Life History of Ralph Julius Lauper

Chapter 2

Life Overview

Life Overview

Lethargy, occasioned by a false sense of invincibility has too long now delayed this life story. Let me explain - I have occasionally been told that, inasmuch as I am the youngest of 10 in the second generation it would be left to me to write the "final report." Now that it becomes apparent my role as survivor, is not at all secure, it behooves me to get on with whatever the make-up of my own report should be.

Some who live tend to leave huge tracks when they pass on. Mine are destined to be small imprints, of value to only a few who love me. My life has been mostly fun but rather insignificant when measured by any of my peers, or my brothers & sisters. I have failed to gain any notoriety for good deeds and have not even been bad enough to be recognized as such. Dad would call that "chopping wood and hauling water."

I was born on a cold November 26, 1916 day in a little make-shift cabin at Penrose, [Box Elder County] Utah, a spot which had completely evaporated by the time I returned to look at it 22 years later. Mother [Emma Elizabeth Wissing, born Nov. 17, 1881 & died Mar. 8, 1958] delivered me after putting out a laborious scrub-board wash. I understand that Dad [Emile Louis, born Feb 13, 1869] and Serge [James] (15 years old at the time) went off through the snow looking for a doctor or midwife, leaving Ivan [Emile] (age 13) to be the doctor surrogate, a duty he performed most nobly--even to the cutting of the umbilical cord. I've since twitted him that either his "training" was poor, or his old scissors were dull because he cut it a little short.

From this point on in my life to the present I've been so many places and have done so many things that many deeds, events and years need be either glossed over or omitted entirely so that some may be led to finish the perusal.

My first year both mother and I were sickly. I was sent to live with a wonderful family by the name of Berchtold, who loved and cared for me and doubtless saved my life. To prove that even scrawny, sickly and homely babies are appealing, Serge tells me that seven months later, when he and Dad went to pick me up and bring me home, that wonderful family didn't want to give me up and lined up in front of their home, all crying as the buggy bore me away.

Before I was 1 year old the family, which was nomadic at best, moved to Sugarville, Utah, a farming community 10 miles from Delta, Utah, on the Eastern border of the great American desert called the Mojave. Those who have seen the Sahara in Africa as I have may see many similarities between the two. It was a no win situation for Dad to make it there; bad weather, alkali land, etc...

I, personally, nearly succumbed to fly poison and other harrowing things such as severe measles, whooping cough, food poisoning and other events. Such as the time when I was young (my recollection of it is only my mother's reaction) when she happened to see me crawl up behind "Doll" our wildest horse, and play with the fetlock on her back leg as she stomped and did everything else but kick me to death. As Churchill would say, 'Not this time," and it wasn't, for reasons known only to the Lord.

Being a shy little boy, it was a trauma for me to start school in the little two-room school house which served our community. I seemed to be ashamed of nearly everything about myself, even my clothes, with surely some justification. I recall hiding in the greasewood adjacent to the school until after the bell had rung summoning us to class. I was a nervous, jumpy kid and after six weeks or so, someone diagnosed me as having "St. Vitus Dance" (today I am certain it would be called hyperactivity). I was sent home for the balance of the year. I enjoyed being with my mother. She, with her love and patience, taught me many things but when the start of another school year arrived I was as apprehensive as ever, perhaps more so because now I was older and didn't want to be relegated to the section where the "little kids" sat. Deta P. Neeley, who later became a rather well-known author of children's books, showed perception and compassion as well as a better estimate of my abilities than I had. S put me with the second grade class and later told my mother that I was the top student in the second grade.

The next few years were uneventful but fun and hard. I learned to ride well, to plow and rake the alfalfa fields, to thin and weed beets, to herd and milk the cows, and numerous other duties mostly in inclement weather, excessively hot, cold, or windy. Good years, however, marred only by untimely deaths of two of my brothers; John [Arnold] on September 4, 1923 [born August 18, 1904] of injury caused by a horse kick to the stomach, and Felix [Louis] on January 1, 1927 [born April 17, 1907] due to an accidental shotgun blast to the throat. Both were 19 years of age and I loved them. Mother and Dad were never to appear the same to me again. Some of the spark left them.

