“Elder Wood Dies in Samoa,” Ensign, May 1997, 110
While in Samoa on Church assignment, Elder Lowell D. Wood of the Seventy began suffering severe chest pains. He passed away on 7 March 1997 at the age of 64 in an Apia hospital. At the time of his death he and his wife, Lorna, were living in Sydney, Australia, where he was serving as President of the Church’s Pacific Area.
“His life has been constructively lived in a remarkable and wonderful way,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley at Elder Wood’s funeral, held on 12 March in Salt Lake City and attended by the First Presidency and most of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “He made his contribution. He gave his gift, and it was acceptable, and the Lord has taken him home.”
Elder Wood grew up on a farm in Cardston, Alberta, Canada. He earned a Ph.D. in agricultural economics and joined the faculty of Brigham Young University in 1969. Later he worked in the Church’s Welfare Services Department and oversaw Church temporal affairs in New Zealand and in the Asia and Philippines/Micronesia Areas. He served as president of the South Africa Johannesburg Mission. Called to the Seventy on 6 June 1992, he would have completed his five-year assignment this year. He is survived by 5 children and 15 grandchildren.
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Glenn L. Pace of the Seventy spoke at the funeral. Elder Wirthlin read a letter written by Elder Bruce C. Hafen of the Seventy and Elder P. Bruce Mitchell, an Area Authority, who were serving as counselors in the Pacific Area Presidency at the time of Elder Wood’s death.
“We wish it were possible on the day of Elder Wood’s funeral to have representatives from all of our 99 stakes and 13 missions there with you to shower the Woods with the unique flowers, songs, gifts, and other rich tokens of appreciation that bespeak the love we all feel,” wrote Elders Hafen and Mitchell. “From the blue-green waters of Tahiti to the rain forests of Samoa, the palms of Tonga, the beaches of Fiji, the mountains and rivers of New Zealand, and the cities and vast expanse of Australia, these beautiful lands are even lovelier now, with chapels, stake centers, missionaries, temple patrons, and Latter-day Saint homes in greater abundance than ever before directly because of Elder Wood’s influence. He loved and led these Saints with bold courage and loving insight.”