History: David William Rowley

They settled into their new home and it was good to have them there. They invited us over for Easter Sunday and a lovely dinner. I always tried to keep things in repair for Grace (Grace Harriet Rowley) as much as possible. I also tried to help her with the children (Cheryl Jeanette, Donna Diane, Ronald Steven and Lillian Lorraine Smith) but I couldn’t seem to, not as much as I would like to have done, anyway.

In July of that year I had to go back to the hospital. Grace’s little girl, Lori, was in there at the same time with a kidney operation. We visited with each other, I had an infection that kept me from going back to work for quite a while, so we took a trip out to Myton, Utah and stayed with Stella’s (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) friends, Howard and Virginia Roberts. They took us to the dinosaur museum and to where they were digging the bones out of the mountain. It surely was interesting. We also took an interesting trip over to Flaming Gorge with them.

In the early part of October, Hugh (Hugh Alcorn Rowley) and Gail (Gail Jensen) came for a short visit. It was nice having little Carol (Carol Annette Rowley) in our home. They were good enough to make room for Estella to go back with them so she could see California and have a visit with her daughter, Geneal (Geneal Rose Johnson). She was able to get the two couples together for one day, anyway. It has always been our wish that our two families could get to know each other.

On 14 November 1964, the War Department called and said that Grace’s husband (Donald Eugene Smith) had been killed and they thought her father should be with her when she heard the news. Estella came and got me at work. Grace was all broken up, of course. If I remember it right a bomb had exploded under the jeep Don and another soldier were riding in.

The family was informed and all of my children were here shortly. It happened that Ralph (Ralph Alcorn Rowley) had a vacation coming, but it was hard for Hugh (Hugh Alcorn Rowley) to make another trip to Utah. The funeral was held in the Bountiful 18th ward and Don was laid to rest in the cemetery there. All of Don’s family was there except his old grandmother. Everyone was so good to Grace and the children. She decided that she wanted to go to California and spend Christmas with Don’s folks. Hubert (Hubert Tidwell) left to spend the winter in Arizona and Estella and I went to Nampa because Bob and his family were there for the holidays.

In February 1965 we received word that Leonard Alcorn (Leonard Clark Alcorn) had died. Also Grant (Grant Alcorn Rowley) called and told us that he was going to be sent to Vietnam and we wanted to see him before he went, so we went to California in Grace’s car. Gay Alcorn (Wendall Gay Alcorn) went with us and did a lot of the driving. He was sure good company.

The funeral for Leonard was held in El Monte. Being there and seeing and visiting with all of them brought back so many memories. Hearing Opal (Opal M. Rowley) sing at the funeral was good, too. We went places with Grant and we visited Hugh and Gail and George and Geneal. Hugh took us out to Burbank where we visited and exchanged some genealogical information with my cousin (on my mother’s side), Frankie Liddell Hill (Frankie Edra Liddell). It was a nice trip.

Estella’s daughter, Virginia (Virginia Fern Johnson) had a baby boy in May of 1965. Then Stella went out to California again to be with Geneal when she had her second baby. It was a boy.

To be continued…


History: David William Rowley

We stayed at the Driftwood Motel that night. The next day I took Estella (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) to meet some of my old friends and then we went out to the home of a cousin of mother’s, Sara Jane Killian (Sarah Jane Coles). I had known her when I was young. She seemed very glad to see me and invited up to stay with her. The next day I took Estella over to see my old girlfriend, Virginia. We had gone together for a long time when I lived there, before we moved to Montana. While I was talking to Virginia, Stella got to talking to her husband and found that he was a brother to one of her best friends in Nampa. This was the way it was several times – maybe I would go to see a second cousin and she would find she was related to the husband, or vice versa.

 I only had a few days off from work so we started back to Bountiful. We got as far as Tremonton that night. We stayed with Opal Cutler (Opal M. Rowley), my niece, and her family. Opal and Stella liked each other right off and we enjoyed our short visit. The next day we went on to Bountiful and took up our married life. We were very happy.

