Life History of Viola Lauper Johnson
What convinced you most in your choice of a spouse?
I met him in the right place - in Church. His smile and manner was so engaging. His thoughtfulness of me, his regard for his mother and family were easily recognized, and his persistent pursuit was undeniable. He was totally selfless and generous.
He picked me out of the Dimond Ward Choir in Oakland, California, and never let me go. He was so good, kind, and thoughtful toward me, and very patient. We were both very poor with low paying jobs (and I needed to help support my family). Our romance lasted 3 years before marriage.
[additional notes from 2005]
A most historical event occurred one Sunday when Joseph Johnson was visiting his cousin Etta Mower. He was doing work in the coastal towns of Northern California when he decided to spend the weekend with Etta and attend her Dimond Ward in Oakland Stake. I was singing in the choir. Etta ws asked if she knew "that girl". We enjoyed a long and interesting friendship and courtship but neither had enough revenue ahead for serious matters.
Write a want ad describing your spouse.
"Good front-man, cheerful, personable, very positive in all ways. Self-motivated, sold on his product (whatever it was), people-oriented, easily met and relaxed with crowds. Lifetime experience in meeting people. A BORN SALESMAN!"
Tell about a special date you had.
I'll not forget my very first date with my Joe, who became my husband. We went to a movie "Lost Horizon", which I've always remembered. I also can picture the dress I wore. It was navy blue with white polka dots, and trimmed with an abundance of small white buttons.
Describe your wedding day.
To begin the story, both Joe and I lived in Oakland, California. There was no temple in that state; the nearest being in Salt Lake City. We prepared to drive there, leaving very early in the morning after I had been up most of the night completing my sewing. Car sickness was a usual with me, and I did experience some very distressing hours as we jogged along over the desert. After I, with my mother, and an overnight rest with Aunt Alice Phillips in Lehi, Utah, my Joe came to pick me up. We obtained our license for marriage and attended to other details. By evening, we went to a resort called Saratoga, a few miles out from Lehi City, yet in Utah county. Cousins Marie and Warren Goates were managing it for the summer months, so were living there. All of us were invited and WENT for a hot dog supper over bonfire, and into the swimming pool for play and cooling off. Can you believe, as a bride-to-be, I spent the night before on such a frolic??
By next morning, it was early tripping into Salt Lake to the temple. I was unendowed. The whole procedure took all day. By the time we were sealed, my head was throbbing, but it was unquestionably a wonderful and solemn experience. I'll never forget the beauty of my mother (her eyes especially) as I looked at her over that altar. She was watching intently and with emotion. Aunt Alice Phillips was there also, and Joe's sister Hazel with husband Cecil Bullock. There was also a little aged man whom I saw and met for the first time that day. He was an uncle to mother on her Wissing line, one of the few who stayed valiant in the faith after the stalwart Wissing parents passed away. This uncle was a regular worker in the temple that day.
Out in the sunshine and air, I was able to gather strength, and we proceeded to cousin Arlene & David Adamson's home for a meal where a few others of the Phillips family had gathered. After a few hours there, we proceeded to Hotel Utah were we spent our first night together. By morning, there were a few congratulatory telegrams from my family and some friends - and a bouquet of roses from my new husband.
How old were you and your husband when you were married? How old were your parents? What is a good age for marriage?
I was born in April, 1913, and my husband in May of 1909. We were wed in June, 1940, so we were 27 and 31 respectively. Father was born 1869 and mother in 1881. They were married in October, 1900. 12 years age difference, almost between my parents, but Mother was very mature. Perhaps a bit closer in age would be my preference.
As for me and mine, I feel the ages and age differences were an OK factor. I cannot see that the age subject is the largest item to be considered. One of my suggestive phrases is: "I think a person should get married ONLY when not being able to keep from it."
Tell about first meeting your in-laws.
I never met my father-in-law because he passed away about 1929. I met Mother Johnson only once. She visited my Joe here in the Bay Area before we were even engaged. I found her to be a sweet, caring mother, and our brief meeting was very pleasant in every way. During our brief stay in Utah, following our marriage in June 1940, my husband took me into Utah county, his birthplace and homeland. Mother Johnson had now been buried for almost 2 years; but I met a large number of his family - brothers, sisters, children galore, aunts, uncles - many of whom I never saw again. They were all fine people - my kind of family - I had a great time. I carried on friendships with several of the brothers, sisters and their families. Now in late 1999, none of the first generation of that large family are living. Joe's youngest sister, Hazel, and her husband came to live in San Francisco during their early marriage, so I consequently was more closely acquainted with her and enjoyed that friendship for years. Sadly, her death in 1977 was very premature, as was her brother's, my Joe, in 1963.
