I was born on July 20, 1921 in our small brick farm house on the family's eighty acre farm, just west of the Denver Rio Grande and Western rail road tracks, on the Draper-Riverton cross road in Draper, Utah. I was the youngest of twelve children. Mother had four boys, seven girls and then me. I have always been grateful that she didn't stop at eleven.
When I was a year old I moved with my family to a big house on Seventh
East in the town of
I entered the first grade in the Draper elementary school but only
attended this school for a few months before we moved to
We moved to
For many years my father was the
Ivan and Hobert were working in Huntington
Park, California and when Mary finished her nurse's training she and Lorna
moved to California where they both went to work for the Mission Hospital in
Huntington Park.,, Mary as a nurse and Lorna in the Laundry. They rented a house near the hospital and
Lorna kept house for Ivan and Mary. Hobert was married and lived a few blocks away. Within a few months,
College and also went to
Dad had a difference of opinion with his boss over the need to destroy some
noxious weeds on his boss's property and Dad lost his job. We then sold our home in
When we arrived in
Dad had found and bought a house for the family at
These were very difficult times for us financially. Ivan, Doris and Mary were working regularly
and Lorna worked most of the time but the salaries were small and there were a
lot of mouths to feed. They kept the
family going until Dad was able to find work as a custodian in the
In the middle and late thirties all of my older brothers and sisters except Myla and Lois got married and moved away. We then rented our front house to a family for $25 per month and Dad, Mom, Myla, Lois and I moved into the house Dad had built in the rear. We made one of the bed rooms into a living room and another into a kitchen. Dad and I built two more bed rooms and for the first time in my life I had my own bedroom behind our garage.
After we moved to the
It seems that we were always short of money. I cut two or three lawns each week, sold Saturday Evening Post magazines to a regular route of customers and also on the side walk in front of a neighborhood market. I cut the lawn for Dad around the City Hall and in the park next to it. I also worked as a lab assistant for the Chemistry teacher during my last two years in high school. Myla was two years ahead of me in school and was a good student. She set the standard for me and we were both life members of the California Scholarship Society.
Our family attended church regularly. Dad was an active High Priest and taught the High Priest Class for a number of years. All of my brothers and sisters remained active in the Church except Ivan and Doris. They were both in the paint business and stopped going to church in their adult life.
Mother and Dad were both very loving to me. We were never a very demonstrative family but I knew I was loved. My tenderest memories of my childhood are memories of my mother rocking me in her big rocking chair when I was six or seven years old and singing to me. I remember the songs; "I Don't Know Why I Love You But I Do,," "My Sweet Little Alice Blue Gown," "After The Ball Was Over." Mother had a wonderful sense of humor and could always look on the bright side of things. She had a saying for every occasion, many of them picked up from her English mother and father. I will always be grateful for her influence and love.
When I was a Deacon and Teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood in
During two summers between high school and college and after my first
year at UCLA I worked in the California Furniture Factory in
In the fall of 1939 I entered UCLA as a Pre-Med student. Each day for two years I would take Myla and three or four other students twenty-five miles
each way to UCLA and back. The other
students would pay enough for their transportation for me to buy gas. The car often went without needed repairs,
however, and we drove many times through the middle of
During these first two years at UCLA our social life centered around the Church club, Lambda Delta Sigma. We met once a week at in the religious conference building just off campus. We were given religious instruction by Dr. G. Byron Done. We had some social activity almost every week-end and each summer.
After I had finished my second year of Pre-Med school, I decided I didn't want to dedicate my life to medicine but didn't know what I did want to do, so I was at loose ends. In June 1941 some US Army Air Corps recruiters came to the UCLA campus to recruit students for the Army Flying Cadet program. I had always wanted to learn to fly and I knew that I would be drafted in a couple of years, so I signed up. I had to drive out to March Field in Riverside, California to take my physical examination. I drove out with a long time friend, Howard Hopper because my eye exam required that my eyes be dilated and I wouldn't be able to drive home. I passed my flying physical except for my weight. I had always been skinny and at six foot two inches and 125 pounds the doctor told me that I was sixteen pounds under the minimum allowable for a waiver. He told me to come back in six weeks with my sixteen pounds and he would pass me.
I went back home and began to stuff myself for six weeks. I drank malted milks every day, ate huge meals and snacked all day long. Someone told me that if I would drink a glass of milk every hour for twenty-four hours I would gain five pounds. So I set my alarm and woke up every hour all night for my glass of milk. Needless to say I couldn't stand to look at a glass of milk at the end of the twenty-four hours.
On the day I was supposed to go back to March Field, I got up early and had a huge breakfast, took three pounds of bananas to eat on the way and Howard and I started for March Field. When we arrived, full of bananas, we went to the base exchange and had a big malted milk. I could hardly waddle when I arrived at the hospital for a weight check. To my dismay, hen I stepped on the scales, I was still six pounds short of my minimum weight. I guess, with the war threatening, they wanted pilots pretty badly because the flight surgeon told me to come back at with my six pounds.
I knew that if I could drink a gallon of water I would gain seven pounds so I went out and started to drink. I got so that I could feel the weight of my stomach on my esophagus and every time I took a drink of water I would have to go to the bathroom. I felt as if I were losing ground. In any event at I went back in and stepped on the scales and I was still one pound short. I told the doctor that I could go out and drink another pound of water so he added a pound to my weight and let me pass. On the way home from March Field after that experience, we had to stop at every service station, tree and fire hydrant between Riverside and Los Angeles.
HELEN LELA VALANTINE
In the July of 1941 the whole Lambda Delta Sigma club from all of the
campuses in the
I had also been going rather exclusively with another girl who happened to be back east on vacation with her family at this time. I broke up with her and Helen broke up with the boy she had been going with and we both knew we were in love with each other.
By the time I met Helen in July I had received my orders to report to Lackland Army Air Base in
Although I had lived almost twenty years before, my life really began when I met Helen. Our love for each other has been constant and unwavering from the first day we got to know each other, though it took some time for Helen to realize this. Through more than fifty years of marriage, long separations, seven children, a gaggle of grand children and great grand children, I have always known that she loved me as I love her. We went together for four months in the summer of 1941 and when I left for aviation cadet flight training in November, she cried at the railroad station.
ARMY AIR CORPS TRAINING
I was to be gone for eight months and we had made no promises. I occasionally went out with girls while I was in training but found no real pleasure in their company. Helen began dating a defense worker and he convinced her that they should become engaged.
I still felt she loved me, though, and when other cadets would ask me if I was planning to get married when I graduated I would say "no but my girl friend is."
I enlisted as an Army Air Corps Flying Cadet on
I received my commission as a Second Lieutenant and my pilot's wings in
the Army Air Corps at Lubbock Texas Air Base on
We were assigned to the Salt Lake City Replacement Depot for three
weeks while my orders were being processed for a permanent assignment. We were planning to be sealed in the
We were very happy for a month and a half in our tiny basement
apartment across from Whitman college.
We spent much of our free time with a former classmate of mine in flying
school and his wife, Bob and Pat Shaw.
