History: David William Rowley

DAVID (David Alcorn Rowley) – I can remember that David was a cute little baby, too, as we took he and Grace (Grace Harriet Rowley) to church. He was so full of life, even from the first. Someone told me when David was small that if I could channel that energy of his into the right things I would sure have a real go-getter.

David was my real helper on the farm. He loved to work with the horses and cows and did his chores willingly and well. He seemed to love the fields and everything about the farm. For his sake I often wished that we had not left the farm. We had to move because of Grant’s (Grant Alcorn Rowley) health. When we moved to the city, David seemed like a fish out of water and couldn’t seem to find his place there. Something went wrong with our relationship too. I couldn’t give him the money he needed and he couldn’t find work to earn it

The older children will remember David as a wonderful dancer. When he and his partner would start to really dance the other couples would leave the floor and they, along with everyone else, would watch David. Lillian (Lillian Alcorn) and I were very proud of him.

There was such sorrow and such a void when he was killed. I hope that when I get to the other side I can sit down with David and ask his forgiveness and get to know him better.

To be continued…


History: David William Rowley

LILLIAN (Lillian Alcorn) – She was a fine woman in so many ways. She was an excellent cook and used to fix us such good meals. She could keep a good house, too. She had a gift for sewing and could make clothes look really well. One winter she made nice shirts for all the boys and me, too. She made most if the clothes for the children (Grace Harriet, David Alcorn, Douglas Alcorn, Ralph Alcorn, Clayton Alcorn, Marjorie Ann, Hugh Alcorn, Sharon Lee and Grant Alcorn Rowley).

My Lillian was a complex person. Some people have said she was a perfectionist and perfectionists are not always easy to live with. I know that I did not always understand her and we did not always get along. I know that sometimes I provoked her and caused her to be frustrated with me. She had had a hard life what with losing her mother (Harriet Ann Weaver) and having a lot of the care of her younger brothers (Lenard Clark, William Vernon, Marvin Ballard, Joseph Lorenzo, Archie Harold, and Jesse Verl Alcorn) and sister (Melva Alcorn) and her thinking was influenced by that way of life.

She has a wonderful voice. I could be in the farthest place away in the field and she could raise her voice and make me hear. They used to tease her and say something about her winning a pig calling contest. It had been so long that I can’t remember the details or just how it was. I heard Grant tell Linda (Linda Roskelley) that when he heard his mother’s voice yelling for him to run when he was playing baseball that it practically lifted him off the ground. She had a good singing voice, too. She sang humorous songs sometimes. I have been trying to remember the names of some of them, but I can’t.

I want my children to know that I still love their mother and want to be with her again. I hope that I can be a good husband to both of my wives (Lillian and Estella Cordelia Tidwell) and that we can live in love and harmony on the other side and work out our eternal lives together.

To be continued…

History: David William Rowley


I feel that I have passed over and failed to say some things I should have said. I want to pay a tribute to my first wife, Lillian (Lillian Alcorn), the mother of my children (Grace Harriet, David Alcorn, Douglas Alcorn, Ralph Alcorn, Clayton Alcorn, Marjorie Ann, Hugh Alcorn, Sharon Lee and Grant Alcorn Rowley), and I want to tell our children how much I appreciate and love them.

To be continued…

History: David William Rowley

We enjoyed seeing the little grass shack where Robert Louis Steveson wrote many of his stories and the good meal that we ate in the nice café that is near it. We were fascinated with the blow hole where the ocean water comes up through an opening under a ledge. The water spout builds up higher and higher, kind of like a geyser. I was really taken with the large panels in the memorial building in the military cemetery because it showed the islands and described the battles that took place there during the 2nd World War. If I could have spent more time there I would have gotten a much better understanding of what took place then.

He showed us some of the other places they had lived and told us of things they had done. Of course we saw some of the famous beaches and the hotels that begin at $100 per day, but we thought that the beach right by Grant’s (Grant Alcorn Rowley) home was better because it wasn’t crowded with people.

Friday the 26th of January I fixed Linda’s (Linda Roskelley) clothesline and Estella (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) hung clothes out to dry. They have their washer and dryer outside behind the house. They have no way to heat their home and no air conditioning. They don’t need it as the sea breeze keeps it cool most of the year. That day Grandma and I spent quite a bit of time on the beach and wading in the ocean. The water was nice and warm.