The passing of husband Joe [additional memories added in 2005]
In the late summer of 1963, when we were off to Russian River for the "usual". [See Vacations] It turned out to be not usual, but tragic. Daddee Joe showed less then good feelings for a portion of the morning. He went to lie on the camp bed to listen to the radio broadcast of the ball game, but then motioned to me that he was Sick. Within 35 minutes he had succumbed to a heart attack, and he passed without telling me what was happening, really. The shock was TERRIBLE. A doctor arrived and could do nothing. Some firemen had already given professional first aid, but alas it was too awful and quick for help. We packed up and left him there, sorrowfully. A funeral service was held in Sunset Ward Chapel, with burial at Oakmont Memorial Park across the Bay in Lafayette, California. [Brother Dennis had convinced family members less than a year previous to buy plots in this new cemetery, which at the time was truly in the "middle of nowhere".]
Describe your first home or apartment on your own.
Following our marriage on June 25, 1940, and until after our Linda was born in August of 1941, we rented an apartment on Cannon Avenue in the Dimond District of Oakland, California. The location and the apartment were very nice; however, the access to the place was not the best --a long spread of steps up a high hill to the front entrance, so it was necessary to drive into an alley and approach the rear entrance for more convenience. Moreover, the neighbors were "picky" and non-congenial. Our first house was a newly-constructed home that we found upon moving to Chicago. It was part of an area built up with the influx of many people coming there to work in the defense establishments during the war. The first home that we bought, and which became our very own, was located at 3030 Noriega St., San Francisco, where I still reside after 50+ years. As a family, we have not made a great number of moves during our marriage, nor since. I've always felt it a great achievement to own at least one home, and to have at least one husband. It has been my exerted choice to remain a widow for the past 35 years. I still feel married to my Joe.
What was the first piece of furniture that you purchased?
At the time of my marriage, brother Marc had been introduced to my former bosses at Breuners and was hired as Appraiser and Buyer for the Used Furniture Dept. Marc had previous experience from his years working with a furniture firm in Ventura. He was able to notify us of furniture pieces that he was able to pick up and which would go on sale in Breuner's Bargain Basement. We secured our bed (which I'm still using), a chest, and a sofa by this means as we set up our first home. Various other pieces were picked up as time went by. I think our first new purchase was a small kitchen table with 2 simple chairs. Upon arrival in Chicago, we bought our first rug piece, a better sofa, some drapes, and had some scenes framed which Marc had brought to me from his mission in Denmark.
Tell about any special friends you had as a young adult or young married.
During high school, in Utah, it was Bessie Gledhill and later Marian Robinson. I held a friendship with Marian until her death during the late 1980's. After [moving to] California, I finished high school in Oxnard, California, and my best friend was Helen Borchard. She belonged to a very affluent family, which separated our closeness; yet, we held some friendship throughout; and when I entered Woodbury University in Los Angeles, I was surprised to find that Helen had chosen to attend there as well. I still correspond with her slightly. She lives in Woodland, California. My closest buddy while there in LA was Wilma Greenstreet/Garard. Our backgrounds were wide apart, as with Helen, but we shared much companionship during those struggling, difficult times. Insofar as I know, Wilma is still living in Glendale, California, but I have lost contact with her. She played a harp! Upon coming to the Bay Area and during the years previous to marriage and after, my closest friend was Vera Harper Weindorf. We continued our relationship for many years until her passing during the early 1980's at which time she was living in Riverton, Utah. [See also: Friends across the Years]
Tell about the birth of your first child, then about each of the others.
Linda Luv, our first child (my first born) was a miracle in so many ways. Becoming a mother for the first time is a miracle in itself. There are so many unknowns made real to a new mother. No words can describe the feeling of emotion which enveloped me as this small, new person was laid in my arms. Despite a very difficult delivery (a breach, with cord wrapped around her neck and such complications), she was perfect and even at first sight was beautiful with a sweet little rose-bud mouth. We named her Linda, a Spanish word for 'beautiful'. She was acclaimed just that by everyone.