They were also newly married and being natives of
At the end of August the group was ready for combat. Bob Shaw was put on a combat crew and I with
a number of other copilots was reassigned to Ephrata
I joined the 307th Bombardment Group in Ephrata and was immediately assigned as a co-pilot on a B-24 combat crew. This group was also getting ready for an overseas assignment and our training, was very rigorous. We flew night and day. Ephrata was a very small town of less than six hundred inhabitants. There were more than six thousand of us stationed at the air base, so married housing was a bit limited.
I had left Helen in Walla Walla until I could find a place for her to live. I had been in Ephrata for about a week without success when I received a telegram from Helen saying she would arrive on the afternoon train. I was scheduled for Link instrument training that afternoon but I went AWOL to meet Helen. I had no place for her to stay and she had to spend the first night on a bed in the hall of the small hotel. When I returned to the base after getting her settled, my squadron commander confined me to the base for a week for missing my training schedule. Helen found a house where she could sleep on the davenport for $65 per month and spent the rest of the week there. She would come out to the base to be with me during my free time and then take the bus back to town in the evening. After a week of this torture, I was finally able to get off the base and look for a decent place to live.
One afternoon I was walking down the street asking every one I passed if they knew of a room we could rent. A man mowing his lawn suggested that I ask a lady who lived a few blocks out of town. I found that the lady's husband had just been sent overseas and she rented us her five room house for only $25 per month. She worked during the day, took supper with us and lived in one of the bedrooms. We had the rest of the house to ourselves and it was wonderful, even though we didn't get to spend much time together because of my weird flying and training schedule.
In September of 1942, our group was considered to be combat ready and
we received orders to
Again we were flying all hours of the night and day so it was difficult to be together. I found a room in a hotel for a few days but when I came back to the hotel after flying one afternoon, Helen had checked out and I didn't know where to find her. I knew she didn't know when I would be in town, so I could think of nothing to do but tear my hair in the hotel lobby. About an hour later she showed up. She had found and rented a third floor, walk up apartment in a residential section of town. We bought a huge Big Ben alarm clock to wake me up at the odd hours I needed to get up for flying and moved in. By this time Helen was a couple of months pregnant with our first child and all of the cooking odors from the first two floors would find their way into our apartment. Consequently, she was uncomfortable much of the time.
TWENTY-NINE MONTHS IN THE PACIFIC WWII
Early in October of 1942 the 307th Bomb Group received
orders to fly to McClellan Army Air Base in
I was assigned as a co-pilot on a B-24 Liberator, four engine
bomber. All of our pilots and crew
members were very inexperienced and unprepared for the rigorous flying and
combat experience that was ahead of us.
Most of the pilots in our 307th Bombardment Group had less than eighty
hours of multi-engine experience since graduating from flying school. This inexperience proved very costly. Shortly after arriving in
We arrived at Hickam Field on the
In December of 1942, we began training for an attack on
The plan was to assemble above the clouds and fly to
The instructions for the penetration of the overcast over Midway were confusing and the formation never got together. We all arrived over the target within a few minutes of each other, just before mid-night. With our lights out we couldn't get together so we bombed the island individually. This probably confused the Japanese gunners more than if the attack had gone according to plan. We were fascinated by the tracers coming up at us. It was the first time we had been shot at and it all seemed unreal. We were more afraid of running into another B-24 than we were of the Japanese gunners so we dropped down from our assigned bombing altitude of 8000 feet and dropped our bombs at 2000 feet. In spite of the confusion, none of our planes were lost on this attack, though a reconnaissance flight that went out the next day to assess the damage never came back. I flew as co-pilot with Les Scholar on this mission.
I also flew as co-pilot with Les Scholar on two fifteen and a half hour missions from Canton Island to photograph and bomb the Japanese installations on Tarawa. There were no other planes on these missions. We crossed the equator and the international date line on these two long flights.
In April of 1943, I was checked
out as a first pilot and given a crew.
All of the combat crews from the 307th Bomb Group were
transferred to the 11th Bomb Group which had just returned from
We were scheduled to remain at
I found a small depression which the natives had dug around a seedling coconut tree and started digging with my hands and helmet. By morning, I was in the bottom of this hole and there were four others in the hole with me. The sticks of bombs would be dropped at about one hundred foot intervals, starting on one side of our bivouac area and ending on the other. After
counting the explosions as they approached our area, it was always a relief to hear the next one burst on the other side of our hole. One bomb hit about twenty yards from where I was dug in. It hit an ammunition truck and killed the two men on the truck. Shrapnel from the bomb and parts of the truck, including body parts, flew over our heads through the palm trees and landed on the other side of our hole.
There was a brief pause in the bombing and our Squadron commander called a meeting near the church to assess the damages. Before he had a chance to say a word we could hear another wave approaching and the meeting broke up by common consent as we all dove for cover.
Our crew chief, Master Sgt. James Deardon, spent the night on the beach of the lagoon, digging and cursing the generals for getting us into this mess. When morning came, he found that the two generals in command were in the next fox hole and had been digging along side of him during the bombing.
This was a terrifying experience and I often thought of this night as we dropped bombs on the Japanese islands of the Central Pacific.
This raid was a complete success from the Japanese point of view. They completely destroyed our capability to
attack. Our bombs and much of our
support equipment were destroyed. The next day we re-fueled our airplanes and flew
back to our bases in
On 28 June 1943, we were to bomb the Japanese phosphate plant on Nauru
from Funafuti. I was scheduled to be the
number three plane in the lead element of a six plane flight. We were taking off at night with a maximum
load of bombs and fuel. The first plane
took off and crashed back in the ocean and exploded. We quickly reorganized the formation with the
number two plane, flown by Lt Holland of the 26th Sq., scheduled to
lead. He took off then I took off and
four other planes followed. The next
plane also crashed into the ocean
immediately after take off. After the
second crash, they canceled the mission.
Four airborne planes returned and landed but Lt Holland and I didn’t receive the cancellation message and we continued on course to
We had been having trouble with our bomb bay doors creeping part way closed which would open a limit switch and not let the bombs fall. Since it was no fun to go over the target the second time in order to drop the bombs, we had wired around the limit switches so that the bombs would drop even if the bomb bay doors were part way closed. On this particular mission the bomb bay doors crept part way closed on the bomb run and we dropped a load of fragmentation bombs through the partially closed doors, tearing the doors part way loose from the plane.
We were attacked by five Zeros and the bottom turret gunner was only partially effective, because every time he would turn around to the front the gun barrel would hit the flapping bomb bay doors.
In order to protect our underside from the Zeros we dropped down to a
few feet above the ocean and flew at this altitude until the Zeros broke
off. When we got back to
Our plan was to take off from Midway in the early morning, circle the other island of the Midway atoll and join up with two other squadrons from the Group and all fly together to bomb Wake. We took off on time and circled the other island but the other squadrons were delayed and because of fuel considerations, we couldn't wait for them. Lt Schmidt, flying as wing man in the second element, had to turn back because of engine trouble. We took off on course for Wake Island with our squadron formation of five B-24s. As it turned out, we were the only ones to reach the target that day. The other squadrons were turned back by weather which we had been able to penetrate.