We both enjoyed going to Sunday School and Sacrament Meeting with them in their very modest meeting house. It was a joy to hear those Polynesian saints sing and hearing their Chinese members give the main talks. It was great to see how all cultures love each other and get along. They were a very kind and loving people. This experience was a fitting way to bring our visit to a close. After we had eaten a good dinner they took us to the airport. It was about 35 or 40 miles from their home. They bought us lovely Hawaiian leis made of island flowers and kissed us goodbye. Richard (Richard K. Rowley) cried a little when we left.

The flight back was uneventful as a lot of it was in the dark. We were disgusted with the middle aged women next to us when they got as drunk as could be and still stand up. We were very grateful that George and Geneal had driven the 50 miles to meet our plane and take us safely back to their place. Estella was sick the next day, from the jet lag I guess. It didn’t seem to bother her when we went over. We couldn’t do much while there because it rained so hard.

We were glad to take the bus and be on our way back to Utah and then home, after a few days visit with the family and sometime in the temple.

To be continued…

History: David William Rowley

We landed but couldn’t see anything of Grant (Grant Alcorn Rowley). After a while we found each other. Richard (Richard K. Rowley) was with him. Grant took him everywhere he went except to work. Grant showed us sugar cane and pineapple fields and other things on the way home.

I could make this a very lengthy account, but I know that most people aren’t too interested in a description of what other people have seen so we will make up a packet of this trip and the trip back east for those who are interested.

They were so proud of their new little Annaleesa (Annaleesa Rowley), their little Korean daughter. We loved and cuddled her, too. Linda (Linda Roskelley) fixed some good meals for us and they insisted on us using their bedroom. We enjoyed watching the surf from the living room window and it was just a small walk down to the white sand beach. We loved to go down there. The water was so warm and nice.

The next day was Estella’s (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) birthday and they had sure planned a wonderful time for us. She will never forget that she spent her 70th birthday in the Polynesian Cultural Center and that we were treated like we were VIP’s. We were provided with our own Polynesian guide, a friend of Grant’s, named Toy Lei. He was just wonderful. He drove our private little car and showed us all the things to see. He stayed with us the whole day and went ahead at the Polynesian cafeteria style dinner so when he took a large helping of something that looked good I did too. Estella told Grant that I had eaten all that raw fish he said, “Why, Dad, we haven’t even got so we can eat that!” Our day was complete when we it ended with their two long hour show in the open theater. It depicted their culture from all Polynesia in song and dance. My, how they can sing and dance! Hey are all students going to the college there. The church can surely be proud of what they have done here. I was enthralled by the fire dance and so many things.

Toy Lei had let Grant know what our seat numbers were and so he came for us when the show was over. He had told us that morning that we would have to pay half price on account of him working for the church, but it turned out that we didn’t have to pay anything at all because they think so much of Grant, I guess.

When we got back to the house the kids had made Estella a birthday cake. They gave her a gift too. She said that this was the most wonderful birthday she had ever had.

We spent Tuesday and Thursday evenings in their beautiful little temple. We really appreciated the privilege of being there. Part of Tuesday we took care of Annalessa while Linda took care of her duties as Relief Society Secretary and did some shopping.

Wednesday was the day Grant took off and he and Richard, Estella and I spent the whole day together. We toured the whole island of Oahu and he showed us so many things. I will tell about a few. First, we went to Pearl Harbor and took a boat out to see the ships that were sunk that day. Another thing that really surprised us was Diamond Head. We had seen it on TV and in pictures, but until Grant took us through a tunnel and we found ourselves on the inside of it, we didn’t know that it was an old volcano. We also discovered that there is a small military post inside of Diamond Head.

To be continued…

History: David William Rowley

Estella’s (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) grandson, Michael Johnson, had been preparing for his mission for a long time. He was my home teaching companion and we had such good time going together. He was also working with the full time missionaries and had brought some of his friends into the church. The time was coming near and then he got his call to go to Ecuador, South America. He got to bless his little two-week old sister the day we had his farewell. He is the oldest and she was the ninth child. He said, “I just realized that she will be talking up a storm when I get to see her again.”

Mike invited us to go to the temple with him when he would get his endowments so we rode with Harold (Harold Norman Johnson), Myrna Jean (Myrna Jean Johnson), Mike and the new baby, to Provo. We went through the temple with him on 12 November 1968. We bid him goodbye because he was going into the mission home the next morning. I have never seen a finer young man and I love him very much just as I do my own. Margie (Marjorie Ann Rowley came and took us back to her place.

We stayed a few days and I was fortunate enough to see my grandson, Kurt Rowley (Kurtis Wayne Rowley), in the temple. He was in the Missionary Training Center, too, preparing for a mission to Germany.

