Mary Elizabeth Walvoord was the first of seven children born to Randall and Elizabeth Walvoord.
What follows is an autobiography written by her in March of 1975 for Delta Kappa Gamma (a society for women educators).
On Sept. 6, 1928, at 4:15 pm on a Thursday afternoon I entered this world at St. Luke’s Hospital Annex in Racine, Wisconsin. My parents, Elizabeth and Randall Walvoord were especially happy since I was their first child. I weighed 7 lbs. 3 oz.
My uncle, Rev. Ed Raue, baptized me on July 28, 1929. My brothers and sisters started arriving in 1931 when my first brother was born. I had two sisters and four brothers. One of my sisters died of cancer in 1958, but the others are doing fine.
Grandpa Walvoord was a school principal. He would take me to his school to visit and I was glad when I was finally old enough for kindergarten. I remember folding handkerchiefs into cradles and making my hands into a church filled with people.
My memories of those early school years have faded into just a few unconnected things like getting a small pox shot in my arm when my mother had told me to have them put it on my upper leg. and using a potters wheel on the clay we had dug from the river bank and end of school picnics remain.
Our family was a close family and I have many memories of trips to the zoo, beach, museum, and Grandma’s house. Sunday was always family day and Daddy would read to us or we’d play table games. In the summer we usually went on a picnic and played baseball if we didn’t take a trip.
At the end of the war, World War II, Daddy was transfered to Amarillo, Texas.
We moved during my senior year in high school, October 1945.
After graduating from high school in 1946, I started to Texas Tech. This is where I met my husband to be, Gerald Hale. We both enjoyed the social life the school offered and didn’t decide to get married until Jan. 1, 1949. I went to work at the telephone company as a service representative and Gerald continued to attend Tech.
On Dec. 24, 1949, our first daughter arrived as our special Christmas gift. We named her Lynn Marie and Gerald and his daddy went right out and bought her a Madame Alexander doll she still has for her first Christmas.
The next summer, we moved to Dalhart, Texas and Gerald went to work for his daddy at Dameron – Hale Motor Co. We built a new home at 1209 Oak St. and I managed to stay busy tending to things at home.
1953 was an exciting year for us. Our second daughter, Cynthia Ann, was born in Dalhart on Jan. 12. Then in Dec. Gerald and his daddy bought the Dodge business in Hereford and we moved here. We were really impressed by the friendly people and the progressiveness of Hereford and it became our home.
Gerald wasn’t doing very well with Hale Motor Co. so I started back to school at WT to get my teaching certificate. I had been substituting since 1957 and knew I would like teaching. Finally in May 1966, I got my BS and teaching certificate. I started teaching at Stanton Junior High –2 classes of 8th grade American History and 3 classes of 7th grade English. My daughter, Cindy, was in one of my American history classes and Lynn was a junior at Hereford High. Gerald was a salesman and manager for Gulf Western Supply at this time and traveled quite a bit.
1968 was another eventful year for us. Lynn graduated from Hereford High School and we went with her to Wiesbadden, West Germany. Her fiancee, Alan Gowdy, was stationed there in the Army and they wouldn’t let him come home, so Lynn and Alan decided to get married in Germany. A month later, May 28, they finally succeeded .
Our first grandson arrived Feb. 22, 1970. Alan brought Lynn home for Christmas and she stayed to have Jimmy. Soon after that Alan finished his duty with the Army and they moved to Dimmit.
Cindy graduated from Hereford High in 1971. She attended Amarillo Junior College for one summer semester and then she and Mike Horton decided to get married. They were married Oct. 26 in the Presbyterian Church here and moved to San Manuel, Arizona.
Gerald was managing the Hoerner Waldorf Corp. office here. It’s a nationwide packaging concern. I was enjoying my teaching and we were enjoying having some time to ourselves again, but it didn’t last long enough. on May 22, 1973, Gerald had a massive heart attack. The funeral was at our church, the Presbyterian Church, May 24th.
My family and friends have all been wonderful and I’m lucky I have my teaching.
Both of my daughters have lived in Hereford since before Gerald died and I have 3 adorable grandsons to help keep me entertained.
End of Autobiography
Mary and Gerald were married for 24 years, 4 months, and 22 days.
Just over two years after Gerald’s death, Mary remarried.
She married Edward “Ed” Anton Dzuik Jr. in Hereford on November 27, 1975.
Ed had been farmer for many years. Mary and Ed enjoyed many years together until Ed passed away on February 5, 2000. Mary and Ed were married 24 years, 2 months, and 9 days.
Mary retired from teaching with more than 23 years of service for the Hereford Independent School System. She then taught children’s Bible study at the First Presbyterian Church. She loved children, her family, family gatherings and pictures, especially of her family. She loved music and line dancing. She was a member of the HRSEA, Veleda Study Club, Hereford Elegant Red Hatters, Golden Line Dancers, First Presbyterian Church Choir-Sunday School Teacher-Elder and a member of the Hereford Senior Citizens Center.
Mary was instrumental in starting a Walvoord Family Thanksgiving tradition that continues to this day.
Mary passed away July 31, 2009 in Hereford, Texas.