Beginning with John and Felix we did some trapping of skunks, badgers and coyotes for their pelts, which we sold to the Hudson Bay Trapping Co., and for the bounty on the coyotes for which the county would pay $5 or $6. A terrible way to make money. I could not do it today for anything in the world but, it was then both needed and welcomed.

The year 1929 found us finally joining the exodus from Sugarville (Alfalfa seed later produced $100 per bushel for the few able to hang on) and we took our abode in Camarillo, CA., sixty miles from Los Angeles, seventeen miles from Ventura where we went to church and ten miles from Oxnard where sister Viola [Emma born April. 12, 1913], brother Dennis [LaVerne born April 2, 1915] and I bussed to high school. I attended 8th grade in Camarillo, a full 90% Catholic school.

I entered high school at 98 lbs and short in height. I played football in my Junior year, not much taller and only 135 lbs. I loved contact sports and lettered on the Junior Varsity team, also playing some on the Varsity despite my size or lack of it. I went to the awards banquet and received my "0" letter [for Oxnard] but since there was no way for me to get enough money to buy a sweater to put it on, I walked out and threw it in the trash can and said nothing about it to this day.

One other experience in my high school career, which may have even determined my outcome in life, had to do with mumps which I contracted early in my Freshman year. At the time I was doing good in Algebra, always being fast with figures, but after being quarantined for three weeks I returned to find myself hopelessly behind, having missed a critical part of the course. I not only lost interest in all math but study in general and while I'm still adept with figures I always shunned the Geometry, Calculus and Trigonometry subjects like the plague, whenever I could. My GPA for High School was an undistinguished low "B", accomplished however, without ever taking a book home. I was totally unmotivated.

After a year and a few short months at Ventura Junior College where we by then lived and where I was working on the side for the big grocery chain called A&P Tea Co., my father passed away on January 1st, New Year's Day, 1936. I was doing the ordering and running the grocery department for the store and immediately dropped out of school. I had just turned 19.

Serge and Jean [Vernon Gordon] were then living in Oakland, CA and were instrumental in a move by Mother, Alice [Marie born November 25, 1908] and me to Oakland. Dennis and Viola were working and remained behind. Serge introduced me around and I caught on with the California Cotton Mills of Oakland where I worked in the production efficiency end of the business. Strikes and labor unrest caused me to leave and become a salesman for the H. J. Heinz Corp., a position I held until I left for the mission field in April of 1939. Thus it was that I survived the Great Depression. I earned $16.00 per week when millions worked for $2.00 per day--with Heinz I was paid $100.00 per month plus $5.00 per week car expense. Times were tough and millions couldn't find work. It should be noted that $5.00 would buy more groceries than one could carry. So the decade of the '30s passed and the drums of war were being heard both in the Far East as well as out of Hitler's Europe.

I was called to the Danish Mission in April of 1939. We traveled by boat in those days. I arrived in Copenhagen on May 5th after being assured by two Polish newsmen who were on the same boat (we sailed on the Cunard White Star Line Ship under the British Flag "THE AQUATANIA", 6th largest afloat) that Hitler would invade Poland that fall.

I asked, "What for?"
"Grain," was the reply.
"The first week of September."

Hitler plunged the world into W.W. II the 1st day of September 1939 by beginning his "Blitzkrieg" of Poland, which hapless nation held out only three weeks. President Heber J. Grant, after a talk with Secretary of State Cordell Hull issued orders for the recall of most of the missionaries, the majority of whom passed through Copenhagen from as far north as Finland and as far south and east as Austria, France and Switzerland. I was, at that time, in the Esbjerg District on the Southwest Coast of Denmark.

