1974 (Friday) – Ron (Ronald Steven Smith) was married to Lora Ann Walker in our home. Not long after they were married Ron joined the Army and they were sent to Olympia, Washington.
Calvin (Calvin King Knighton) always kept the yard in beautiful condition. He could grow anything. He loved to work in the yard. One summer he grew sunflowers they were over 6 feet tall, people would stop to admire them. One day some people were pulling out of the grocery store across the street. They were admiring the sunflowers and were hit from behind by another car. Calvin was always generous with his fruits and vegetables he grew and shared them with a lot of friends and neighbors.
In 1969 Donna (Donna Diane Smith) graduated from Bountiful High School. She worked at Hill Air Force Base during the summer and saved enough money to go to the Church College of Hawaii for her freshman year of college. She then transferred to Brigham Young University for a couple years.
Cheryl (Cheryl Jeanette Smith) blessed us with a third grandchild. Owen Calvin Owens was born on June 27th, 1970. He was born prematurely and weighted only 5 pounds and 9 ounces and was 18 inches long. He was a tall skinny baby. At the time Mike (Robert Michael Owens) was stationed at Mount Almaden Air Force Station at the top of a mountain near San Jose, California. Donna had just finished her freshman year of college and flew back to the mainland via San Francisco to stay with Cheryl and her family when Owen was born. Calvin and I went to San Jose when Owen was blessed that August. I had sewn 5 or 6 little outfits for Shelly (Michelle Lei Owens). We had only been there for about an hour or so when she had tried all of the new outfits on. I knew then that Shelly was going to like shopping all the time, she was born to shop.
Owen was about a year old when Mike was sent to Vietnam. Cheryl and the kids (Robert Eugene, Michelle and Owen Owens) moved to Bountiful in an apartment just down the street and less than a block from our house. It was so nice to have the grandchildren so close by. It was hard to have Mike go to Vietnam. So many of our young men, including two of my brothers, Ralph (Ralph Alcorn Rowley) and Grant (Grant Alcorn Rowley) were being sent to the Vietnam conflict. I was grateful that Cheryl was close enough so we could help her and their three grandchildren.
Douglas Jones Birk from American Fork proposed to Donna on her 22nd birthday. They met at BYU and were married on April 12th 1973. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple for time and all eternity. Now two of my children had temple marriages (Cheryl and Mike had gone through the Temple on their anniversary). Donna had been working at the State Training School in
American Fork while she was going to BYU. She was majoring in Therapeutic and Outdoor Recreation. She loved working with the disabled youth.
The following April I bought a lovely home in Bountiful at 93 West 200 North. It wasn’t anything big or fancy, but it was a comfortable happy home raising my children (Cheryl Jeanette, Donna Diane, Ronald Steven and Lillian Lorraine). Our first Christmas in our home was a challenge. Cheryl had taken the car and run away with one of her friends, they had gone to Texas so her friend could get married. After I caught up with them, we decided it would be best that Cheryl would stay in El Paso, Texas with my brother Ralph Rowley (Ralph Alcorn Rowley) and his family. It was while she was living there that she met Robert Michael Owens. He was raised in the Brigham City area. He was in the Air Force and stationed there. They had a whirl-wind short courtship and were married February 18th, 1966. Michael was a blessing to our family and I have been very grateful he and Cheryl found each other. After Mike got out of the service, they lived in Ogden, Utah, That is where my first grandchild was born, Robert Eugene Owens was born December 18th, 1966. I will always be grateful to Cheryl and Mike for sharing Bobby with me. There were times when I would go to their place and tell them I needed to take Bobby home with me for a day or two and they would always agree, a few days later Mike would come to Bountiful and say that he needed his son at home.
In 1968 Cheryl introduced me to Calvin King Knighton. Calvin lived in West Bountiful. It was about June when we started dating. Calvin had three children Deanne, Clark and Lyle. At that time he was waiting for his second divorce to become final. We courted and dated and were married in the Salt Lake Temple (for time) on October 3rd 1968. It was a lovely day, all my brothers and sisters, along with their spouses, were with us at the temple. We went out to dinner after the ceremony. (P.S. After Mom and Calvin both passed away. Donna and Jason (Jason Earl Lunt) stood proxy at the Manti Temple and had them sealed together. We will let them and the Lord figure out the eternal perspective).
Calvin’s sons, Clark and Lyle became close to the family as they would stay with us on weekends and go on short vacations with us. We went to Bicknell, Utah one time to stay with Calvin’s sister Suzy and her husband.
On June 20th we were blessed with a granddaughter. Cheryl and Mike had a baby girl Michelle Lei Owens. She was born at South Davis Community Hospital. Cheryl had come up from Tonopah, Nevada where they were stationed (Mike went back into the service). Mike had just gone back to Tonopah as Cheryl wasn’t quite due yet. Lori was in the same hospital at the same time recovering from kidney surgery. I took Bob up to the hospital to see his new baby sister. We were looking at all the babies through the nursery window when Bob Calvin King Knighton & Donna Diane Smith started talking “1 baby sitter, 2 baby sitters, 3 baby sitters, 4 baby sitters.” It was about this time that I realized what he was saying. He was counting all of his baby sisters; I explained that he had only one baby sister.