A few weeks after we were married my cousin Ralph Rowley, the cousin that was so close when we were boys, and his wife, Donna, came out from Salt Lake City to see us. They were our first dinner guests. They have been out good friends ever since. Stella thought we looked enough alike to be brothers.

Grant (Grant Alcorn Rowley) had enlisted in the Marines just before we were married. He had to leave for his basic training soon after. Hugh (Hugh Alcorn Rowley) had finished his six months in the Army and was back home. He got a job in Salt Lake, but was living at home. He said that it was sure good to hear his Dad laugh again. After a while he got a place to live in Salt Lake.

Stella’s brother, Hubert (Hubert Tidwell) came to see us for a visit and stayed on. He was quite a bit of help, but we would rather have been by ourselves. Of course the home was my children’s and they were always welcome.

The first year we were married many relatives came to see us, including several of Lillian’s (Lillian Alcorn) relatives – we thought that was really nice. One day the doorbell rang and Stella went to answer it. A man grabbed her and gave her a great big smack (kiss) – it turned out to be Bert Murphy (Bert Lund Murphy), of course. He had Verda (Verda May Rowley) stay in the car. They both came in stayed for a few days’ visit. Stella said she wished it had been her sister or someone else who answered the door so the joke would have been on Bert.

On our first anniversary we had been in Salt Lake and I had planned to take my wife out to dinner, but when we got home we found Leonard (Leonard Clark Alcorn), Lillian’s brother, had dropped in for a visit.

Oh yes, the first year we were married was memorable because of the birth of some more grandchildren. On 17 September 1962 Stella’s daughter, Geneal (Geneal Rose Johnson) gave birth to a baby boy. They named him Mark Redd. Stella went down to Orem to be with Geneal for a few days. This made her 7th grandchild.

To be continued…

History: David William Rowley

Luella (Luella Jones) invited Stella (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) down to her house for a visit and to meet me. Stella recognized my form as the man she had seen in her dreams, and she had the feeling that she had known me forever, that we had walked hand in hand together, somewhere. She told me later that it was as though her spirit gave a big sigh of contentment – as though it had finally come home after a long absence. I had a strong feeling for her, too, but I was still going with Marie (who had just left on a two week vacation – how’s that for timing?). I went to the Temple and prayed about it and the spirit confirmed that Estella was the woman I should marry.

I took Sister Johnson, as I was still calling her, down to Margie’s (Marjorie Ann Rowley) for Sunday dinner and to introduce Stella to them. Stella liked them very much. After this we saw each other every night for a week. Then I asked her to marry me and she said yea. We went to see my Bishop and while we were there, Estella asked us to give her a blessing. I touched the top of her head with the consecrated oil and asked the Lord to heal her of her afflictions from the top of her head to the soles of her feet. Then Bishop Jack Bangeter gave her a wonderful blessing. Joseph Cutler and Brother Call were counselors and helped, too. Estella has told me that as soon as I asked the Lord to heal her she felt that healing power go all through her. She had a very painful kidney condition that she had been too shy to tell me about, but from that day to this she has been free of it. She didn’t even have to get any more medication; her condition was chronic before this.

I went up on the bus with Estella to meet her children who were living in Idaho and to break the news to them. We also met with her Bishopric and received their blessing. They were happy that she had met a good man to marry. Her children seemed to be happy also, even though their mother hadn’t been a widow for very long. When I got ready to come home I missed the bus at Nampa and Harold (Leonard Clark Alcorn) raced as fast as he could and we caught it at Mountain Home just as it was ready to pull out. I got home about midnight.

We were going to be married in September, but found that the Idaho Falls Temple would be closed all month so we met in Idaho Falls on 30 August 1962, with our sons, Hugh Rowley (Hugh Alcorn Rowley) and Harold Johnson (Harold Norman Johnson) acting as witnesses. Estella’s sister Lavern (Lavern Ellen Tidwell) and her daughter-in-law Myrna Jean and her cousin Ida Mae and my daughter and son-in-law Marge and Dwain Judkins (Dwain Eugene Judkins) were with us. My son, Grant, (Grant Alcorn Rowley) was of real service because he took care of Marge and Dwain’s children (David Lenn, Deon Eugene, Dwana Kay and Myron Dwain Judkins). After the ceremony, Dwana came and gave her new grandmother a kiss. Margie told us to treasure that because she gave those kisses very sparingly, (two found this to be true). She was almost five years old.