Elder Joseph Fielding Smith of the Council of the Twelve was on an European trip at the time and was in Copenhagen to assist President Mark B. Garff, then Mission President, in the evacuation; although he later told me that he was of no use there and that President Garff was burdened with a mammoth job of logistics and fighting with all the steamship companies for the available fraction of space needed, what with literally thousands of people desiring passage. The President was allowed to keep one Elder in each of his seven districts to serve as District President, "to stay for a month, a year, 'till the end of the war or perhaps to never get out", as he put it. He selected me to stay as the Esbjerg District President. I had been laboring as a Missionary less than five months in a foreign language, in a foreign land. I humbly said goodbye to the other elders when they took the train to Copenhagen. I was the District President.

The assignment lasted two weeks. President Grant, again after consultations with the Secretary of State, determined that we should close the mission down and all leave. It had been left to me at the outset whether to accept or decline the call. Of course, I couldn't refuse but was very satisfied to go.

Sailing date for the last few of us was October 1, 1939 aboard one of the Matson Steamship Cost Converted Freighters, "THE SCANMAIL." We left from Copenhagen, stopped over a whole weekend in Bergen, Norway then on to New York. The U.S.A. had not yet entered the war but we still ran with huge American flags painted on each side with spotlights on them at night. We also forsook the normal shipping lanes and ran just below the Arctic Circle. In spite of this, we were alternately stopped dead in the water, first by a British Light Cruiser and then a German Submarine. After furious exchanges of blinker signals, neither of them sent boarding parties, we were allowed to proceed to New York, docking on the 16th of October.

Dennis had reached the 26˝ month point of his 30 month mission and would not be reassigned for the short time left to him. He was in the French Mission, and after some delay had come out on the Dutch Boat, "PENLAND" via Antwerp, Belgium. I had cabled him at the New York Mission to wait for me, I sent the wire from somewhere in the North Atlantic. He met my boat and Frank Evans, the President of the Eastern States Mission who was the legman stateside, told us he was swamped and to get lost for a few days. He suggested the World's Fair, then in progress, over in Flushing Meadows where Shea Stadium now sits. We took him up on his offer and went to the Fair and other places. Then, with my papers in hand, I proceeded on to Louisville, Kentucky to finish my labors in the East Central State Mission. We had stopped off for a couple more days in Washington D.C. (with full permission) and proceeded west to Cincinnati where I got off the train one night about 11 p. m. I watched Dennis and his train leave for California and I was ready to go West with him, I had completely lost the missionary spirit. After a good night sleep in Cincinnati and boarding a train southbound across the Ohio River into Kentucky I felt somewhat better. I still felt the need to ask the Mission President to send me to the roughest place in his mission, he complied. Within three months or so I had my very life threatened by a mob, led by a Baptist Minister in the Tellico Plains area of Tennessee, over against the Smokey Mountains. After Tennessee, it was North Carolina and then toward the end of my 2˝ years I was back in West Kentucky to preside as District President.

My mission was a great experience. Proselyting was slow at best. The approach was "horse and buggy" by today's standards. Hence, expectations were low although I did baptize a few people. I supervised erection of a chapel in Mays, Kentucky. I blessed them, married them and baptized them as well as burying them, some of each. I tramped and drove over half a state to find and count noses during the 1940 Church Census (slept in 31 different beds in one month). I served as a District President on two different continents.

Finally it was all over. I was given an honorable release and was no longer one the 2,800 in the field. I came home a little wiser and 30 lbs lighter. I was worn out. It was August 1941. I had served under three Mission Presidents. The last one told me to go home and get married. I did just that, 1˝ years later!!

Soon after my return I joined the Great War buildup effort then in progress. I went to work as a grinder at the Moore Dry Dock Shipyards on the Oakland Estuary. My residence was in Piedmont, in a big house shared by Viola, Dennis, their spouses and children along with Marcel [Franklin born Sept. 24, 1911] and me, mother and later Alice, when she returned from the Eastern States Mission. There was ample room for all.

December 7, 1941, "the day that shall go down in infamy" in the words of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, came the tragedy which forever changed my life and the lives of millions of others all over the world, and brought about the end of mortality for millions worldwide. I came out of Sunday School at 11 a.m. and learned that WW II had started big time. The Japanese had, by carrier planes, attacked Pearl Harbor and had either damaged or destroyed the bulk of our Pacific Fleet based there. The war had been joined.

