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…


History: David William Rowley

By 1977 we were settled in our new place in Mountain Home and we liked our ward and our next door neighbors. We were making friends and we had a bonus we hadn’t counted on. This was a temple going ward and we were asked and went about once a month and sometimes twice. The Harmon’s were the first to take us, but others have also.

In February 1977 we went to Nampa to Bekki’s (Bekki Jo McKnight) wedding. She married a convert to the church. Their bishop advised them to get married and go to the temple later. Estella had a dream that showed her that Pat Elordi was a very special spirit before she had seen him. We had the pleasure of going with them to the temple in Salt Lake a year later. We also saw their beautiful baby girl sealed to them. She was two and a half months old.

In March we went on a sad journey to Utah because Erma Rowley (Erma Thornton), my brother’s (Hugh Francis Rowley) wife, died 24 March 1977 in Richfield. There were a lot of relatives there and it was good to see them again. The service was very nice and we stayed for a while to visit with my family.

A day we had looked forward to for a long time came on 4 June 1977 when Estella’s son Archie Johnson was sealed to us. Harold (Harold Norman Johnson) and Virginia (Virginia Fern Johnson) had been sealed previously. We went to the Idaho Falls Temple with a Stake High Priest Group from Boise. Estella and I were the witness couple that day.

We went to Utah with Brother McMurray from our ward in July. We had a nice visit with Grace (Grace Harriet Rowley) and with Lori (Lillian Lorraine Smith) and her husband (Nelson Earl Lunt). We spent the 24th of July with Clayton (Clayton Alcorn Rowley) and his family and went to the celebration with them. We did temple work in Provo as we had done before. Some friends that we had known in New Plymouth asked us to go to the Idaho Falls Temple when they were sealed. This was a very nice occasion.

Since we could ride down with the McMurray’s any time we needed to we decided to go to Utah again in November. I knew that Francis was having an operation and we wanted to go see Estella’s folks in Wellington. We took a bus on over there and when we got there Leo (Hyrum Leo Tidwell) was outside spading up his garden even though he was almost 85 years old. He seemed to have very good health, but it wasn’t long before we learned that he had leukemia.

There was a scare about Francis, too. He had another knee operation but also had a spell with his heart. We visited him in the hospital and he was soon much better. We stayed for a while with Bert (Bert Lund Murphy) and Verda (Verda May Rowley) and Walter (Walter Illith Rowley) and Lois (Lois Evelyn Chapman) and went to the temple with all of them. Verda was so lacking in strength that she went through in a wheel chair. We had marveled at her fortitude before, ever since her stroke, and had thought that she had ought to spare herself as much as possible. I am sure she went places when she wasn’t really able.

We heard that Hugh (Hugh Alcorn Rowley) and Gail (Gail Jensen) had been blessed with another daughter born 30 December 1977. They sure pleased me when they named her Sharon, a name I have loved since I lost my precious little Sharon when she was four months old.

To be continued…

History: David William Rowley

A few weeks later we took another Temple trip with our dear friends, the DeGraws and another 75 year old sister. We ate on picnic tables and had such a good time. We filled long days in the Temple, staying there three days again. Estella’s (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) back didn’t bother her at all.

We went to Utah again in November and went to the library to get copies of things that Estella needed. She was making up Books of Remembrance for her children for Christmas. Margie (Marjorie Ann Judkins) had just recently had surgery for Gall Bladder and was not fully recovered from it yet so we stayed in Spanish Fork with Bert (Bert Lund Murphy) and Verda (Verda May Rowley). Estella spent most of the time working on sheets for her books. She also went to Wellington to see her brothers and sister. When we got back to Margie’s she was so go to help Estella with typing and in taking us to have enough copies made. Making the books took a lot of work and quite a bit of money, but we hope that in years to some they will become precious beyond price.

We went to Richfield with Bert and Verda and Lois (Lois Evelyn Chapman) and saw Francis (Hugh Francis Rowley) and Erma (Erma Thornton) in the little house they had bought there. We could see that Opal (Opal M. Rowley) was so glad to have her folks living there. Opal’s oldest son was married and living there, too so it made it nice for all. It makes me happy when I can be with my brothers and sisters and it makes me very happy when any of my loved ones are happy. Of course what makes us the happiest is living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We stayed in Utah for Thanksgiving and most of December. Just before we left for home we heard that Clayton (Clayton Alcorn Rowley) was the father of another daughter (Shawna Lee Rowley).