When Lori (Lillian Lorraine Smith) was about 2 months old we were transferred back to Germany. We stayed there for about three years. Many happy times were spent in Germany with our little family. We were stationed in Baugh linger, aka, Boblingen.
After returning from Germany, we were sent to Fort Eustis, Virginia for a while. Then Don (Donald Eugene Smith) was sent to Korea and the kids (Cheryl Jeanette, Donna Diane, Ronald Steven and Lillian Smith) and I went to live with Dad (Mom (Lillian Alcorn) had recently passed away) in Bountiful, Utah. We were there with Dad for about 15 months then Don was transferred stateside to Fort Ord in the Monterey, California area. Don was learning Indonesian at the Presidio of Monterey. Don thought after he retired from the Army, we would live in Indonesia and he would work for the Chevron Oil Company. Many found memories of belonging to the LDS ward in Seaside, California. We were in California about a year. Then Don was transferred to Fort Gordon, Georgia. We were in the Augusta Ward, where Don served in the Bishopric. We lived there just over a year when Don volunteered for duty in Vietnam where he would be training the Vietnamese soldiers fighting the Viet Cong. Don settled us in Bountiful in a nice duplex across from the Bountiful 9th Ward Church before heading to visit his parents in California and then to Vietnam. Don was in Vietnam a few months. I will never forget Friday, November 13th. I was at work cleaning Sister Gadd’s home when Bishop Christensen came to find me. When I opened the door I knew why he was there. He said Grace, I need to talk to you and I replied “It’s Don isn’t it?” he said “Yes” and I said “he’s dead isn’t he?” he again replied “Yes.” We quickly learned, Don was killed when his jeep ran over a land mine. It’s interesting to know that he was found leaning against a tree. Another soldier from Hawaii, Sgt. Hoa was also injured and passed away two days later.
We had Don’s funeral on November 25th. He was buried in the Bountiful Cemetery. Don had told me that he loved Bountiful; he wanted to be buried there if anything happened to him. He knew before he went to Vietnam that he would not come back alive. He told his brother, Gerry Everhard that when he came back it would be in a pine box, then he laughed.
The kids and I spent that lonely Christmas without Don in El Monte, California with his family. We went by train from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles. Don’s Mom (Coral Lorraine Bolton) picked us up at the Los Angeles train depot. All Don’s family was there for that Christmas, even his Grandmother Olive Bolton (Olive Dove Doke) from Modesto, California. It was the last time we saw Lorraine’s beautiful Christmas scene that covered half her living room. The kids loved it and spent several hours laying in front of the scenes, day dreaming about the past and the future.
When Donna (Donna Diane Smith) was still little we moved to Virginia to live before Don (Donald Eugene Smith) was transferred to Trieste, Italy. We lived there for about two years. I don’t remember a lot about Italy, but it was beautiful. We had only been there for a short time when there was a jazz band playing in the street. I didn’t know what was going on so I went out and got the girls. I later found out that it was a funeral procession and that was the traditional way they did funerals in Italy. One time while living in Trieste, Don called Donna to come in when Cheryl (Cheryl Jeanette Sperry) came in instead. Don asked her why she had come when he had called her sister Donna to come in. Cheryl said she wasn’t sure if she was Cheryl or Donna, and she wanted to mind.
After we left Italy, we were transferred to Frankfurt, Germany. While in Germany I was about 6 months pregnant with Ron (Ronald Steven Smith). We lived on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the apartment building. Cheryl was about 5; she came running up the stairs screaming. Don and I went to see what in the world was wrong. Cheryl was upset because there were some ants climbing on her. Don got mad and spanked her for scaring me to death. I don’t remember ever running like that. We had an interesting event happen while we were living in Germany. I inadvertently got the missionaries drunk. It was Christmas Eve. We had invited the LDS service men and the missionaries over for Christmas Eve dinner (I bet Mom made her famous spaghetti. She was known to make a whole roaster pan full for family and friends). As a Christmas gift, we had been given a lovely box of German chocolates for Christmas. We had them out to share with our guests. At the time we did not read or speak much German and didn’t know that the main ingredient in the chocolates was either cognac or rum. Needless to say, I was really embarrassed.
We moved back to Eureka, California with my parents about a week before our second son Ronald Steven Smith was born. The doctor told me that if the baby were a girl, he would trade me for a boy. They had four or five sons and wanted a daughter. We didn’t have to worry because Ron was all boy and the doctor was joking anyway.
Ron was always a strong boy. One time when Ron was about five he stepped on a nail. They had to have his Dad (who was 6’3″) and two other men hold him down to give him a tetanus shot.
We were transferred to New Port News, Virginia when Ron was young. Our 5th child was born there, Lillian Lorraine Smith. When I was about four months along I received a letter from my Mother (Lillian Alcorn). She said it would be very nice to have a granddaughter named after her. So Don decided then that if we had a girl her name would be Lillian Lorraine, after both of her grandmothers, my mother, Lillian Alcorn Rowley and Don’s mother, Lorraine Bolton Smith Everhard (Coral Lorraine Bolton), and since I wanted to name her Laurie Ann anyway, we called her Lori.