In between Linda's birth and the arrival of our 2nd child, there were a couple of miscarriages.
Putting aside all complications, our second child and second daughter, JoAnn, arrived with lesser delivery incidents, although post-partum complications followed with me. BUT, JoAnn was a perfect darling from the start, taking a second place to no one. I was thrilled with this little curly blond person, such an opposite from her dark-eyed, dark-haired older sister. While Linda had been a true Daddy's girl, JoAnn moved right into her rightful spot in each of her parent's hearts. What a precious baby she was, and the same kind of little girl as she 'moved over' at 16 months to allow for a baby brother to join our family. JoAnn was so young and tender, but so understanding of her place to wait to be waited upon as her brother was cared for. I had to be nursed as a bed patient for weeks following little JR's birth, so JoAnn took much comfort from her Grandmother Lauper, contributing much to my peace of mind. What a dear!
Our first, and only son, JR's arrival brought exceeding joy into our family. And what a fine specimen he was. He was further satisfactory in requiring and receiving the least infant care of the 3. I was incapacitated, and he cooperated. He ate heartily and regularly, slept in more moderation and stayed free of minor ails. Linda, in a big sisterly way, handled herself rather well for a 9+ year old, little JoAnn cooperated as best she could in toilet training, etc. JR made the least demands, and so our little family of children got under way, developing into the three lovable, caring, generous, and wonderful people they are today. How proud their father would be to know and associate with them, and to have enjoyed them through the years. Ah.......
Tell about dreams, expectations, and hopes for your children.
For the most part, my dreams are fulfilled in my children as of now. I am so proud of each, and so thankful for their lives - for their devotion and support toward me. I truly enjoy my children and am always so happy to be with them - so happy to have them come home and reluctant to have them leave. In 1999, as of now, I am equally thankful for their spouses who have added much support, love, and pleasure to my life. I am proud of them and thankful for their love and support to my children.
I must add that I have always held a dream that I would, one day, read in the Church News that my JR had been called to, appointed to, or acknowledged in some way regarding service in our church. I love his name and desire to see it in print as honor to his name and his heritage. His is a strong and noble name with much background. I pray for him every day that he will live up to his name and honor it in a spiritual way as well as in his lifestyle and community living.
Tell about each of your children - names, characteristics, differences, problems, joys, sorrows, accomplishments, etc.
I've already dealt much with descriptions and facts concerning my wonderfully dear children, but certainly I can write more about each of them.
Our first blessed event was so welcomed by her parents, her maternal grandmother Emma Lauper (with whom Linda 'bonded' totally), and doting uncles, who insisted on being part of her young life. And then, her Auntie (Alice Brown) who was as caring and giving and attached to Linda as if she was her own. She was a pleasant infant, an adorable little girl, and a delightful young person. She introduced and brought back to my life the world of young people. She was cute with dark hair and dark eyes. She was popular, having many friends and a fun, full social life. She was an apt student, diligent in homework and earned positions of honor among her student peers.
Although the pursuit of piano lessons did not come easy for either of us, she cooperated with me sufficiently so that we struggled to continue the practice, as well as my personal struggle to provide the fees for costs of lessons and materials. Her talents were recognized when she was asked to accompany both vocal and orchestral groups in both junior and high school.
She also became the Sunday School organist as a teen, as well as the ward choir accompanist. She played as well as spoke (being Valedictorian) at her high school graduation, having already participated in the National Music Education Conference at Salt Lake City. Furthermore, she was blessed with a fine vocal talent, having taken part in choral singing throughout her school days, into college and to this day.
During high school, Linda worked part time as a sales clerk at Woolworth's in downtown SF, and upon entering the university, she was able to find work with the Church Institute Director using her secretarial skills. Linda left Lincoln High School with a full scholarship award to the University of California at Berkeley, where she attended classes until her marriage to David Peterson. All her life, she has served in church callings - in all leadership capacities, and most times doing double-duty, for her organist or music directing talents were always being put to use.