In 1975 Virginia’s (Virginia Fern Johnson) daughter, Bekki Jo (Bekkie Jo McKnight) graduated from Nampa High and we were so proud to know that she was going to Ricks College. We were also hearing good things about our other grandchildren.

We had the opportunity to go to the temple many times, both in Idaho Falls and in Utah. These are some of my best memories.

I was going over to the Spa in Boise with a friend to see if it would make my knees feel better. In the spring he had his hip operated on and later had the other one done. He hadn’t been able to walk unassisted for years and had been in pain all that time. Now he felt so good and was walking again so I went to his doctor and had him look at my knees.

We went on a short trip to Utah with our good friends, Bert and Margaret Ashby. They had children in Orem, too.

We took a weekend trip up to the place in Oregon with Harold (Harold Norman Johnson) and Myrna Jean (Myrna Jean Johnson) and the family. It was our last because we sold the trailer back to the Tidwell’s and turned the land back, also. We did bring some wood home, however.

Estella had been having a lot of trouble with her back again, but she had found a new doctor in Payette who was helping her and I was driving her over there several times a week.

To be continued…

History: David William Rowley

We had to wait in Saulte Saint Marie for quite a while before we could take the bus back to the United States. They had some interesting ship locks there. We also noticed that everyone was smoking, even the children and the grandmothers. This smoking business in the bus depots and busses was the worst thing about our trip. It bothered Estella (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) especially.

We arrived back in Green Bay as prearranged and Gail (Gail Jensen) came to the bus depot and got us. We had to rest up again, but we went to church with them and did a few more things. We were sorry to leave them but we were well along in our second month and had to be going. We extended our tickets while we were in Washington D.C.

Next we headed for Montana and we enjoyed the nice new bus and the very good freeway, the best we had seen since we left home, except for the toll roads. One thing surprised us and that was the greenness and lushness of the landscape in the east.

After taking a smaller bus and going over some long winding roads we arrived in Kalispell, Montana. We were very tired again, but also very glad to see Francis (Hugh Francis Rowley) and Erma (Erma Thornton) again. They fed us and gave us a good bed. We enjoyed being with them as we always did. Francis had his place up for sale and they were going to move to Richfield, Utah where Opal (Opal M. Rowley) was living.

From here we went to Havre where Bert (Bert Lund Murphy) took us out to have a good dinner. Verda (Verda May Rowley) seemed to feel a little better and was still so willing to do everything she could to make everyone happy. Estella had been having a lot of pain in her back so Verda took her to her doctor for some treatments. We stayed with Marvin (Marvin Ballard Alcorn) and June Alcorn (Hilma June Bruan) and he took us on his mail route, I saw Montana country I had never seen before. He also took us over to Fort Benton where I visited with my old friend Elmer Hulse, who was bedfast. We had a nice day.

Now we must get home, so we took the bus on the last leg of our trip. We called up Cheryl (Cheryl Jeanette Smith) in Spokane, Washington and had a visit on the phone. The year before they came by and stayed with us and then took us to Utah with them. Mike (Robert Michael Owens) and Cheryl have always been good to us.

We were surprised when the bus driver took us right to our door. We had left it on 16 June 1973 and entered it again on 14 August. The old place looked good to us, but we lived that trip many times in retrospect and we always enjoy the memories.

We made a trip or two to the Idaho Falls Temple with our Bishop before the year was over and we spent two weeks in October up at our mountain retreat in Oregon. I worked hard putting skirting in the trailer. The weather was perfect and we enjoyed being there.

It seemed like 1974 went by so fast. I remember a few things that year, though. Grace (Grace Harriet Rowley) came up in the spring on her way to Washington. We took her over to Homedale to see Noland (Noland Thornton Rowley) and his family. Her visit was short but sweet.

To be continued…

History: David William Rowley

When George (George Redd) and Geneal (Geneal Rose Johnson) came for a visit the whole family went to Cascade Lake for an outing. I found it very interesting to watch the squirrels gather their nuts for winter. They would cut the small cones out of the trees and let them fall to the ground then they would scamper down and gather them up and take them to their holes. We went up once when Timmy (Timmy Redd) was little and he had to be watched closely because he would walk right into the water up over his head!