When we arrived over Wake Island and started our bomb run, we could see a swarm of Japanese Zero fighter planes climbing to intercept us. We penetrated the anti-aircraft fire without any damage and dropped our bombs on the runway and aircraft bunkers. As soon as we cleared the island we were jumped by twenty-five or thirty Zeros. We had a running battle with the fighters for about thirty minutes. During that time, a Zero coming up from below rammed “Cabin in the Sky”, the lead plane of the second element, and it crashed in the sea. The plane on my right wing flown by Lt. Thompson, had a twenty- millimeter explosive shell explode in the instrument panel, severely wounding the pilot and knocking out all the planes engine instruments. The co-pilot pushed the wounded pilot out of the way of the flight controls with one hand and flew the plane with the other. He had no instruments so he pushed the throttles forward and got ahead of the formation.
About the same time, the plane on my left wing had an engine shot out and because he was flying on three engines he fell behind the formation. The pilot on this plane was Joseph Gall. We later learned that one man had been killed and two others badly wounded. One of the wounded men later died in a hospital on Midway.
The remaining wing man, Lt.
Dwyer of the 98th Sq., in the second element was in good shape and
two good airplanes, his and mine, tried to protect the planes that had been
hit. After the Zeros broke off, we
gathered our formation back together and flew for seven hours back to
Midway. Three of the four planes landed
without incident but the plane with the one dead and two wounded men aboard
couldn't get his landing gear down and landed on it's belly. No one else was injured but the plane was
destroyed. This plane was the
"Daisy Mae," The plane in which I had flown to the Pacific from
Hamilton Field in
During forty combat missions, I lost five airplanes who were flying on
my wing and the only damage to my airplane during all of these forty missions
was one small 7.7mm hole in the bottom of our plane on this raid on
When we returned to
Another mission out of
Now to get back to the mission over Maloelap. With Les out of the formation, that left only two planes in my flight. The pilot of the second plane had also eaten a number of the fresh eggs and he got sick and began to throw up right after take-off. He had a capable co-pilot, however so they decided to continue the mission.
When we reached Maloelap, the first flight went over the target and dropped their bombs without too much difficulty. We learned later that a ninety millimeter shell had come up through the open bomb bay doors of one of the planes in the first flight, through another open door into the back of the airplane and out through the roof of the plane, directly over the heads of the two waist gunners and exploded harmlessly several hundred feet above the plane.
I then led my flight of two planes across the target and we dropped our bombs. As we cleared the target, we were picked up by a dozen or so Zeros so we tried to close up with the first flight for our mutual protection. our tail gunner then told us that one of the planes in the third flight, The “Dogpatch Express” flown by Lt.George Smith, had been badly hit by anti-aircraft fire and was falling behind the formation. The Zeros were on him like a pack of wolves on a wounded deer.
I made a three sixty degree turn with my flight and got in formation with the stricken airplane to try to give him some protection. At the same time, the leader of the first flight, Lt. Warren Sands, made a turn in the other direction and brought his formation of three planes up on the other wing of the plane that had been hit. Apparently an anti-aircraft shell had exploded inside the cockpit, killing the co-pilot and the top turret gunner. There was blood all over the cockpit. Two engines on the right side were out, one of which was on fire. We fought Zeros and tried to encourage the stricken pilot at the same time. His crew men were throwing out all extra weight in the hopes that the plane could fly on the two left engines. I had practiced flying on two engines on one side and knew that it could be done but with all the panic and no help from his co-pilot or engineer, it was too much for the pilot to handle and he finally ditched the plane about ninety miles south of Maloelap. The plane sank in about thirty seconds. It appeared to us that some of the crew were in the water so we dropped our life rafts as close as we could to the crash site.
The Zeros were machine gunning the debris from the crash and any survivors. We were trying to discourage this with the few guns we had on our two planes. We were still under attack by the Zeros and there were times on this mission when I could see a hail of tracers coming between my airplane and the plane on my wing.
The other flights had left by this time because of lack of fuel. I stayed around for a few more minutes circling below the clouds at low level, until the Zeros left to return to Maloelap.
Finally my wing man, 1st lt. Charles Pratte,
had to leave also and headed for
This technique is now used for many of our high speed aircraft and on the space shuttle to slow down on landing.
This crew was later lost in late 1944 on a low level mine laying
mission out of Guam over Chichi Jima in the Bonins. The best
information I have is that they were hit over Chichi Jima
and bailed out over the
I landed on
We then started an expanding square search for our little island. On our second right angle turn of our square search we saw some faint lights a few miles away and we were soon back on the ground after being gone for nineteen hours with seventeen hours in the air. We didn't have a single hole in our airplane when we examined it after landing.
This was our last mission from
My squadron Commander, Captain John J. Deasy,
soon came down with Tuberculosis and was sent back to the States for hospitalization. I was made the, Squadron Commander on
The 42nd Bombardment Squadron history, “The Panther” written by our squadron historian, Kenneth Crothers reported: “One item of importance during the month (of April 1944) was the assumption of command by Capt. Jesse E. Stay. Capt. John J. Deasy had been hospitalized for observation, and was later returned the States for further treatment. Capt. Stay, being senior pilot of the squadron, was well equipped to become commander, in as much as he had participated in almost every strike carried out by the organization since May 1943.”(p.24)
We trained crews and flew sea search missions from January, 1944 until October, 1944, at which time I was told to build up my own squadron and get it ready for combat again.
We had taken
One loaded his plane with 64,000 pounds the next with 65,000 pounds and I loaded mine with 66,000 pounds.
The first two planes got off the ground and over the hill okay, so I took off behind them. As I lifted the plane off the ground and started to bring my landing gear up, it stuck half way momentarily and created extra drag.
There were three radio men in a tent about a hundred yards off the end of the runway. I knocked their ten foot high antenna down as I flew over their tent. As I was struggling up the hill, just above stalling speed, I also knocked the top out of a palm tree with one of my wheels and later found out that I had also knocked the brake line off so that I lost most of my hydraulic fluid and had only enough brake pressure for one application of the brakes.
We continued our mission and dropped our bombs over
We were getting ready for the
We would fly from
My last eleven missions were over
The Squadron History reports: “The
greatest loss to the squadron was that of the Commanding Officer, Captain Jesse
E. Stay. Captain Stay was with the
squadron for nearly two years, beginning in April 1943, and was C.O. longer
than any other man in the squadron’s
history. He took part in practically
every mission flown by the squadron since its arrival in
“As flight leader, he flew against the Marshalls, Gilberts, and Nauru, from the Ellice Islands. In his capacity as commander he accepted the mining project, which others had turned down, and led the unit to a superb record in its execution.
“Capt. Stay was missed by the members of the squadron who remained behind to carry on.”(p.35)
I arrived at McClellan Air Base in Sacramento on a Friday night. I only had my tropical uniforms with me and
they told us we couldn't leave the base until we got some new uniforms when the
PX opened on Monday morning. I called
My plane landed at
I know that there were men who were much more righteous than I who were killed in the war but I also know that I was greatly blessed and protected. Before I entered flying school my dad advised me never to take off in an airplane without saying a prayer for my safe return. I always did this. and found great comfort in it. Though I dreaded the combat missions and felt great fear on the way to the target, I was blessed that I never felt panic. I was always able to think clearly over the target and make the right decisions. When I consider the other crews who were lost out of my same formations and the men who were killed, I know that I was being looked after and protected. I hope I can be worthy of this protecting care.