She is a willing servant, and I've never known her to refuse to help in small or major ways. She is a most considerate neighbor, a loving sister and wonderful daughter. My heart swells with pride when I think of her accepting a full-time mission call to serve in Buenos Aires, Argentina, along with her husband David for one and one-half years. She was the only one of her family without knowledge of the Spanish language, so she buckled-in and LEARNED. What a difficult challenge! She and David are ideal missionaries, the most proficient and dedicated couple to answer that call that I know of. They know the program well, they dig in, and never waste a moment. Upon return from Argentina, they continued to use their Spanish while serving as full-time stake missionaries in a Spanish ward in Oxnard, California, for a year. At time of this writing, they have accepted another call to serve one and one-half years in Chile. This is somewhat bittersweet. Linda loves her home so much and regrets leaving it, along with the close relationship she shares and enjoys with her 4 wonderful children. They are David Jr., Lanae and Steven Hooper with children Drew, Clayton, and Maryn to date; Elisa and Kurt Kennedy with Linda's first grandchild, Rachel, and brothers Christian and Tanner; and the fourth is Douglas-all of them a mother's real pride and joy!JoAnn
Our second precious bundle from Heaven was a delightful little sister to our first born. She was a true dumpling, blonde tendrils, fair skin and blue eyes, an opposite to Linda's looks, and a little beauty on her own. Grandma Lauper had been a pushover for Linda and anything she chose UNTIL her meeting with this tender new lil' girlie. We called her Luvie from the start and so she was and is. JoAnn's delivery was not as precarious as was my first experience, but the after-delivery was grim. Within a few days, it became apparent that my darling JoAnn was stricken with full-bore eczema. What a trial. For months, we toiled with this allergy, suffering lots of miseries. The fact is, several years were required for her to build an immunity against skin irritations. Insect bites, stings, weeds, poison oak, et al were a real disaster. Withal, little Joannie remained reasonable in temperament, and necessarily so inasmuch as her brother, our next child, arrived only 16 months after her birth. I, myself, was frail in health following brother JR's delivery, and I recall my frantic feeling toward coping with 2 babies at one time in my weakened condition. My baby daughter took some of the brunt of this feeling for I straightway made a most serious project of toilet training little JoAnn by the time she was 2 years of age. This was a tough one, but with persistence and patience on my part, and extreme cooperation on hers, we accomplished it; and how we both cried with delight over the event.
With the let-up of the terrible eczema, JoAnn's skin was beautiful, her blonde hair hung in soft ringlets, and her dear blue eyes have forever been an outstanding feature. JoAnn did well in her classes at school, studying hard to achieve, and achieve she DID on several occasions, receiving recognition in classes along the way and at graduation time from both junior and high school. She followed along in studying piano and made excellent presentations at her recitals. Although many aspects of school life were in contrast to her likes, she conformed, followed the rules, and did well.
Her father, my Dear Joe, was stricken with a sudden and fatal heart attack before JoAnn reached her fifteenth birthday. She was forced to grow up fast. I was totally scared with the prospect of being on my own to support a household and 2 young teenagers; and felt an immediate urgency to go into the work place. Linda was now married, mother of a 1-year-old and living in Berkeley, California. JR was 13 and-a-half years, and the situation now existed that these 2 young people were on their own during my work day. They couldn't be real friends, it appeared, so decided it best to be enemies (almost). This statement simply implies it was a tough place for each of us. JoAnn did her best to take and fulfill orders that I gave, and she tried being a little mother, which didn't always work. When I was at home, she was most thoughtful of me in exceeding her time and strengths to help me in so many ways. When I was involved in some of the chores and projects, she served as, almost a third hand to me. How I appreciated the help, but I know she sacrificed too much for me.
JoAnn served in the ward and stake in whatever was asked of her; also lent her talents to choirs, as well as doing accompanist work on the piano whenever called upon. Latter-day Saint friends in the ward were becoming fewer although JoAnn was part of a circle of friends, girls and young men, and always part of a social group. She dated regularly, but, by the time she finished high school, was more steady with John Storheim who was home from the Y, convalescing following a serious auto accident.
During the summer, she found adequate employment with the Federal Naturalization Office, a better-paying and more steady job that of sales work with H. Liebes, a fine ladies clothing store. The store job had occupied whatever time she could spare during after school and weekends during the latter high school days. She was able to help toward her own clothing items. When school season commenced again, she entered City College, having received a scholarship to pay fees. She supplemented this money by getting a job in one of the school offices, continuing to work there until she married the next year and left for Provo, where John was to finish at BYU. There, she too, entered college class work at the Y, having obtained a job with one of the professors on campus, and she valiantly pursued her new careers until further support of her husband's schooling required her to end her classes.