In September 1971 Grant (Grant Alcorn Rowley) called and then he came up to see us clear from California. He wanted me to give him a father’s blessing which I was happy to do. He went to church with us and I was so proud to present him to my friends. Before long he wrote and said he had found the girl he was going to marry. We were so happy for him.

In October 1971 Terry (Terrel Johnson) was blessed with a little sister. Harold (Harold Norman Johnson) and Myrna Jean (Myrna Jean Johnson) named her Melody. She turned out to be a lovely and vivacious little miss.

Word came from Grant again – he said him and Linda Roskelley were going to be married in November and they wanted is to be there. So we drove to California in our Cadillac and it was very enjoyable. Grant and Linda met us and we immediately fell in love with the girl that Grant had chosen. They took us to Linda’s grandparents place and we were made very comfortable. This was in Roseville, California.

My birthday that year was very special because Grant and Linda were married in the Oakland Temple on that day, 24 November 1971. How privileged we were to be with them on that day and in that place.

Before we came home we went over to Eureka to see Emerson (Emerson Adis Rowley) and Walter (Walter Illith Rowley) and their wives (Sarah Marie Alderson and Lois Evelyn Chapman – respectively). We were treated royally there and really enjoyed our visit with them. It was almost the middle of December when we started home and the weather was bad. We got into some trouble that could have cost us our lives but both times, by the providence of the Lord and the kindness of some very real wonderful strangers, we came out all right. We were very grateful for His care and help in getting home safely.

We had a quiet Christmas with Harold’s family and there was snow on the ground for a change. Estella (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) was happy to hold and to love the lovely new granddaughter, Melody.

In the summer of 1972 we went down to Utah for a very wonderful family reunion just for my father’s descendants. Margie (Marjorie Ann Rowley) got the use of the chapel we used to take care of and being there brought good memories. We had such good food and such loving and visiting with our loved ones. All of my brothers (Hugh Francis, Emerson, and Walter Rowley) and my dear sister (Verda May Rowley were there and we had some really good pictures taken. I have a copy of the five of us in my bedroom and it is good to look at our smiling faces and to see Verda’s), so sweet and lovely as she always was.

This is the year we raised the garden with our dear friends and enjoyed discussing the Doctrine and Covenants, especially with them. We liked everyday we spent with them. We brought Ralph (Ralph Alcorn Rowley) and the children (Kurtis Wayne, Kristine, Lorrain, Janiel and Lynn Sumsion Rowley) out to see us after they had finished summer classes at BYU. It was a blessing to have them here and to have my granddaughter Janiel want me to baptize her. It was a joy to me. She was a special little sweetheart.

To be continued…

History: David William Rowley

Before we leave 1966 I want to tell you about an experience of mine that happened back in October. There was a big harvest moon out one evening when I got to go on my first airplane ride. Estella’s (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) friend Virginia Roberts, had a nephew living in Salt Lake who flew planes. One evening he took us to Provo, landing the plane and then flew back. On the way back, when we were flying over the mountains he let me take the controls for a while. It was really a thrill and that big moon looked closer to earth than we had ever seen it before. It appeared, suddenly, just above the turn of the mountain, as we were going down.

Things went pretty smoothly in our lives for a while, then in October 1967 Chad (Chad Layne McKnight) called us and said that Virginia (Virginia Fern Johnson) had a brain tumor and that they were to operate on her the next morning. Grace (Grace Harriet Rowley) helped Estella get ready and then she drove us to the airport. It was in the night and it took only 45 minutes for that jet to get her to Boise where Archie (Archie Johnson) met her. She got to the hospital in time to talk to Virginia the next morning before they took her to surgery. They had already cut off her hair and Estella gathered it up and saved it.

Virginia was operated on the morning of 17 October 1967. It was a bad time for all of us because they found that the tumor was malignant. She came through the surgery fine and went to Harold’s (Harold Norman Johnson) home to convalesce because they were taking care of her baby, Cory (Cory McKnight). Estella stayed for a while, then came home. Virginia took cobalt treatments for quite a while.

I think we spent Thanksgiving with Dwain (Dwain Eugene Judkins) and Margie (Marjorie Ann Rowley). We enjoyed little Darrell (Darrell Wayne Judkins). He has always seemed like a child who had deep thoughts and would accomplish much in this world.