A record of my forty combat missions is included at the end of this chapter. In all, I was involved in World War Two for almost two and a half years during which time I flew over eleven hundred combat hours on bombing and sea search missions. I received two Distinguished Flying Crosses and eight Air Medals for my World War Two service.
My father died in
November 1943 while I was overseas and I was not able to come home for his
funeral. My mother lived until July 1960
and died while we were stationed in
I received word of her death through the Red Cross on the day she was buried so I couldn't attend her funeral either.
Our first assignment after returning from the war zone was to a B-24
combat crew training group at
In June 1945 we were sent to Command and
Needless to say, there was no housing in
At the conclusion of this ten week course, Helen and Sharon took the
train back to
Prior to leaving Tonopah for
received orders to attend Command and
When I arrived back in
Tonopah I was fortunate to be assigned to live in a duplex on the base. This base housing was of temporary wooden
construction covered with tar paper but it was so much better than anything else
in Tonopah that we were delighted to get it. I fixed it all up on the inside
and was going to drive to
I went to the Base Commander the next morning and asked for a leave of
absence to be with Helen and Sharon. I
will always be grateful to the officers over me for their kindness in this
instance. I was told to take off and the
paper work would follow. I cleaned our
things out of our house and was on my way to
I was assigned to a-fighter-interceptor squadron at Ontario Air Base and learned to fly P-38's. I was only there for a few months, however when I was sent out to Kingman, Arizona to receive thousands of World War II surplus airplanes and turn them over to the civilian run Reconstruction Finance Corporation for disposal.
All of the B-24's from my group on
While I was at Kingman on temporary duty, the base at
I was at Kingman for about six weeks and then was assigned to the
Organization and Manpower office at March Air Force Base. In this capacity I was sent to
When I returned I was assigned to the Organization and Manpower office on
the General Staff of Twelfth Air Force at March Air Base. Helen was still living in
In the meantime I had been given the opportunity to apply for a regular commission in the Army Air Corps and I was in the first group of reserve officers integrated into the Regular Army after World War II.
When Helen came home from the hospital we bought a home in
Since I had decided to accept a regular commission and make a career in the military I didn't know how I would be able to go back to school and finish my formal education. Then one Saturday in July 1946 while I was serving as duty officer for Twelfth Air Force Headquarters, I saw on the Adjutant's desk some papers offering those officers who had recently been integrated into the Regular Army an opportunity to go back to college for up to two years to complete a degree.
That very day was the last day
applications would be accepted for the coming school year. The Adjutant had not told us about the
program. I immediately went to the
While going to school at UCLA I had the first opportunity to serve in the Church since I joined the Army. I was called to serve in the Elder's Quorum Presidency as second counselor to President Ralph Chalker in the Westchester Ward. I enjoyed this service very much and learned a great deal.
One morning in February 1948 I got up at to
stand in line to register
I rushed over to the hospital (From Westchester to
I graduated from UCLA in June 1948. General of the Army Omar Bradley was our commencement speaker. He was one of the great generals of World War II and a fine gentleman. He said we have not learned to live with the power we now have. "We know more about killing than we do about living. Our greatest challenges are social and economic, not military."
After graduation I was assigned to the office of the Secretary of the
Air Force, office of Information, in the Pentagon. In 1947 the military services were integrated
under a Secretary of Defense and the United States Air Force was formed from
the old U.S. Army Air Corps. Secretary James
Forrestal was the first Secretary of Defense and
Secretary Stuart Symington, later a Senator from
I had served as a press officer in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force for about six months when Secretary Forrestal organized a joint news room in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in order to get control of the Services who were fighting their battles in the press. I was placed in charge of the Air Force desk in the Joint press room. For about six months there were two officers from each service serving in the joint operation. Then the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs was formed and the whole press operation from each of the services was brought into this office. I was left in charge of the Air Force Press Desk but now I had ten other Air Force officers under me. The Army and Navy had similar groups in the Joint Press room.
I served there until May of 1951. During this time we were concerned with the formation of NATO and General Eisenhower was appointed Commander of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers (SHAPE). I attended the ceremonies in the Pentagon where this appointment was announced. Someone said this headquarters was like Venus De Milo--lots of SHAPE but no arms. We were concerned with the demilitarization after World War II, and also with flying saucers. I wrote the press release saying that the Air Force was discontinuing the investigation of Flying Saucers because we had found no evidence that there was any substance to the reports. The public wouldn't let us quit and even today, years later, the Air Force is still plagued with this nonsense.
I was assigned to cover the White House press conference each week and
was present when President Truman announced that following an attack on
General Douglas MacArthur was relieved of his command because he had publicly disagreed with President Truman concerning the conduct of the Korean War. President Truman was committed to a limited war and General MacArthur said "There is no substitute for victory."
While I was working in the Pentagon, we were living in
One day in May, 1951, while I was at work at the Air Force press desk
in the Pentagon, I received a telephone call from our Bishop, Miller Shurtliff, asking me if I would be interested in spending
the next four years at BYU in
Judy had been born on
We had to leave
We moved to
good friend until his death in the late 1970,s.
The next four years were like an Air Force assignment 'in the Church. The ROTC experience probably did not do much for my Air Force career but it proved to be a great blessing for me and my family.
AIR FORCE ROTC-BYU
These were happy years for us. The ROTC program at the "Y" was successful. We started the program in the summer school of 1951 with 100 cadets and three instructors. That fall we enrolled over 1000 cadets and for the next two years we had approximately 1800 cadets enrolled each year, The "Y" supplied hundreds of officers to the Air Force during the next four years and graduates from this program have continued to be a leavening influence in the Air Force to the present time.
I tried to teach the cadets that they would make better officers and
serve their country better if they lived in accordance with the principles of
the Gospel than if they did not. Jay Ballif, who served as Provost and Academic Vice President
of BYU,.was the top cadet Colonel one year. Joe Christensen, former President of the
During our stay in
Our second son, Larry was born on
Gregory was born on
This was before the days when this was common and he had failed to clear this with the hospital. A big red headed nurse kicked me out of the delivery room and made me wait outside in the waiting room. I am sorry that I have never been able to witness the birth of any of our children. We love Greg with all of our hearts, as we do all of our children. We have been greatly blessed with good children and we are proud of each one.
In June of 1955 we completed
four years of duty at BYU and were assigned to the Air Command and
While we were in
Our Southern neighbors were very friendly and kind and we also made a number of close friends in the Branch. For a while, I served as the teacher of the investigators' class. This was the first time I had ever been asked to teach and it was here that I learned the principles of the Gospel. I taught out of Elder LeGrand Richard’s book, "A Marvelous Work and a Wonder" and a small book called "The Essentials of the-Gospel.'
Greg had Pneumonia when he was about six months old and had a fever of
103 degrees. They cured him with
penicillin for which we were very thankful.
