“Elder Ray H. Wood Of the Seventy,” Ensign, May 1998, 109
Hoping to bring their family closer together and closer to the Lord, Ray H. and Ann Aylett Wood moved in 1978 to San Juan Bautista, a small town of 1,100 in central California. They left behind an affluent neighborhood in Saratoga, bought a farm, put in an orchard, and took care of 280 rabbits, 5 pigs, 3 cows, 100 chickens, 3 ducks, a dog, and a cat. “The kids used to get up at 4:30 or 5:00 in the morning and go out and do their chores. Then they’d trot off to seminary and then go to school,” recalls Elder Wood. Two of their six children still credit this move with helping them recommit to the gospel.
When Ray and Ann were married in the Logan Temple on 8 August 1955, they promised to serve the Lord, stay active in the Church, and strive to raise an eternal family. He says that Ann has been his great support in life and in his callings as bishop, bishop’s counselor, stake president’s counselor, and stake high councilor. When his call to the Second Quorum of the Seventy came, he was serving as stake president in the Salt Lake Eagle Gate Stake.
Born on 11 July 1931 in Salt Lake City to Ray G. and Mary Hunter Wood, Brother Wood served a mission to England in 1950–52. Upon his return, he earned a bachelor’s and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Utah before working for a local accounting firm in Salt Lake. In 1958 he entered the U.S. Air Force and served three years as an officer in the judge advocate, stationed in Spokane, Washington, and Ogden, Utah. He then returned to Salt Lake for two years to work for Peat Marwick Mitchell; was transferred to Denver, Colorado, for two years; and then went to San Jose, California, where he stayed until retiring as partner of the tax department in 1982. He returned to Salt Lake City to become director of tax administration for the Church until retiring in 1997. He also served for 14 years on the tax review commission for the state of Utah.
Elder Wood is grateful for the guiding influence of the Lord in his family’s life and is humbled by this new calling: “The Lord has blessed us; we’re now looking forward to a great period of service.”