In February I was drafted into the Army as a Private. First it was Monterey, California for evaluation and testing, then to Communications school at Mineral Wells, Texas because "you boys have smart brains." After completing that training I never heard of communications again as it applied to me.

After a time on Harbor patrol in the Los Angeles area, I applied for, was accepted by and transferred to the Air Force as a Cadet for Pilot Training. The majority of the Cadet Corps didn't hold the idea of a commission as an officer to be anywhere near as important as 'getting the pilot's wings'. It was a harrowing experience for all, a crusade if you will. It became a 24 hour a day saga of "us against them", a struggle to survive being "washed out". Every stratagem the Air Force could devise was employed to cause us to do so. It was extra hard for me to find myself in company with and competition against college graduates and me with no real math background and no degree. I trained: Pre-flight in Santa Ana, Primary at King City, Basic at Taft, and Advanced at Stockton, all in California. I applied myself. My G.P.A. for the training, including such subjects as Physics, Engineering & Meteorology, was 94.5%. I was #1 in Acrobatic Flying although I never really enjoyed Acrobatics. I became a Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant and got my Pilot's Wings at Stockton Field on the same day, July 29, 1943.

At this point in life I had been in and out of love several times, having even been "Dear Johned" while I was in the mission field. Upon my graduation from flying school I went home for a brief leave where I met the love of my life. Much could be written about it here but the simple facts are: we were introduced at church in San Francisco, CA and spoke for two minutes at most. She went home that day, called her parents [Walter Cottam Pace Sr. and Erica Mae Atkin Pace] in St. George, UT and told them she had met the man she was going to marry. Letters (lots of them) and dates later she and her mother came by train to Lakeland, Florida where she became Mrs. Ralph J. Lauper by the good offices of a Methodist minister, the Reverend Rutland. It must be pointed out here that President Heber J. Grant, fully aware of the difficulties all L.D.S. personnel would encounter in trying to get to one of the few temples in service at that time, advised us all to get married before going overseas, by the best means available to us. The date was January 11, 1944.

Jane's mother stayed 4 days. I was given 18 hours off to get married. We settled out of the Lakeland Hotel into a room on the shores of Lake Morton in the home of a fine elderly couple, Dr. and Mrs. George Getzen, and stayed there 3 weeks. Jane Pace was all mine!!

By February 17th with me and my B-17 flying fortress bomber crew deemed combat ready Jane returned to St. George to be with her family and I flew to Europe with my group, "the 463rd." Each plane, with crew and lots of mail bags, left West Palm Beach, Florida, singly, in ten minute intervals. The 1st stop Trinidad, out in the Caribbean, then below the Amazon to Fortaleza, Brazil, a jumping off spot to Dakar, French West Africa above the Gold Coast and Ivory Coast. My recollection of that flight included the memory of me with the plane on Automatic Pilot, my feet on the dashboard, munching sandwiches at 12,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean while listening via shortwave radio to dance music coming from the Peacock Court of the Mark Hopkins Hotel on Nob Hill in San Francisco.

The flight to war included Tindouf and Marrakech in West Africa, Tunis in Tunisia and finally our base at Foggia, Italy, 75 miles across the "boot" from Naples. We were assigned to fly with the 15th Air Force, a heavy bomber command. I could write a journal of war experiences alone and may do it yet one day. In the interest of brevity, facts will be observed with the drama omitted.

My wife had informed me she was pregnant so I volunteered repeatedly for missions in an effort to get through a tour of duty in order to be either dead or home by her delivery date in November.

FACTS: We mounted missions of 300 to 1,000 bombers against and including targets in upper Italy, Zagreb in Yugoslavia, Bucharest, Budapest, Vienna (factories near there), Munich, Regensberg, Ploesti oil refineries in Romania 90 miles from the Russian and Turkish border and Lyon, France (on D-Day).