After doing some more temple work, we came home and had a quiet Thanksgiving and Christmas. Then Grant (Grant Alcorn Rowley) invited us to come to Hawaii for a visit, so we were thinking about that as the old year closed

Of course first important business for the year 1979 was getting ready for our trip to Hawaii. After exchanging letters and calls with Grant we were all set. Since we had to buy a ticket to Los Angeles before we could fly over, we decided to get the most for our money and visit old friends and relatives in the way. We left our home two weeks early and after just one night at Margie’s we went to St. George where we spent four days with Estella’s oldest friend. I had gotten to be friends with her and her husband, too. We had a grand time there. She took us to see Brigham Young’s home and the home of Jacob Hamblin.

We went from there to Hacienda Heights in California where we spent a few days with Geneal (Geneal Rose Johnson) and her family. The oldest son had just learned to drive and was glad to take us anywhere we needed to go. George and Geneal took us to the great big airport, saw that everything was all right and in order and then bought us some breakfast. They saw us safely aboard our huge plane. It was the 21 January 1979.

There were 252 passengers aboard and a large crew. We were real pleased with our seats next to the window. Looking down the ocean was so blue, but after a while we could see nothing but fleecy white clouds with pockets of blue. Every time the little door opened we would see the pilot. We had a Polynesian type salad and we liked it. The steak was tough, so I got to Estella’s too.

When we were approaching Hawaii, after about 5 hours, the pilot was pointing out the things of interest and mentioned a rainbow. We looked out and there was a rainbow lying flat in a perfect semicircle, just above those fleecy white clouds below us. I couldn’t believe it and if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed it.

To be continued…

History: David William Rowley

1978 – We had been having quite mild weather in Mountain Home and we were busy and happy. We heard from Grant (Grant Alcorn Rowley) that they were going to be in Utah in the first part of March. They had adopted a son, Richard (Richard K. Rowley), the summer of 1977. Of course we wanted to see them. When Bekki (Bekkie Jo McKnight) was going down to be sealed in the temple, we went along and after the sealing we visited and did temple work until it was time for Grant to come home. When he did we had a grand reunion when the whole family got together in Salt Lake for a lovely dinner. Grant had come to the mainland for training in his new job as purchasing agent for BYU Hawaii Campus. Estella (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) took quilt tops down on this trip for Lori (Lillian Lorraine Smith) and Pamela (Pamela Rowley). She had given Dwana (Dwana Kay Rowley) one before.

This was a year of sadness for us. We decided to go to Utah again in April to help with Leo’s (Hyrum Leo Tidwell) care. We stayed a week and I helped quite a bit because I could lift Leo in and out of bed. He couldn’t visit much, but seemed glad to have us there.

When we got back to Orem, Margie (Marjorie Ann Rowley) was so kind in taking us to the temple. We got a quite a few endowments done and on our way home we did some more in the Ogden Temple with Brother and Sister McMurray.

In May we heard that Verda (Verda May Rowley) had been in the hospital with a heart attack, but was much better. Leo was still about the same so on the 2nd of June we went to New Plymouth and Nampa. We saw Bekki and her family and the rest of Virginia’s children (Cory, Bekki and Tammy McKnight). We were having such a good visit with our friends in New Plymouth when Clayton (Clayton Alcorn Rowley) located us through Harold (Harold Norman Johnson) and told us that Verda had another attack and wasn’t expected to live. We came right home and I went to Utah that night on the train. It was very comfortable. I was taken to the hospital but Verda didn’t know anyone. Estella had stayed home, but got a call from her sister saying that Leo had died so she came down on the bus and we both went to Wellington to the funeral. He was buried on the 8th of June. There were many relatives there that Estella was glad to see.

We returned to Orem and Verda died on the 9th of June, the same day that President Spencer W. Kimball told the world that he had received a revelation that the black men and all other worthy men of the church could now hold the Priesthood. A glorious day that we had all been looking forward to.

Our dear sweet Verda was laid to rest on 12 June 1978 in Spanish Fork, Utah. The service was very good and everything went well. Verda and I had always been special to each other and I miss her so much. I console myself that at my age, it won’t be so very long before we will see each other again. At least I know that she is with her loved ones in the Celestial world where those spirits wait because she was am angel on this earth.

We came home and kept ourselves busy. We had a large garden and liked to give it to whomever could use it. I was put in as Priesthood Librarian and we were both chosen to be the greeters for Sunday School. Estella has been the substitute teacher in Relief Society.

To be continued…