Dwain and Margie had arranged a wedding dinner for us. We had a private room in a nice restaurant. Marge’s children and Harold and Myrna Jean sang for us. We took a few pictures and then the others left for their homes.

To be continued…

History: David William Rowley

A few days before Lillian (Lillian Alcorn)died she had said, “I don’t think we have many friends in Bountiful.” I told her she might be surprised. At her funeral we had one of the biggest crowds I have ever seen. Relatives and friends came from Montana, California, Idaho and so many from different parts of Utah as well as Bountiful itself.

One of the hardest things we had to do was to tell Hugh (Hugh Alcorn Rowley) who was in Argentina on his mission. We were in a quandary as to what to do, how to tell him his mother had passed away. We contacted the Church Missionary Department and they suggested that we get in touch with Hugh’s Mission President and let him tell Hugh so he could be sure our missionary was not alone when he heard the news. This is what we did and after Hugh found out he called home. It was good to hear his voice and to be able to reassure him that things were going to be alright.

It didn’t seem too bad at first for so many relatives and friends had come for the service and I had so many visitors that it kept me busy. Margie (Marjorie Ann Rowley) stayed with me for a week or two with her children (David Lenn, Deon Eugene and Dwana Kay Judkins), then my brother Emerson (Emerson Adis Rowley) came from Eureka, California and stayed for a while. We slept together and talked. The neighbors and everyone was so good. They visited me often and brought meals in, etc.

It seemed for a while that things were going pretty good, but it wasn’t long before I got very lonely. I really missed Hugh. He was just about halfway through with his mission and I know that it was really hard on him to lose his mother and not be able to come home for her funeral. Clayton (Clayton Alcorn Rowley) was working long hours and Grant (Grant Alcorn Rowley) was going to school and working at a part time job so I never got to see much of either of my two sons living at home.

It wasn’t long until I was sent to work out at Dugway, near Tooele, Utah. I could only come home on weekends. Then it seemed like I spent all my time trying to clean up the house and fix something decent to eat. The boys were mostly gone and I did not feel like I had anything to come home for. It was a lonely time! But then I do remember that Marjorie and Dwain (Dwain Eugene Judkins) brought whole meals, already cooked, to share with us. They would stay the night and let me enjoy the children. They did this for a long time and they helped me out in every way they could.

Looking back from today (January 1977) I have some to realize that the experience of losing a loved one is a spiritual experience. After time has eased the pain and the loneliness, you find that your soul has been enlarged because of the love and help extend to you. And because you have grown closer to your Heavenly Father, you want more than ever to help others. Yes, this life is one of service to others, or it surely should be at least. Our goal should be to do as much good as we possibly can. But my, how the time does slip away and it is gone before you know it. You become old and can’t do many things you could have done when you were younger. So do what you can every day while you are young. Make good use of your time while you can. Live the gospel in its fullest. There is a day of judgment and a day of darkness when you cannot do anything. If we let that day come and we haven’t done all we could, we will be miserable instead of happy.

My life brightened up when I heard of the birth of little Kristine (Kristine Rowley), Ralph (Ralph Alcorn Rowley) and Aleene’s (Aleene Sumsion) first girl, born 29 March 1960. She has been brightening up my life ever since, whenever I have seen her and had the privilege of being around her.

To be continued…

History: David William Rowley

Grace (Grace Harriet Rowley) and her family had returned to the United States in December 1959 and we were hoping they would be with us for the holidays, especially Christmas but they couldn’t make it. Lillian (Lillian Alcorn) worked very hard preparing for Christmas and cooking the dinner. The Christmas gathering was at our place that year and it was lovely. Lillian’s brother Harold (Archie Harold Alcorn) and his wife Mary (Mary Gregory Askins) were with us, too.