I led two such raids during my tour of duty when I was leading my squadron. My squadron led the group, my group led the wing and my wing led the air force. About the same as other missions except more responsibility.

Most "sorties" were rough, having to deal with both enemy fighters and antiaircraft fire, 8,200 heavy guns at Ploesti alone. I was there, Ploesti, six times. It was the single most heavily defended target in the German Reich, Berlin was second. I didn't go to Berlin but went twice to Munich which was third on the list and home to strategic airfields and aircraft assemblage plants.

Mission damage to me included windshield or side windows shot out four or five times, flak holes---up to 100 in number nearly every mission, landing gear shot out three times, frequent loss of an engine by enemy fire, propeller shot off once, loss of oxygen and hydraulic systems were common. On one mission losing the Ball Turret Gunner, on another having the tail of the plane shot off including the tail gunner with heavy damage to both the vertical and horizontal stabilizers and rudders. Finally, I earned the purple heart on my 51st and final mission. The Germans shot up the cabin on my way home and I took a small piece of flak in my upper right arm. Jane still has it.

Midway through my tour I sandwiched in a trip to Cairo. The Colonel let me use a bomber. A full plane-load went along.

Our objectives were always strategic: i.e. to destroy oil refineries, aircraft plants, rail hubs and ball-bearing plants. We did well! Never were we turned back by enemy action and only once by the weather. Of the 150 men in my squadron (15 crews each with 10 men, four Officers and six Sergeant Gunners) only 19 men completed their tour, the remainder either were killed or shot down and captured. A very few escaped. In addition to that number, more than 19 replacements met the same fate.

After my combat experience was crammed into 51 missions in 91 days, I had a week of "R & R" on the Isle of Capri offshore from Naples, and then I was flown to Oran in North Africa to catch a troopship home, via Boston, Massachusetts. I was in St. George, UT for 28 days then wound up training bomber crews in Sioux City, Iowa. Our son, [Ralph] David was born on November 14, 1944. We had been sealed in August so he was B.I.C. and has been a source of pride to us all his life. Jane was under doctor's care because of serious complications at David's birth and wasn't released until the end of February so we became a real family on March 1, 1944.

The apartment we rented wasn't available for two days and so our good friends, Ted and Ann Peterson and baby boy Randy, invited us to stay with them. Ted was also a pilot, training bomber crews, and our two families became close because of the service plus they were also "Mormons" in real good standing.

Every Sunday night a fireside was held, most often at our place, and we service families added a great deal to the Sioux City Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

While we were living in Sioux City President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died leaving Harry S. Truman as the President of the United States. Many U.S. citizens were extremely concerned when their "Rock of Gibraltar" President was replaced by a man they thought was no more than "a stone". History has proved this thought a fallacy; he wasn't as weak as people believed he would be.

In the very same month another incident of worldly importance came with the death of Heber J. Grant, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who had been president over 26 years. He was the only president most of us had ever known.

Now that all of Europe was overcome and the Japanese were weakening the Army Air Force decided to cut back on the military personnel and announced this over the air waves one day when I was up in the skies with a student crew. "Officers who have been in combat may be released from the Army Air Force according to a point system. Points are obtained by: years in service, number of missions flown, number of battles fought, citations, and medals."

If I had been the pilot that day I would have flipped (or done a loop--"Loop" was Jane's pet name for me) because I was so excited. Upon landing I rushed immediately to headquarters to talk about the broadcast. I found I had enough points to be released immediately, one of the first hundred men. I signed the papers, then rushed home with the news without even wondering if Jane approved.

I was halfway apologetic as I blurted out my dislikes of army life: 1) Standing in line after line, 2) No matter what rank I'd attained there was someone with higher authority shouting orders at me (I never got over the fact that they called me "Mister" all through Basic Training and then "Sir" as soon as I got my wings at graduation and I had never changed one iota in all that time), 3) Boot-licking & gold-bricking (I couldn't stand it & would do neither), 4) Segregation of Officers from Enlisted Personnel (some men I enjoyed being around the most were not officers, one wore glasses and the other was color-blind and couldn't be pilots so they were enlisted men). It really was difficult for me to be told what to do. I know I'd do well with an acre of land and a plow---with no one shouting orders at me. I am happiest when I can do something for my loved ones without them expecting it.