Larry was a very active two year old in
STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND
Upon completion of this course, we were assigned to the 307th Bomb Wing
of the Strategic Air Command in
While the Air Echelon was in
On the way home from England, a C-54 transport plane with fifty of our ground crew on board was lost in the Atlantic and we had all of their families to notify. Then a few weeks later, a National Guard T-33 jet trainer ran into two B-47s parked on the ramp refueling. All three aircraft were destroyed. The pilot of the T-33 and two crew chiefs were killed and the re-fueling pits caught on fire. I wondered what kind of an outfit I had joined.
After things settled down I was assigned as wing executive officer for
a couple of months before I was sent to
Upon completion of flight
training I returned to the base at
During the last year at
While we were in
I kept this job until I received orders to go to the
We arrived at Maxwell Air Force Base in August, 1959 and were given
quarters an the base. These were old
permanent barracks which had been converted into duplex apartments. We had all of the facilities of the base
available to us. This was the only time
in our Air Force career that we lived in government quarters. It was good to meet some of our old
As we neared the completion of
About a week later our orders were changed. I was promoted to Colonel and we received
orders to the Sixteenth Air Force Headquarters at Torrejon
Air Base, near
We were very happy about the promotion and the change of
assignment. We thought our furniture was
on the way from
We spent three very happy years in
minutes in the case of a Russian attack.
I am convinced that these bombers on continuous alert and those on
alert in the
We had an active Church group in
During the summers of 1961 and 1962 we took three weeks off each year
with us on our first trip because he was only one month old and still nursing
but we left him in
Timo was born
While we were in
President and Sister Kimball stopped in
Elder and Sister Tanner visited
Elder Peterson visited with
his wife on assignment for a District Conference. He brought the film "Windows of
Heaven" but we talked him out of showing it and asked him just talk to
us. People had come to conference from
the three bases in
While President Tanner was in
President Tanner and I visited the North American desk of the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs. The official in
charge had been stationed in
The next day I took a bus to
We lived in a trailer camp for a week or so while we looked for a house
to buy. We finally settled on an
unfinished new home in
My assignment in
Near the end of August I flew back to
The task of our office at Bolling was to make
information plans and set informational goals for the Air Force's external and
internal information programs and then to evaluate their effectiveness. I was working in the office one day when we
heard the news that President John F. Kennedy had been shot in
After returning from
During this period we were involved in the war in
I had the opportunity to visit
In November of 1966 I was assigned to the office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) where I served as Deputy Director of Defense Information. In this capacity I shared in the responsibility for directing the Department of Defense organization concerned with relations with national news media representatives, magazine and book publishers and authors, and entertainment television and motion picture producers. I served as Acting Director of Defense Information for six months without a Deputy.
I retired from the United States Air Force
While I was working in the Pentagon from 1963 to 1968, we lived in
We were happy there. Randy,
Linda and Judy graduated from
I was called to serve as Scout Master in the Woodbridge Branch for two
years and then was called as Branch President where I served until we left
While I was in the Pentagon I took classes after hours from the
In September 1968 I retired from
the Air Force as a Colonel after 26 years and 10 months of service. We sold our house in
On our way to
Then we drove to
In Laie we lived on Naniloa
Loop across the street from the
While we were there Judge Whitaker who founded the motion picture studio at BYU, came to Laie with a production crew to produce the Church film "Johnny Lingo". Judge had been my Deacons' advisor in Huntington Park Ward and he asked me to come back to BYU and work as his Assistant Director of Motion Picture Production. We had three children attending the “Y” at that time so we decided to accept his offer.
I worked as Judge whitaker's assistant until he retired in 1974. At that time I was appointed Director of the Department of Media Production where I served for the next nine years. Our task was to produce films, film strips and video productions for the Church and the university. To augment the studio income and help pay our overhead we also produced a number of prize-winning educational and motivational films which we sold to businesses, schools and other universities.
Some of the films which were produced at the studio while I was Director were: "The First Vision", "Where Jesus Walked", "The Restoration of the Priesthood and the Organization of the Church", "Morality for Youth", a series of biographical interviews with Church leaders including Ezra Taft Benson, N. Eldon Tanner, Mark E. Peterson, Le Grand Richards and Joseph Anderson.
Some of the educational and motivational films were: "Uncle Ben", "The Gift", "The Mail Box”, "John Baker’s Last Race" and others.
This was a rewarding and exciting time. We worked closely with the General Authorities on the Church productions and had many spiritual and faith promoting experiences.
During our years in
COMMENTS WRITTEN IN THE SEVENTIES
The last eight month period has been the most richly rewarding period of my life. Having been ordained a Bishop and called to preside over the BYU 44th Ward in May 1970, my life has been filled with experiences of a spiritual nature which have brought me closer to my Father in Heaven and convinced me that He takes a hand in our lives and blesses us when we do his will.
Even though I am now able to spend less time with my family, the Lord has strengthened us and there is a stronger spirit of unity and a greater knowledge of the love our Heavenly Father has for us in our home than ever before.
Our boys go to church in our home ward while I preside over a married campus ward. Judy attends church in a campus ward for single students living in this area. As the result of this division, I seldom have the opportunity to go to church with my family. This has bothered me because I greatly miss going to priesthood meetings with my sons and to sacrament meetings with my wife and children. I was afraid that the boys would lose interest and, to some degree at least, cease being diligent in the performance of their church duties. The Lord has blessed us, however, and in fact just the opposite has taken place. The testimonies of our children have been strengthened, and without me to rely on they are, on their own initiative, performing their duties faithfully and diligently. I am very proud of them.
We have had some wonderful
experiences as we have tried to follow the guidance of the Prophet and hold our
family home evenings. Recently Larry was
leading the discussion and he suggested that we take stock of our family readiness
to enter the
§ We all love each other.
§ We all have a strong testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel.
§ We all love our Heavenly Father and want to please him.
§ We all have a desire to live righteous lives and to be worthy of the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit.
We concluded that with all the big pluses we have, it would be foolishness to let the minor negative things keep us from our goal.
We have been blessed with good children who are not rebellious and who love the Lord. our family unity has improved and our love for each other has greatly increased. The relationship between husband and wife and father and mother in our home has become more loving and tender. We are working more with a singleness of purpose than ever before. My greatest blessing in life is the sweetheart who has become as much a part of me as my very own heart or mind.
Another blessing in my life is the opportunity I have to work in the production of motion pictures and film strips for the Church. Besides the great satisfaction that comes from seeing our productions affect the lives of people for good, I have the opportunity to meet, on almost a weekly basis, with some of the General Authorities of the Church. During this past week, for example, we presented a proposed film strip on the law of the fast to the Presiding Bishopric and Elder Romney of the Council of the Twelve. Later that afternoon, we showed a new movie on family home evening to Elders Romney and Monson. Elder Monson chatted with Judge Whitaker and me for several minutes after the showing and gave us suggestions for improving the picture.
Later in the week I was called into the office of Elder Monson, where he was meeting with Elder Bruce McKonkie and a Brother Rose, Executive Secretary of the Church Missionary Committee. Elder Monson talked about the requirement for missionary films and asked for suggestions on a film showing pre-baptism fellowshipping, conversion and post-baptism fellowshipping. We expect that we will be asked to make this film or film strip during the coming year.
