Temple and high priests group instructor in the Orchard 7th Ward, Bountiful Utah Orchard Stake.
The Haycocks had four daughters, 16 grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.