I left the service after 41 months total. I was an expert in gunnery. I instructed pilots in instrument flying, and signed their instrument cards, as well as all other phases of flying. My "service decorations" included: The Distinguished Flying Cross with Cluster, The Purple Heart, The Air Medal with Four Oak-Leaf Clusters, The Presidential Unit Citation, The European Theater of Operations Ribbon with Three Stars---1 for the Battle of Italy, 1 for the Battle of Europe and 1 for the Battle of D-Day. So my war was over after 41 months. I had a wife and baby and no work. I was going on 29 years of age. It was June 25, 1945.

We spent five years in St. George, Utah where I operated a "home and auto supply store and service station." I then worked for the Leslie Salt Co. as their Wholesale/Industrial Salt Representative in Oakland, Bakersfield, and San Joaquin area; then the Sacramento area, after about 12 years and literally millions of tons of salt later. I was a pretty good salesman and they considered me to be their expert on the various grades of industrial salt and its uses. I finally wised up to the fact that when one can buy a 1˝ pound shaker of salt for as little as 5-8 cents on sale there will never be too many pennies left for the guy who sold it to the wholesaler. The Company probably still wonders why I quit. It was early 1963.

Our little daughter [Erica] "Rica" was born in 1957 on New Year's Eve. David was 13 and Jane was 36 and I was 41. She has been a joy to us all her life. We now had a kid in each flavor.

I sustained myself and family for a full year in a rather unorthodox way; one that may be of interest to my posterity and one or two others. It may have almost provided us with the breakthrough to the "better life", but as is often the case, "not quite."

I always had a somewhat inventive mind and had come up with several ideas for children and adult games. I set a par value of $30.00 for one percent of a game and secured backing, from various people of means, to get patent searches and then patents on most of the three dozen or so I invented over time. My main backer was John H. Huber who was later to become Stake President in Sacramento, then a Counselor in the Oakland Temple Presidency and a dear, loyal friend to this day.

I was selling futures on my inventions in blocks of 5% of a given game for $150.00 with a notarized agreement to that effect. I promised nothing beyond the fact that they stood to gain only if I was successful. They all knew this but I still had many "takers" such as doctors looking for tax shelters.

My sister-in-law Jean knew of my activities and told her nephew, Wally Gordon, to come by and see me. Wally was a real inventor-entrepreneur and had several successes under his belt, most notably the pad replacing sand in high jump and pole vault pits in use at school and other track meets. It is used world-wide to this day.

Wally dropped by, stayed overnight and we played games. He was excited and arranged an interview for me with Art Linkletter's game and toy development firm in Beverly Hills, CA. I played games for more than a half a day with Dick Miller, the Vice President of the firm. Dick, soon thereafter, came to Sacramento and in his room at the hotel we signed licensing agreements for five of my patents.

About this time the public turned toward walking and talking toys. Mr. Knabush, then the President of the firm at Linkletter, wrote me a nice letter stating that they had selected eight men with inventive minds to go in that direction, I was one of the eight. My mind doesn't run too well in the electronics so I dropped out. Meanwhile, all the big companies had seen my work. Some like them so well that in the next year or two I began to see some of my ideas appear on the market, in form just different enough to be legal. The big Parker Brothers Co., creators of Monopoly and a host of other best sellers, even invited me to consider coming to Chicago, IL to join their staff because it was more profitable for them to promote ideas created from within, although mine were very good. Who needs Chicago? Besides, why go there and work at a modest salary to enrich them?

It was the end of 1964 and David had been in the British Mission six months. My mother and father and Jane's parents, as well, had all passed away. I had been with each of them in their final minutes of mortality -- all sad but, maturing moments for me.

On January 1, 1965 I joined Lauper's Furniture which was opened in March, 1958, by Marcel and is still operating in 1991, with him as the only one of us still involved. Dennis had come into the business a couple of years earlier, replacing our brother-in-law, Joseph R. Johnson, who succumbed to a heart attack less than a year in the business.