A few months ago Scott Whitaker and I were invited to spend the morning in Elder Boyd K. Packer's home in Midvale, to discuss his ideas for a motion picture to teach the members of the Church about family home evenings and to motivate them to hold family home evenings regularly. Elder Packer suggested that when I account to the Lord for my stewardship, He will likely be less concerned with how well I have done as Bishop than He will about how well I have performed my duties as a husband and father. He stressed the urgency of the requirement for the fathers in the Church to put their houses in order and be ready to meet our Savior. He mentioned that the family is the fundamental unit of the Church and the only unit of the Church which will go with us into the eternities. In these threatening times, he pointed out that if all the families were organized and functioning as units of the Church under righteous patriarchal priesthood authority, the rest of the Church could be destroyed or made ineffective and the work of the Lord would continue to go on in the homes of the Church.
After three hours of counsel, we all knelt in Elder Packer's family room and this member of the Council of the Twelve prayed for divine assistance in the production of this,film so that it might help to strengthen and unify the families of the Church in righteousness.
In the BYU 44th ward, where I serve as Bishop, live some of the choice spirits children of our Heavenly Father. Every meeting is a rich spiritual experience. I am gaining much spiritual strength from my association with these fine young married people. My own testimony is increased as I counsel with them and receive their confessions and learn of their great desire to do good.
This afternoon, in Fast and Testimony meeting, we had 194 present. A few of these were not members of our ward but were the family and friends of a couple in the ward who blessed their new baby. Still, with a ward population of 204, the attendance today is indicative of the spirituality of the ward.
We always have 100% of our home teaching and visiting teaching done and our attendance at Relief Society and Sunday School is regularly 70%-80% our goal for this school year is to have one hundred per-cent of the families in the ward receiving the blessings of holding family home evenings regularly.
As they stood there, this afternoon, bearing their testimonies and expressing their love for one another, I thought how applicable verse 19 of the second chapter of Ephesians is to the members of this ward:
"Therefore ye are no more foreigners and strangers but fellow citizens with the Saints and of the household of God."
The unity and fellowship in the ward is wonderful The great challenge will be to strengthen the individual members of the ward so that they will be able to stand on their own, when they leave this cloistered environment, and be towers of strength in their own right.
On the afternoon of
It was a thrilling spiritual experience to spend the evening with Elder Monson as we determined who my counselors should be and Elder Monson issued their calls. He took time out of our deliberations to speak to the Stake leadership meeting. We finally called Bishop Monte S. Nyman of Edgemont II Ward to be my First Counselor and Dr. Harvey J. Fletcher of the BYU Mathematics faculty as my Second Counselor.
On Sunday April 30, we were sustained at the general session of stake conference and set apart after the session by Elder Monson. The power of the Priesthood was evident in the manner of Elder Monson's actions in the reorganization of the Stake. He also set apart, as Stake Patriarch, the former Stake President, Wayne B. Hales. The Spirit of the Lord was evident in his blessing.
I was not released as Bishop of the BYU 44th Ward when I was called to be the Stake President. The Brethren were considering making the campus wards into branches so that young counselors would not have to be ordained High Priests. Because of this consideration, my replacement as Bishop was not approved for three months. I had the privilege of serving as Bishop and Stake President for that three month period. It happened that my temple recommend expired during this time and I couldn't resist the unique opportunity to interview myself and sign my recommend in all three places, as recipient, Bishop and Stake President.
I have had many rich and rewarding experiences as the President of the BYU Sixth Stake, though I miss the close association with the members that a Bishop enjoys. I felt very close to my counselors and the members of the stake high council and the other stake officers.
While serving as Stake President I was privileged to work with five
different counselors. Harvey J. Fletcher
was released after a few months of service for personal reasons and Robert C, Seamons was called to serve in his place. President Seamons
had served as a stake president in La
I had the privilege of assisting Elder Spencer W. Kimball, then Acting President of the Council of the Twelve, in setting Brother Seamons apart.
We had an appointment with President Kimball at President Kimball was delayed in another meeting and came to his office a few minutes after . We suggested that he not miss his lunch and that we could come back another time. He would not hear of it. After setting President Seamons apart, President Kimball talked to us for about thirty minutes. At that time he told us that in addition to the previous operation on his throat where some of his vocal chords were removed because of cancer, the doctors were now advising that he have the rest of his voice box removed. The malignancy was re-occurring He knew that this would be the end of his public ministry and he told us that after much fasting and prayer and consultation with President Harold B. Lee, he had decided not to have the operation. He would leave the matter in the hands of the Lord and continue in the ministry as long as the lord would spare him. A few months later President Lee died suddenly and President Kimball was set apart as the President of the Church.
I feel that my life is just beginning, that all that has gone before is prelude and preparation for the work the Lord has yet for me to do. I pray that I will find favor in His sight and be spiritually and intellectually ready for each new day, that my character will be strengthened so that I can overcome my weaknesses and be worthy of the blessings which the Lord gives me in richer abundance each day.
In 1975 Brother Monte Nyman was released as a counselor in the stake presidency and called to be chairman of the committee preparing the course material for the study of the Book of Mormon in the Gospel Doctrine classes of the Sunday School. He is one of the most competent scriptorians I have known. He is on the religious instruction faculty at BYU.
At the same time, Brother Robert C. Seamons was released as a counselor in the stake presidency and called to be the President of the Oregon Mission.
To replace these brethren, I was given the authority by the First
Presidency of the Church to call and set apart
Last Friday, September lst, we celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Motion Picture Production Department at BYU. President Dalin Oakes conducted the program and Elder Gordon B. Hinkley of the Council of the Twelve was the main speaker. I participated in the program with Dave-Jacobs by narrating a film presentation, looking back over the twenty-five year history of the Department.
During the ceremony we honored Judge Whitaker, Frank Wise, Scott Whitaker and Robert Stum as the early pioneers in Church film making.
Following the program we had an open house at the studio.
Elder Hinkley was very gracious and spoke of the great value to the
Church of the films produced at the studio, past and present. He invoked the Lord's blessings on all of us
who are engaged in this work. Elder
Hinkley has been closely associated with us in the production of the
This morning I was called up to
After my retirement from BYU we bought Linda's and Darrel's house at
We had planned to move on the first of the year 1984. Just before Christmas I received a call from Elder Asay of the Seventy. He asked me if we would be able to serve a mission if I were called and if we could leave in two weeks. We, of course, agreed to go if called and he hung up.
We were packing to move to
We moved to
We arrived in Rosairo on a Wednesday and
there was a Stake Conference program on my desk for the following Sunday with
me as one of the speakers. We struggled
with our Spanish for the three years we were in
Our mission experience was very special. Tim went to
During our three years we had about four hundred and fifty missionaries
and we learned to love them all. It is
still a joy to receive news of their accomplishments, their temple marriages
and their children. At one time almost
half of our missionaries were Spanish speaking.