Ralph (Ralph Alcorn Rowley) had been wanting us to come to Montana to see them so we decided to go up for Christmas. Since Estella had enjoyed riding on the train in the past we decided to go that way. I had been working really hard and we were rushing around getting ready when we noticed that our old toilet had run over and water was clear out into the hall and the next room. We both worked like troopers getting the water cleaned up and I suppose all that stooping was what caused me to get a terrible nosebleed. I am kind of subject to them anyway. Grace came over and we got the bleeding stopped just before train time. Grace took us to the depot and we had just gotten on the train when my nose started to bleed again. Fortunately, we had brought some towels. A strange man took me to charge and accompanied me to the men’s room and soon got it stopped again. Altogether I had lost a lot of blood.

The train took us to Logan and switched our car off where we sat trying to sleep in the reclining seats for a good part of the night. Finally we started and arrived in Great Falls the next day. We went on to Havre and stayed with Bert (Bert Lund Murphy) and Verda (Verda May Rowley) for a couple of days. They had bought a nice little home and had been a real help to Aleene (Aleene Sumsion) and the kids (Kurtis Wayne, Kristine, Lorrain, Janiel and Lynn Sumsion Rowley) while Ralph was in Guam on duty. We finally got to Glasgow where Ralph met us. Kristine had come in with him and she sat on my lap and talked up a storm all the way back to their home. She gave her Grandpa a few kisses, too.

To be continued…

History: David William Rowley

We went with Francis (Hugh Francos Rowley) and Erma (Erma Thornton) to Kalispell and enjoyed the beautiful country very much. Then over the highline road which Estella (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) said seemed like the top of the world. We saw some big mountain sheep, then on to Havre. Verda (Verda May Rowley) went over to Harlem with us. My how the memories flooded back; we visited Sharon’s (Sharon Lee Rowley) grave and also my mother’s (Grace Davis) and father’s (Hugh Thompson Rowley). Then we went out to our old home and Estella got to see the country and places where I spent 20 years of my life. When we got back to Havre, Bert (Bert Lund Murphy) had a turkey dinner ready for us and boy was it good because we were all really hungry.

While we were gone to Montana Hugh (Hugh Alcorn Rowley) and Gail (Gail Jensen) had a baby boy. They named him Stephen Michael. Hugh and his family had moved back to Utah and he had gone into the insurance business. They were living in Layton. We went right out to see the new baby.

I had a few days left from my June vacation, so Hubert (Hubert Tidwell) and Estella and I went to Wyoming. We caught quite a lot of fish in the Green River and we dug out fish fossils from the side of the mountain. It was sire cold there, even in the summer

August came and with it word that Aleene (Aleene Sumsion) had given birth to her fifth child, finally another son. They named him Lynn Sumsion Rowley. Ralph (Ralph Alcorn Rowley) was very happy to have a second son.

Soon after we got word that Estella had a new grandson, also, born to Bob and Tita. We wished we could go see them. In November we got word that Geneal had given birth to a new baby girl. Stella felt bad that she couldn’t go down to be with her.

For my birthday that year, 1966, the children gave me a big “surprise” birthday party. It was held in Hugh’s chapel in Layton. There was quite a crowd and they were all my family! Being so near Thanksgiving we had a big turkey dinner and had such a good time. I will never forget it.

This year proved to be a bumper crop of grandchildren for us both. I had four and Estella had two. Then to top it all off, I received word that I was a great grandfather! Cheryl (Cheryl Jeanette Smith) had married a nice young man (Robert Michael Owens) she met at Ralph’s and now she had a baby. They named him Robert (Robert Eugene Owens), and he was born 18 December 1966. My cup runneth over! We had dinner with Douglas (Douglas Alcorn Rowley) and Vonna’s  (Vonna Ensign) that Christmas. Grant (Grant Alcorn Rowley) was home from Vietnam and went with us.

I was still working for the Davis Count School District. They had moved their shops from Farmington to Kaysville. The head of the carpenter shops was Claud Moore, my old friend from California. Estella and I visited them once in a while.

Harold (Harold Norman Johnson) brought his family down for a few days’ vacation and we had a nice visit. They told us that Chad (Chad Layne McKnight) and Virginia (Virginia Fern Johnson) were having marital troubles. We had suspected it before.

We were working almost constantly with our genealogical records, sending many sheets to the temple. We enjoyed this work so very much and were receiving heavenly direction in our efforts to do research. Estella was especially having spiritual direction. Refer to her history for details of some of these miracles.

To be continued…