On 2 January 1960 Lillian had baked cookies and was sewing on an apron when we decided to go into Salt Lake to see Doug (Douglas Alcorn Rowley) and Vonna’s (Vonna Ensign) new baby, Pamela (Pamela Rowley) who was a month old. Clayton (Clayton Alcorn Rowley) had gone out for the afternoon and Grant (Grant Alcorn Rowley) came with us. It was a very cold day and when we got there Doug was working on a flat tire. I stayed with him and Lillian climbed the stairs to their apartment. Pretty soon Douglas said, “Let’s go up, too.” When we got up there we found Lillian lying on the floor. We called Dr. Taylor and the fire department. They couldn’t help. The doctor said she was dead before she hit the floor. Apparently what had happened was that when she got to the top of the stairs and into the apartment she was quite pale, but didn’t seem to be in any trouble. She stepped into the bathroom and it hit her. Vonna heard a thump against the door and she called out, but after no answer she opened the door and Lillian just laid out on the floor. She had fallen against the door in a sitting position with her back against the door. As it opened, she just laid back onto the floor at Vonna’s feet.

She had seen herself lying there, thirty years before in a dream. Lillian had seen herself climbing a long flight of stairs, then she had seen herself looking down at her body and could see loved ones and others trying to revive her.

Lillian had told us that when she died she wanted to be laid beside her mother (Harriet Ann Weaver) so after her funeral on 5 January 1960 she was buried next to her mother in the little cemetery near Penrose and Thatcher, Utah, where she had lived as a child. Her resting place daces the hills she used to climb and ride horses on as a youngster.

Her death came so suddenly and with such a shock. She hadn’t seemed to be ill for a long time. Of course, she had a bad heart attack when we lived in Eureka, California, but she had rested and taken really good care of herself. She had been told that her heart was completely healed. She did get upset over things easily and I suppose this was hard on her. Lillian was a very good person, but she took things too seriously sometimes and got uptight about many things. This might have had something to do with her fatal attack.

Lillian’s funeral was in the Bountiful 3rd Ward chapel and was conducted by our Bishop Norman E. Bowen. The main speaker was Lowell Thomson from Provo who was a very dear friend of ours from Eureka, California. He gave a very fine talk and told about the family and gave some very good tributes to Lillian and the family. Bishop Bowen also gave some lovely tributes to the family and our beloved wife and mother. Bishop Arthur Sperry of the Salt Lake 4th Ward, Temple View Stake also spoke. He had some nice things to say about Lillian and the rest of our family. My niece, Opal Cutler sang, “Beyond the Sunset” and It affected me very much. I remember that song also affected Douglas very much. It was so hard on the children to lose their mother. It was especially hard on the ones who weren’t married because they didn’t have anyone to share their grief.

To be continued…

History: David William Rowley

Ralph (Ralph Alcorn Rowley) had gone back to BYU and was active in the R.O.T.C. He became the student Commander of the BYU group. He met a young woman there that he thought a lot of. We liked her very much, too. Her name was Aleene Sumsion. She was from the state of Washington and after she graduated from BYU in June of 1957, she went home to work for the summer. Ralph spent some time there during the summer, also.

Ralph and Aleene decided to get married in the fall and set their date as 21 August 1957. Douglas (Douglas Alcorn Rowley) and Vonna (Vonna Ensign) had been married just 11 months before. Ralph and Aleene chose the Salt Lake Temple. Most of the family was at the ceremony and the reception that followed. Aleene taught school while Ralph finished his last year at BYU.

In the fall two more grandchildren were born. Marjorie (Marjorie Ann Rowley) added a little girl named Dwana Kay Judkins – 186, born 26 September 1957. Vonna had her first baby, a boy, born 4 November 1957 whom they named William Douglas Rowley – 164. They were both hale and healthy.

Clayton (Clayton Alcorn Rowley) came home from his mission in June of 1958. He had the unusual experience of being called to the California North Mission, the area we had just moved from. He had some wonderful experiences to tell us about. He had left from the Salt Lake 4th Ward and when he returned we were living in the Bountiful 3rd.

Ralph and Aleene had their first baby on 21 May 1958. It was a boy they named Kurtis Wayne Rowley. Ralph was sure glad to be the father of a son.