We had missionaries from
The Rosario Argentina mission included the provinces of Santa Fe, Entre Rios, Corrientes, Formosa
and Misiones, with a couple of small branches in the
northern edge of the Province of Buenas Aries. This included the north east section of
We didn’t break any records for baptisms but our
missionaries worked hard. At the
direction of the Area Presidency we concentrated our efforts in strengthening
the established stakes, trying to increase membership with emphasis on
families. Most of our converts were
humble working class people and most were of Indian descent. There was a popular evangelist movement
throughout the country but the wealthy and influential people were generally
content in the Catholic Church which was the official church of the government
We had a very special experience in April of 1985 when all of the
mission presidents and their wives from all over the world were called back to
It was a thrill to hear Elder Bruce R. McKonkie, who had set us apart for our mission, give his last address to the Church just a few days before he died of Cancer. He knew he was dying and his sermon was an affirmation of his faith in the Savior.
On Monday after the General Conference, We all gathered in the Assembly Hall for a final message from Elder Boyd K. Packer. Following his message about a hundred missionaries from the MTC marched in from the back of the Assembly Hall singing "Called to Serve" under the direction of Janie Thompspon. Janie had accompanied our ROTC chorus in the early fifties so it was a special thrill to hear this stirring song sung under her direction by this very special chorus of young missionaries.
Following this meeting we all went to the upper assembly room of the
During our mission were blessed to be associated with a number of our wonderful general authorities. Elders Theodore Tuttle and J. Thomas Fyans were our Area Presidents and their counselors included Elders Osborne, de Jager, Call and Brewerton.
In addition we had an Area Conference in Rosario and Elders Oakes and Maxwell, of the Council of the Twelve,, came and stayed in the mission home for a couple of nights with their wives. Elder James Foust of the Council of the Twelve also visited the Mission Home.
We also had the opportunity to participate in the dedication of the
I don't know what I said but the
We finished our mission on the First of July 1987 and left
While we were in the airport
waiting for transportation, Helen's purse was stolen with our airline tickets
We arrived in
While we were on our mission we had rented our home in
I have really enjoyed being free from going to work every day. We have been kept busy with church work and
family. We have enjoyed being close to
Sharon and Judi and also to Linda while she was living in
In the fall of 1990 Helen and I were called to serve as stake missionaries working with the Spanish speaking group of the Seventh ward in our stake. Our assignment was to help administer and strengthen the group and to support the full time missionaries.
In April of 1991 a Spanish speaking branch was organized and I was called to be First Counselor in the Branch Presidency. The Stake Presidency wisely called a young, Spanish speaking brother as Branch President. Helen was also called to work in the Spanish Branch as a counselor in the Primary presidency. She has taught the eleven year olds, lead the singing and conducted the sharing time and generally blessed the lives of these young children. They all love her, naturally.
In September of 1990 we were also called to be ordinance workers in the
This region includes the
Huntington Park West Stake (Spanish Speaking), The Los Angeles Stake, The Santa
Monica Stake, The Inglewood Stake, The Lawndale Stake, and The Torrance North
Stake where Darrel Danielson was stake president before moving to
Tennessee. I was also assigned to work
I have been greatly blessed by our Father with a sure knowledge that He lives and loves me. This has been manifest to me, not only by the way He has guided and blessed my life in so many ways that should be evidence enough for any man, but more surely even than this, by the quiet, certain assurance of the Holy Spirit. I have always believed the Gospel to be true and have tried to live accordingly. Nevertheless, I have had many weaknesses and have made many mistakes. I am grateful that the Lord has let me live now for over seventy years. I believe I am making progress but I can still see the need for many improvements. With the knowledge I now have, my main goal is to sanctify my life and put my house in order so that I, with my beloved Helen, our dear children and grand and great grand children, will all stand approved in the eyes of the Lord and be worthy to return again to the presence of our Father and with him partake of eternal life. I pray that not one of our family will be lost to His kingdom.
As we enter this month of July 1992 and look forward to our family reunion and to the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of our wedding and the great honor of being able to perform the sacred sealing ordinance for our dear granddaughter, Jenny, my heart is full of happiness, love and thankfulness.
This not the end but a new beginning. "The past is prologue."
To be continued!
During this time I have had a number of health problems but thanks to the miracle of modern medicine the doctors have been able to fix my problems and I have been able to continue to be active and have been able to serve in a number of Church callings with only brief interruptions.
After serving as a
Regional Representative for almost two years I was released in January 1994
because of health. I had been suffering
with arrhythmia for a number of years but in 1993 it was diagnosed as atrial fibrillation and I was hospitalized for a few days
four different times that year. Elder
John Groberg, our Area President, felt that I should
be released. We had begun serving as
ordinance workers in the
My service as a sealer has been a particularly rewarding and fulfilling calling. What a joy it is to officiate in these sacred ordinances and to see the happiness of couples and families being joined together for eternity. I guess I have performed the sealing ordinance for the living and the dead several thousand times in the last ten years and I am still awed by the love of our Father in Heaven as evidenced in the blessings sealed on His children in these ordinances. My greatest joy has come, however, by the great honor and privilege I have had to seal sixteen of my own grand children in the bonds of eternal marriage during the past decade. How grateful I am that I have been able to continue in this calling up to now.
After I had been in the hospital four times in 1993 for arrhythmia I suffered a small stroke on January 5th of 1994. Helen and I had been shopping in our local Mervyn’s department store. We had purchased a couple of pillows and I was carrying them in a plastic bag which I dropped on our way out of the store. Helen picked them up and gave them back to me to carry and I immediately dropped them again, without noticing. She carried them out to the car and I tried to unlock the car by putting the keys in the window. Then I dropped the keys. Helen knew something was wrong so she picked up the keys, put me in the passenger seat and drove home.
I felt very tired and confused but otherwise untroubled. Helen called the emergency room of our local hospital and they told her to bring me in immediately. Because of her concern and quick action, I was in the emergency room and under treatment within a half hour after I dropped the pillows for the first time.
After all of the examinations and the diagnosis of a stroke they kept me in the hospital for five days, put me on Coumadin to thin my blood and a beta blocker drug to control the fibrillation. My cardiologist knew that the stroke could have been caused by a small blood clot caused by the atrial fibrillation but he suspected it could have been caused by some other condition so he scheduled further tests.
On February 16, I had an angiogram which showed that my left carotid artery was ninety percent blocked with plaque. It was very possible that some of this plaque had sloughed off and been carried to my brain, causing the stroke. On March 4, They sliced open my carotid artery and scraped out the plaque. I went home three days later with a four inch incision on my neck stapled together, like Frankenstein, with metal staples.
The beta blocker
caused me to have low blood pressure and a slow pulse so I often felt weak and
I now feel great, and with the exception of a couple of days between pace makers when I felt weak, and a couple of bouts with carcinoma on my nose, (once treated with radiation which left me unable to smell and later removed by plastic surgery with a half inch diameter patch taken from my neck to cover the hole), and a couple of polyps zapped by laser in my colon, and the fact that sometimes I can’t remember my own name, I almost feel like a kid again. I enjoy working in the yard and around the house and riding my bike four miles on most days.
So far I have been able to continue serving in
my Church callings. On
We spent three
wonderful years in the
Our work consisted of managing the work of the temple which included calling and training and supervising the work of a staff of over eleven hundred ordinance workers, receptionists, veil workers and thirty or more sealers.
In addition the members of the presidency were usually invited to speak at the Sunday stake conference sessions of the seventy six stakes in our temple district. We were away on speaking assignments two or three Sundays of each month.