In the 20 odd years following, we experienced highs and lows, times good and bad and all that goes with it, with lots of hard work and some ingenuity. We stayed in business and the store supported 3 families for upwards of a quarter of a century. Dennis retired about 1983. I followed in 1988.

I was retired for about a year, and then entered the security work at the huge AT&T complex in Pleasanton, California. As of this date I am still there. I am 74˝ years old and in excellent health.

As I come to the close of this account I want to restate my conviction that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ and that I have full confidence in His great plan to redeem all mankind insofar as each will accept of it. I was taught this faith and approach to the plan of salvation by wonderful parents and my testimony has strengthened through years of activity in his work…in fact, all my life.

My assignments have been many, no doubt, because mother taught us to never say "no" when a call came. The calls I received were: aside from a full time mission, a Stake Missionary in one place and Stake Mission President in another, a member of the Seventies Presidency while they existed, member of both Ward and Stake Boards of both Sunday School and M.I.A. [youth program], Ward Superintendent of both organizations more than once, as well as Stake President or Superintendent of both more than once. I have taught every class in the church except the Primary. The list includes instructor of each Quorum of both the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood and at one time or other being called as head of each Quorum of both priesthood at least once, some more than once. Also, as Executive Secretary to the Ward Bishop's council. I was also Area Superintendent of M .I.A. and took "Road Shows" to compete in Squaw Valley, CA where the Winter Olympics had just been held. I also took a Youth Chorus to Salt Lake City, UT to sing at June Conference. I was even Relief Society President at one time while on my mission in the south.

I am a master M. Man and taught Seminary in two different stakes. Calls include service on the High Council of three different stakes. My service as Bishop for 10 years (in the Dublin California ward and then San Ramon when the Dublin ward was split) was the most difficult, albeit the most rewarding of all, made possible really by my loving and faithful wife Jane who stands in a class all by herself as a wife, mother, and companion to all, and most especially to one who loves her.

While Bishop, I was able to assist in raising money (lots of it) toward the erection of the chapel in which we now meet in Dublin, as well as the erection of two stake centers and complete remodeling of another chapel. While all this was going on numerous problems of a moral or legal nature necessitated 84 Bishop's Courts to be held, resulting in the excommunication of many, including my two predecessors as well as the new Dublin bishop, due to infraction of the moral law. Many problems, especially of the young, were solved short of court action. President Spencer W. Kimball instructed the bishops to clean up the church.

During the decade of the 70's the Lord abundantly blessed Jane and I in both spiritual matters and financing the needs of the kingdom. The ward came from a morally corrupt, "Rag-Tag" and mostly inactive collection of individuals to the point where I drew the boundaries for two divisions of the ward and was honorably released with our statistical and spiritual activity matching or exceeding any ward in the area. The ward was out of debt with money in the bank. It was November 1980.

I am a life-long home teacher and continue in that capacity. I enjoy both my call as the ward High Priest Group instructor and as an ordinance worker in the Oakland Temple.

Now after three quarters of a century of living I stand amazed at the progress having been made by the Lord's universal church, with so much more to come. I am, personally, proof-positive that anyone can discover a life of worthwhile service in the Lord's work if they will but be there and accept the calls as they are made.

I will be eternally grateful to my dear wife Jane who has stood by me for over 47 years and has been my inspiration to try to do better. Even though we have never had an over-abundance of this world's goods we have always had enough!

My testimony tells me that the Lord loves us each and knows us individually. I further affirm that He is aware of all we do or even try to do to show our appreciation for that love and caring and will bless us in ways far beyond what we merit. I believe that and signify it by recommending it to anyone who desires blessings from the Lord.

This account may appear slanted in my direction or self-serving. If so, I apologize to those who read it along with a plea that some latitude be allowed anyone who is called on to write or speak of himself. I would much rather boast about my family and am quite good at it.

As Mormon said, "Farewell."

The date is April 26, 1991.

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