I was still in construction work but with the fall my job ran out. Dwain’s Dwain Eugene Judkins) father (Leonard Newell Judkins) offered me a job working for him in Orem, Utah. Sometimes Lillian (Lillian Alcorn) and the boys (Hugh Alcorn and Grant Alcorn Rowley) came down on weekends and sometimes I went home to Bountiful for the weekend. I stayed with Dwain and Margie. I surely enjoyed their little children (David Lenn, Deon Eugene and Dwana Judkins). We all spent Christmas with them in Orem. Just before this, however, Vonna gave birth to her second son, Scott Calvin Rowley, who was born 19 December 1958. This made us 10 grandchildren.

Following are excerpts from a letter I wrote to my brother, Francis (Hugh Francis Rowley, after a trip to Idaho:

“I don’t know if Verda (Verda May Rowley) has contacted you since we went back to Montana or not, but we had quite a trip when we went up to Aunt Mary’s (Mary Ann Jones) funeral.

“We went up to Rigby that night. Verda stayed with Virginia, my old girlfriend. The rest of us went to a hotel. The next morning I walked around town, but there were not many places I would have recognized after all these years. I was sure glad to see my old Sunday School teacher, Ralph Hoggan, who got me started reading the Book of Mormon,

“We contacted the Calls and Jesse and Frank and their wives went with us up to the old dry farm where we used to work and play together as children. We went in two cars and drove up through Ririe. A few of the old places were still there. When we reached the Bingham dry farm I saw they had it all under irrigation from pumping wells. It was all green with a beautiful crop of potatoes.

To be continued…

History: David William Rowley

Now both of our girls (Grace Harriet and Marjorie Ann Rowley) were married, two sons (Douglas Alcorn and Ralph Alcorn Rowley) were in the armed services and one was on a mission (Clayton Alcorn Rowley), so that left just two boys (Hugh Alcorn and Grant Alcorn Rowley) at home. Margie had done a big share of the work since her mother (Lillian Alcorn) had the heart attack, now Hugh took over. He was really a good cook. He had always been very good with Grant and was always so cheerful and good to help. He and his mother seemed to be very close at this time, also.

In the fall of 1954 Grace and Don (Donald Eugene Smith) came back from Germany. She was expecting another baby soon, so she and the two girls (Cheryl Jeanette and Donna Diane Smith) stayed with us while Don went on to his duty station. On 7 November 1954, she gave birth to a baby boy, they were very happy to have a son for they had lost their first one. They named him Ronald Steven Smith.

Margie was also expecting a baby and on 7 March 1955 her son David Lenn was born. Lillian wet to Utah to be with her. She was gone for quite a while, almost a month. When she came back she told me she wanted to move to Utah. She had been born and raised in Utah and many of her relatives were there. We both had a desire to do temple work and genealogical research. I wanted to wait until I could get a decent price for our place in Eureka, but both Lillian and Hugh pressed me so hard, they were impatient to move, that I sold in a hurry and probably didn’t get as much as I should have had for it. We put most of our furniture in storage and lost some of it due to a flood before I was able to come back for it.

We lived in Provo for a while and I worked on the BYU campus maintenance crew. Then we decided to move to Salt Lake City. We located a house to rent. It was in the Salt Lake City 4th Ward in the Temple View Stake. We found we needed our furniture so Hugh and I went back for it at that time.

I was put in as one of the seven Presidents of the Seventies there and worked in genealogy. We tried to go to the Temple every week. We also did all the research we could. We made some very good friends there in the Temple View Stake and especially in the 4th ward.

On Christmas day, 1955 all the family except Grace was home. Clayton had been discharged from the Army; Douglas was on leave from the Air Force, and Ralph had received an honorable release from his mission. Dwain (Dwain Eugene Judkins) and Margie came up and we had a lovely Christmas.

While at home on leave, Douglas met a young woman in the ward by the name of Vonna Ensign. He was quite taken with her. When he was discharged from the Air Force in March 1956, he again started dating her. Vonna was very good for Douglas and they made a fine couple.

To be continued…