To continue an account of JoAnn's next 11 years of marriage is much too painful and would require more sordid description of stories of deceit and betrayal than I can endure at this writing. Suffice it to say that our JoAnn felt she was striving toward an eternal relationship, eventual happiness, and a solid family. There were 4 darling sons born to this couple during that time: Johnnie, Erik, Matthew & Steven. Before Steven was born, his father, John, had already 'gone over the edge' into adultery and was living with secret sin. His other life was disclosed when Steven was just 1 year old; and within 2 years, he and JoAnn were divorced.
JoAnn's recovery from this devastation was not rapid nor complete for many years; but she did rally--mustering strengths she never before knew she possessed. Although she had to receive assistance from her family then, and at subsequent times, JoAnn displayed a blue-blooded, Spartan-like attribute that has served her well. She has marched through one crisis after another; and although being towed under by some severe challenges on occasion, she has put her Faith and Trust in our Heavenly Father to a test, and has survived MUCH. On the whole, her 4 sons have been her main focus. She has managed to keep their confidences, their friendship, their love, and a real bond to her heart.
JoAnn has 'grown' in many ways. She is not the same person she was 21 years ago when she became a single mother of 4 sons. She returned to class work at the University of Utah - along with a part-time job there. After obtaining her degree there, she has been in the work place in full force, achieving status in defiance of the odds; and has supported her sons and household despite her husband's delinquency in that regard.
Through all this, JoAnn has grown into a beautiful specimen of womanhood. She is attractive, stylish, smart, savvy, a quick learner, an able conversationalist, up-to-date, articulate, with a particular talent for teaching and speaking. She has a world of good friends, is a fine neighbor, a loving sister, a tender daughter and wonderful mother. She has answered every call in church service for the past many years and serves well.
In the spring of 1998, she embarked upon a new road of happiness following her marriage to Paul Miner, a father of 4 who had lost his wife to cancer. Together, they have melded their 8 children into a happy family. JoAnn is a respected lady, and I am proud of her. As I say of each of my 3 children: "they are easy to love".
My One and Only son, JR
He was christened Joseph Richards Johnson, the same name as that of his father, which is almost a title in that the second name is a family name of my husband's grandmother. All in all, I consider it a very honorable name and love it. I always pray that my son will feel likewise and honor it. My pregnancy with JR, as well as the delivery, was difficult (still in my memory); but his arrival was pure joy. How pleased and proud we were to receive a boy baby, a son! And he was a good baby, necessarily so, inasmuch as I was not well, and was a long time in recuperating, necessitating the help of a nurse by day to assist us. Further, his nearest in age sibling was only 16 months old, so I had 2 babies!! This cute cherub, a fine healthy son, ate well, slept well, and performed well.
He suffered with only minor afflictions until a toddler when some mischief prevailed. He suffered a serious burn to his hands when he touched a very hot oven during pastry baking; he also received an even more serious burn to his mouth when he crawled under a bed to pull an extension apart with his MOUTH! A choking spell brought on by a 'sneaked' peanut was a real scare until I was able to perform a successful maneuver on him. In the patio one day, he picked up a morsel of poison snail bait to taste. An harried and hurried trip to an emergency station in Golden Gate Park ensued where they whisked the little guy out of my arms, took him behind a screen where I heard his screams while they painfully pumped his stomach. An all-night vigil was necessary for he slept so soundly after that ordeal, I felt he had stopped breathing. Such curiosity did my little man have. Notwithstanding, this youngster brought much happiness to our family. He was agreeable, engaging with strangers and pleasing in his conformance to our requests.
Loss of JR's father at a sensitive time in his life (he was approaching the teen years) brought a change in his personality somewhat, and a slight loss of control; but growing up in SF, and in a ward without active contemporaries was not easy. JR was not afforded much (actually very little) scouting experience, and no Young Men's associations, having never been part of such organization. He followed through on his Aaronic Priesthood duties, mostly alone, but was not truly happy nor comfortable. I am certain that I missed many unrecognized opportunities to help him and to do better in my 'only-parent' role; but I was too much occupied with my concerns and worries as to how to proceed and keep the ship afloat.
JR did try to do his part in securing parttime jobs while still in high school and during his time while at City College; and at length, through the help of a letter of recommendation written by Forrest Greene, a family friend, he was able to enter BYU. I would want him to describe his experiences there, but I did tell, sadly, that some of his relationships were misdirected and non-productive. JR struggled with the educational system there; and tried hard to find his place. I felt his struggle and admire his efforts. Feeling that the fees were too costly for me to meet, he finally ended his career there and returned to the Bay Area to seek a job.