Five of the stakes in our temple district were Spanish speaking. Helen and I had the major responsibility for training a group of Spanish speaking ordinance workers, receptionists and sealers to serve the members of these five stakes. We also had to give the instructions in Spanish to members receiving their own endowments. In addition, I was usually called on to speak in the chapel services for these stakes. We made many close friends among the Spanish speaking temple workers and in these five stakes.
Our calling in the
temple presidency was for three years.
We were released after three years and two months on
I was soon called back to serve on the Stake High Council with assignments as advisor for Public Affairs and advisor for the single adult ward in the Huntington Beach California Stake. I was Stake Director of Public Affairs for two years when we called Sister Sharon Klecker to that position and I continued serving as advisor
The Huntington Beach Eighth ward was one of
the few single adult wards left in the Church outside of the university campus
wards. The Eighth ward served both the
After the division, the two wards continued to grow and each ward now has over three hundred members. Young adults have moved into our two stake boundaries from other areas in order to be members of these wards. The members of these wards must be active in the Church so the members are, for the most part, the cream of the crop. There are social activities every week and there are many temple marriages resulting. It is a joy to work with these fine young people.
I am also grateful
to still be able to fill weekly sealing assignments in the
Retired Brigadier General Lassiter, one of the emeritus members of the Seventy was the speaker. He was a Staff Seargent in the AFROTC in the early fifties. We encouraged him to apply for officer training and he was accepted in the Air Force Flying Cadet program. He had an illustrious Air Force career and retired as a Brigadier General at the request of the brethren to accept a calling as a Seventy.
The next morning, Bernie Fisher and I accompanied the current commander of the AFROTC in a convertible in the Home Coming Parade. Following the parade we attended a tail gate party prior to the football game with the BYU and the Air Force Academy.
At the game Helen was escorted to the President’s box and Bernie Fisher and I were introduced to the crowd during the opening ceremonies which included the BYU band playing the “Star Spangled Banner” and a two jet fly-over. We then joined Helen in the President’s box and wathced BYU beat the Air Force Academy 34 to 20.
As we approach our sixtieth wedding anniversary I want all of you who read this to know that true love grows stronger with the years. I love dear Helen more each day. I pray to be worthy of her and to be worthy of the eternal blessings which have been sealed upon us together. I don’t have to wait for Eternal Life and “never- ending happiness.” This life is part of Eternal Life and I can’t imagine being happier in the eternities than I am now with Helen at my side. I will include with this history some of my expressions of love for her which I have written from my heart over the years and which are truer now than ever before.
I also don’t have to wait for the eternities to have “joy and rejoicing” in my posterity. I have learned a lot about our Heavenly Father’s unconditional and never- ending love for his children through my love for my own children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. I pray for you. I love each one of you and nothing you will ever do will make me love you less.
I pray that we will be a unified, strong and righteous family and that we will all be together forever in our Eternal Father’s kingdom. I have great faith that this will be.
As of 2002
My history would not be complete without some serious comments about our children, our major and most important accomplishment. I am tremendously proud of.each one of these dear souls placed in our care by a loving and generous Father in Heaven. I love them more than life and would sacrifice anything for their welfare. I have honored my ancestors and have tried to be a worthy descendent but more important than this I want to be a worthy ancestor and patriarch of a righteous posterity. The Lord has guided me to my beloved companion, to whom I give all of the credit for raising our children to be good and to live in accordance with gospel principles.
We have also been blessed that our children have married good and righteous people who have added greatly to the stature of our family.
Keith is a world class physicist working in high tech national defense areas .He has served faithfully in his Church callings, including being a Bishop and a Counselor in the Stake Presidency.
Randy is a paragon of generosity, goodness and virtue. I am certain that he is much loved by our Heavenly Father as he is by us. He is always reaching out to the poor and down trodden of his world. Every other person is his neighbor and he is their good Samaritan. He married Becky Holt and brought her great intelligence and abilities into our family. They have been outstanding parents of six exceptional children. So far they have one grand child. We love and honor each one. Randy is now serving his sixth year as a Bishop.
He has worked for Ford Motor Company since graduating from BYU with a degree in mechanical engineering. He is now a Resident Engineer, supervising a group of other engineers in solving warranty problems.
Linda married Darrel Danielson during our move to
She could not have chosen a more perfect companion than Darrel. They are truly one in their goals, desires and in the conduct of their lives. We love and honor them and their eight outstanding children and ( to date) twenty grand children.
Darrel has always worked hard to provide for his family. He graduated from BYU after they were married
and got his MBA in night school while working full time as an accountant for
Western Airlines. He worked for Federal
He has served as a Bishop three times, as a Counselor to two Stake Presidents, and as a Stake President twice. Linda has served as a Stake and Ward Young Women’s President among other callings.
Judi has always been an outstanding achiever. She is exceptionally intelligent and has put
her intelligence to good use to bless
the lives of others. She
married Douglas Moore while we were in
Doug has been a patient and able husband and father. After they were married, he worked in a law
office while going to law school. After
receiving his law degree and passing the
After they had six children Judi
enroled in medical school and recieved
her degree as a DO. She had her private
practice in Alta Loma for a few years and then joined in a partnership with an
They are both loving and kind and their six children have learned to love from their parents. As of this writing they have seven grand children. We love them all and we feel their love for us.
Larry also married Joyce Cutler while we were in
Larry has always been pleasant and personable. He is intelligent and capable and is a good and righteous husband and father. Joyce has a matching personality and abilities. They are outstanding parents of seven children and are raising an outstanding family. They now have three grand children. We love them all.
After graduating from BYU Larry got his MBA from
Marcie, their first
child was born in
Larry served as Bishop of a ward
Greg has been a very special son who is striving earnestly and successfully to be an all around good person, husband and father. He is a good provider for his family and always puts their interest first in his life. He truly loves his family.
He also married in
Greg graduated from BYU and then got his MBA from the
Greg has been a Counselor in a Bishopric, working with the Aaronic
Priesthood and the Scouts. He has spent
many years working with the young men of the Church and is currently Ward Young
When Timo left on his mission, from
He married Dalita Romrel while we
were on our mission in
Tim graduated from BYU with a degree in Civil Engineering and then an MBA from BYU while Dalita worked for her Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. When their first child was born Dalita made the decision that the greatest work that she could do was to devote her time to the raising of their children.
While he was in school, Tim worked with computers in the Engineering Department at BYU.
After BYU they moved to
Again “Past is Prologue”
To be continued
We are very happy with our family. We have truly been blessed to have "joy and rejoicing in our posterity." We love and are proud of each one. All of our children have been sealed to their spouse in the temple. Eighteen of our children and grand children have served missions in fifteen countries. All of our sons are Eagle Scouts and are striving to live by the Scout Oath and Laws.
We are also proud of our parents and brothers and sisters, and we have been greatly blessed by our worthy ancesters who were true to the faith and who sacrificed so much and raised us, our parents and grand parents in righteousness.
We are looking forward to the day when we can all be
together in never ending happiness in our
We have just an inkling of the marvelous and unconditional love our Father has for each of us, His children. We thank Him for our children, grand children and great grand children which we now have, and for all of the posterity which will come through them.