Fred Steven Hatch married us (Ron (Ronald Steven Smith) is named after him). We were married in his beautiful home. We lived with Don’s (Donald Eugene Smith) parents, Lorraine (Coral Lorraine Bolton) and John Everhard (John Joseph Everhard) for a few months. Then we moved to San Pedro, California where Don was stationed with the navy.
Our first child was born when we lived in San Pedro. I was taken to the Long Beach Naval Hospital in an ambulance on August 7th, 1946. After our son Donald Eugene Smith Junior was born. I told Don that something was wrong with our son and Don told me I was wrong. I told him that I heard the doctors talking and something was wrong with our baby. Donny died 17 hours later. He had taken a breath in the birth canal and when they suctioned him there was a lot of blood in his stomach and he choked to death. I only saw my baby one time and that was when he was upside down and the doctor was spatting his bottom to get him breathing. Donny had red hair, just like some of my brothers. When I went to the hospital, the doctor on duty was drunk. There was another baby that died because of this doctor telling us both that we were not in labor. It was the only baby that the other mother could have. I was not even allowed to go to Donny’s funeral.
On the first day that Don went back to work after Donny’s funeral, he was walking home from work (I was still in the hospital). He saw them taking the body of a newborn baby boy out of the sewer that someone didn’t want. That was so hard for Don after just losing his own son that he had wanted so much.
We wanted to have another child, but were not blessed with another one until three years later when our beautiful Cheryl Jeanette was born. It was such a joy to have her in our home. She was a very happy little girl. One time when she was very little I was shopping with her. A lady came up to me and asked me if my baby was a girl or boy. I responded that I always dressed my boys in a pink frilly dress with a pink bonnet!
When Cheryl was about 11 months old she was with her Grandma. Her Dad came home and asked her where her mommy was. She said “Mommy gone to store shopping.” It was the first time she talked and then to say a whole sentence. Our little girl was smart and left her Daddy in shock.
When Cheryl was 15 months old we were blessed with another little daughter. Donna Diane was added to our family. She didn’t have what you would call hair, but she had red peach fuzz until she was about three when her hair finally came in, it was a beautiful strawberry blond, just like some of my brothers.
One time I was walking down the street with my girls, Cheryl was in a harness for safety. A lady came up to me and said that harnesses and leashes were for dogs, not children. I told her that if she thought more of keeping her dog safe than her child, she had a problem. Believe it or not, toddler harnesses were popular at that time.
Ralph (Ralph Alcorn Rowley) was always very smart and did well in school and was quite a scriptorium with a very good memory. He could read something and remember it.
Clayton (Clayton Alcorn Rowley) had curly red hair like Ralph did. Clayton was often into mischief. When he was about 6 he was walking barefoot down by the river and some bridge workers asked were his shoes were. He said he didn’t have any so they took him to town and bought him shoes, socks, pants, and shirts. He was very dependable and would do what he was asked to do.
When Margie (Marjorie Ann Rowley) was a little girl she liked to throw temper tantrums until she would turn blue. Mother (LIllian Alcorn) would tell us to throw water on her face and she would be fine. When I got a little older and mother and father (Davis Alcorn Rowley) were gone. Sometimes Margie and I would make fudge and take it to our bedroom to eat. Sometimes we would share it with the boys and sometimes we wouldn’t.
When Hugh (Hugh Alcorn Rowley) was born, he also had red curly hair like Clayton and Ralph. Hugh was always fun to have around.
When Sharon (Sharon Lee Rowley) was born I was supposed to help the boys thin the beets and work the farm, but I kept passing out. So Mother traded places with me and worked the farm and I stayed in the house, did the cleaning and took care of baby Sharon. She was such a sweet baby. We were not blessed with her in our home for very long. Sharon had asthma when she was born. She passed away when she was 4 months old. Dad brought her back through the priesthood power one time. She stayed with us for a few days longer and then she died. Again Dad wanted to bring her back, but Mother said no, her mission here was complete and she was out of pain. I was very close to baby Sharon and this was another difficult time in my young life.
When my youngest brother Grant (Grant Alcorn Rowley) was born he also had asthma and the doctor told Mother and Father that they would need to move to a warmer, drier climate than Montana had. Mom’s bother, Leonard (Leonard Clark Alcorn) lived in El Monte, California and had a job waiting for Dad. So the family moved to California. When Grant was about three. Don (Donald Eugene Smith) and I bought him a little sailor suit and someone told him it was too small for him to wear anymore, he cried because he still wanted to wear it.
Dad bought us a home in El Monte, California that a blind man built. Our neighbors had a daughter my age, Patty Smith (Ollie Lavern Smith), we became good friends. I dated her stepbrother Jack (Gerald Everhard) for a while until her older brother Don came home from the Navy. The day I met him he said, “If it wasn’t so late, we would go to Las Vegas and get married.” I thought he was joking. But we did get married a few months later on August 4th 1945. (We were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple in February, 1956). John (John Joseph Everhard) who was Don’s stepfather later told me that I had made the right choice in marrying Don instead of Jack.