He was approached about a mission, which he declined at the outset, but reconsidered after a time. In my opinion, family tradition, honor and respect played a part in his change of mind. Whatever, my dear son accepted the call and served honorably for 2 years. Again, only he can describe his difficulties, but I know for sure that he truly tried and accomplished much, albeit under unusual circumstances at various times. At the outset, his Mission President was a very impersonal brother and never really got to know JR, spending very little time with him and his companions. He was a 'numbers' president. I respect him for his efforts and little realize his difficulties, but I never did feel that he served my son fairly or completely. At the change of presidency, JR was under the care of a very different individual, and it showed in his correspondence with me. My wish is that he would revive a relationship with this fine leader, President George Durant. He loved the missionary system, the Gospel, and my son.
Upon JR's release, he took up work and lived at home until he was accepted by United Airlines for employment. His bases took him to Chicago, DC and other eastern cities where the company he kept, the hours he worked, and atmosphere of his environment does not appear to have been conducive to his activity and connection with the Church. I recognize this fine son as a good person, a loving and respectful son (and beloved ever more than he half realizes by his mother).
His marriage to our lovely Susan has brought more joy into the family. She makes us all look better and be better than we are; and she is every bit of that for JR. How I wish and pray that he would not longer procrastinate the important steps necessary to bring himself and his Susan into Church activity and service. I pray daily for him to receive of Heavenly Father's spirit to help him have the desire, the courage, the incentive to do it now. These are important, and earthly ordinances that are necessary. I write all this from my heart, feeling inadequate to express my strong urges to my son personally; but I never give up hope. My love for him has never waned; indeed, it grows, if such is possible for my One and Only.
JR has a keen mind and a retentive one. He is quickly able to discuss almost any subject that comes up, and can share facts and information of genuine interest on ever so many subjects. JR is an insatiable reader, with analytical abilities. Although he pursues a great deal of nonsense in his conversation, here is a savvy individual who can hold his own in every conversation. He has a strong love of music and regrets his lack of continuity to follow the piano practice. He possesses a wealth of music recordings of all kinds. His interests spread wide in those areas.
JR has done well with his life, his work, and his maintenance of a household and family. Sadly, this couple were never blessed with children (an intimate heartache), but they have been soooo generous with surrogate nephews. They have had, and still are involved with, 3 young men who lived in their home and who have benefitted by their support in every way. It is JR's and Sue's method of paying back to society the good that has come to them. They have a most beautiful home in Denver among fine neighbors and dear friends; and are good citizens making a good contribution to their community. This fine couple are ever so generous to me and their sisters and children. I love having them come to spend whatever time they can spare. They are most generous in their sharing and giving and contribute much happiness to all family gatherings. I would pray tonight that my son really knows of my abundant love for him.
Tell about your grandchildren.
Ah, a very favorite subject! I have at this moment (May 1999), EIGHT GRANDCHILDREN and EIGHT GREAT-GRANDCHILDREN (within a couple of weeks another Storheim great-grandchild will arrive). And I here state, they are ALL GREAT and GRAND.
My first born is Dave, and I have dubbed him FBOTG (first born of the grandchildren). He is a wonderful and charming man - and at this point, is my house mate. I do have concerns about him and a continual prayer for him to be happy and fulfilled, including the desire and direction toward an eternal marriage. Even so, I cannot feel that somehow this most worthy young man will not be denied Exaltation albeit he is yet unmarried. He is a great comfort and protector to me as I reside here alone. Dave, has become dedicated to the research of family history and records. He, being ever so talented in so many ways, is totally proficient in computerese, so he is chief in Family History as the name is designed.
Next, chronologically, is Lanae. She is a sweetheart, a wonderful mature, thoughtful, talented and delightful young mother of 4 children with a fine husband. She is a fun person to visit or chat with I admire and love her muchly.
Elisa is such a dear little individual - such a hard worker - an intense, dedicated, loving, thoughtful, and every inch a mother of her little brood. She is very self-sacrificing. I often am somewhat concerned over her giving of herself so much and pray always for her happiness. She works exceptionally hard toward happiness of others. Both of these girls are talented in music, languages, the gospel et al.
Next grandchild comes from a different branch than the 3 preceding him. He is Johnny (I nickname all my kiddies, and his is Johnny Cake or John C). I have had much to do with him and his brothers in that I was needed in their home when they were small, their mother having to return to her University studies. He is a very dear soul, intense and thoughtful, and like each of the eight - all very family-oriented. Both Dave (the FB) and this Johnny have had much responsibility, early in their years, maturing them early, and imparting to them very caring natures. John appears to have a dedication toward helping others. I look for him to become a country doctor. His wife (little granddaughter Paige) speaks very well of him as a husband.
For #5 we switch back to the Peterson group for Douglas (Dougie Doo, CK [Cereal Kid], and many other appellations). He is the baby in the Peterson family of 4 children and dearly needed in that group. He is very mellow, easy to like, easy to get along with; and I particularly enjoy a relationship which involves our combined love of sports. His interest is active as well as passive in most all sports. He is also a student of the Gospel, a fine missionary ( as they all are). Doug trained to be a Seminary teacher. I do hope he will study further to attain a larger degree and be able to fulfill his dream toward the teaching profession.
#6 grandchild takes us back to the Storheim brothers. He is Erik. A most lovable individual; his love of sports is unimaginable and he, too, is good at it. I find myself wishing and praying that he would give up Rugby football for good. I fear he will get his head broken. He also is probably the most apt student of his family of brothers, and I pray that he will be accepted in the very competitive professional schools as he desires. He continues to be the least tidy in his keeping up his room, but ALL of my grandchildren are ever so tidy in personal appearance ALWAYS, and make wonderful appearances at all times. Erik is sweet and thoughtful toward his mom and to me. He is, at this time, having a serious struggle trying to help rehabilitate his father - a very sad burden.
Next is Matthew "Darlin" (a pet name I gave him since his little boy soccer days. I overheard his coach saying; "Go for it darlin' "). He is such an outgoing, friendly guy with his peers and intimate family; but most reserved in a large family gathering or other grouping. Each of the others seem more social; and yet it is Matthew who always had more close friends, and was part (still) of such a large group of friends. Here again, I find him to be such a thoughtful grandson and also a helper to his mother. He is very handy in the kitchen and with housework, as is true of all the grandsons (Doug, least of all). His dear wife Ashli "D" is another granddaughter.
Steven is #8 of the grandchildren. I call him my Lauper child. He is family-oriented in that he shows such a big interest in ancestors, family history - the stories that is. Steven is a totally lovable character, but he has experienced some dark days during his young life, and has had courage, conviction, and love of family to bring his life to align with traditional life with his family. His life is a miracle in itself, having gone through a serious accident as well as a delinquent period during his high school days. I have abundant admiration for this dear young man, and wish I could help him refrain from being so hard on himself. He is totally social and talented in meeting with anyone anywhere, working the crowd, chatting comfortably, etc.
ALL OF THESE WONDERFUL PEOPLE WHO ARE MY POSTERITY ARE DEARLY LOVED BY ME. I AM SO VERY PROUD OF THEM AND THEIR LITTLE FAMILIES. I HOLD GREAT FAITH IN EACH AND FOR THEM. I WOULD DO ANYTHING HUMANLY POSSIBLE FOR EACH AND ALL.
What are your child-rearing philosophies?
I feel humble in this. Be as consistent as at all possible. Be Fair, Be THERE! Let children see and believe affection between parents; Listen to your child; Live the Gospel and teach it to your child. Wrap everything in ABUNDANT and CONSTANT LOVE.
Tell about births, deaths, blessings, funerals, and how they are observed in your family
Births have always been considered a BLESSED EVENT in our families, even though accompanied by agonizing waits, scary events, sometimes hardships and grave concerns, and always much 'LABOR'. As a family, we have great faith in and have appreciated wonderful benefits from BLESSINGS. We believe in them, use them, and abide by them. To part with our loves ones has always been and always will be a shattering experience. Were it not for our LDS teachings, our gospel principles and Faith, it would be unbearable. But we look toward the hereafter. Having been involved in several lingering illnesses among my siblings, I must add: there are far worse things than death. Personally, I dislike funerals. I tend to thing they are rather barbaric - also that they appear to be "command performances".
Have you had Family Reunions?
You bet we have! Family reunions of the Emile/Emma Lauper families have been held annually since 1969. Happily, I have been able to be a part of all 31 of these. WONDERFUL!!