Walvoord History.com

Connecting Walvoords & Walvoorts together Past, Present, and Future

Walvoords Celebrate 65 Years of Marriage!

David and Peggy (Phillips) Walvoord were married on April 13, 1952.

David Randall Walvoord, a native of Racine, Wisconsin, married Naomi Ruth “Peggy” Phillips, a native of Shamrock,Texas on April 13, 1952 in Locust Grove, Texas.

After being set up on a blind date by David’s sister Joann who worked with Peggy at the phone company, David and Peggy started dating.

Five months later, on April 13, 1952, David and Peggy married each other in Locust Grove Baptist Church in Locust Grove, Texas.

The pastor that married them was Clayton Watkins who was the same pastor that baptized Peggy at age 13. Joann (Walvoord) Forbes was Peggy’s Matron of Honor and Bill Forbes was David’s Best Man.

David, is the second of seven children born to  Randall and Elizabeth Walvoord.

Peggy is the fourth of five children born to Elmo and Callie (Henshaw) Phillips.

David and Peggy had three boys, Keith, Kit, and Scott.

Kit, their second son died in 2014.

David and Peggy have six grandchildren. Kirk, Tyler, Preston, Caroline, Catherine, and Katie Grace.


Wedding Cake

Cutting the cake.

(left to right) Callie Phillips (mother of the bride), Peggy Walvoord (bride), David Walvoord (groom), Elizabeth Walvoord (mother of the groom), and Randall Walvoord (father of the groom)

David and Peggy Walvoord 2010

David and Peggy Walvoord 2010

Updated: May 5, 2017 — 1:42 PM

Walvoord helps win Badgers First Basketball Title

On, Wisconsin!

With “March Madness” in full swing, it appropriate to look back at some “Historical Hysteria.”

Did you know that a Walvoord was on The University of Wisconsin’s first Badger Basketball Championship team?

Anthony J. Walvoord from Sheboygan County played on the 1904-1905 Badger Basketball team.

The team went 10-3 on the season and won the Western Championship, the schools first basketball title!  UW beat previously undefeated Chicago University in the championship 29-24.

This was the first team coached by Emmett Angell who came to UW as a gymnasium instructor and served as head basketball coach through 1908. His teams compiled an overall record of 43-15 for a winning percentage of .714, best to date in UW basketball history.

Anthony J. Walvoord from Sheboygan County played on the 1904-1905 Badger Basketball team. He is shown here seated to the far left.

For more on Anthony Walvoord, click here.

Updated: March 20, 2017 — 6:51 AM

Arlan Jay Walvoord (1955-2016)

Arlan Jay Walvoord (1955-2016)

Arlan J. Walvoord, 60 of Firth died Saturday, February 13, 2016. He was a former systems computer programmer with the State of Nebraska and a member of Living Life Reformed Church. Arlan’s focus in life was to follow Jesus, love his family, and love his church community.

Survivors: wife, Bonnie; daughter, Chelsea Walvoord of Lincoln; son, Brian of Firth; two grandchildren, Hudson and Everson; sister, Elaine (Bill) Biggs of Lincoln; nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by his parents Alfred and Martha and brothers, Edgar and Ronald.

Memorial services: 1 p.m. Wednesday, February 17 at Living Life Reformed Church, Firth. Pastor Jim Koopman. Private family burial prior to memorial service. Memorials to church. Visitation with family: 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Butherus, Maser & Love Funeral Home, Hickman.

Updated: February 10, 2017 — 5:58 AM

Marion Jane (Meerdink) Walvoord (1924-2016)

Marion J. Walvoord, 92, of Oostburg died peacefully early on Thursday morning,
October 6, 2016 at Pine Haven Residential Home in Sheboygan Falls where she had
resided for the past year.

Marion was born on May 31, 1924, in the Town of Lima, the daughter of the late
Arthur and Jenny (Oonk) Meerdink. Marion attended Oostburg High School. On
December 28, 1945 she married Lloyd J. Walvoord in Hingham. She and her husband
owned and operated a dairy farm in the Town of Holland for many years. Lloyd
preceded her in death following 61 years of marriage.

Marion was a member of the First Reformed Church in Cedar Grove, the Ladies Aid
and Senior group there. She was also a member of the Homemakers Club. Marion
enjoyed hymn sings and playing the harmonica and piano, bingo and card games,
gardening, freezing and canning, travel and spending time with her family and

Marion is survived by four daughters, Jean Steinhardt of Plymouth, Barbara
(Wayne) Claerbout of Gibbsville, Donna (Jerry) Schneider of Hartford, and Mary
(James) Roethel of Oostburg; four sons, Kenneth (Jeanne) Walvoord of Oostburg,
Roger Walvoord of Oostburg, Gary (Robyn) Walvoord of Kansasville, Randall
(Linda) Walvoord of Oostburg; 16 grandchildren, Michael Steinhardt, Julie (Kent)
Kowitz, Jim (Dawn) Claerbout, Amy (Tom) Bruggink, Teresa (Dennis) Egerer, Ryan
(Jessica) Walvoord, Eric (Esther) Schneider, Aaron (Megan) Schneider, Andrew
(Annika) Schneider, Benjamin Walvoord, Nicholas Walvoord, Angela (Ben) Wendorf,
Rev. Michelle (Josh) Gross, Grant (Rachel) Roethel, Katie (EJ) Saldana, Jonathan
Walvoord; 16 great grandchildren; one sister, Doris Carlson of Minnesota; and
one brother, A. Glenn (Sharon) Meerdink of Ohio.

Marion was preceded in death by her husband, Lloyd; one grandson, Shawn
Walvoord; one brother-in-law, Kenneth Carlson, and a step brother, LaMont
(Arlean) Daane.

A funeral to celebrate Marion’s life will take place at the First Reformed
Church in Cedar Grove on Monday, October 10, 2016 at 11 am with the Revs. Kent
Vant Hul and Michelle Gross officiating. Burial will follow at Hingham Cemetery
in the Town of Lima.

Family and friends will gather at the church on Sunday from 4-7 pm, and on
Monday from 10 am until the time of the service.

For online condolences and additional information please visit

A memorial fund is being established in her memory for First Reformed Church.

The Walvoord family would like to extend their heartfelt appreciation to the
staffs at Pine Haven Residential Home and St. Nicholas Home Health Care and
Hospice for the loving and dedicated care given to Marion and their family.

The staff of the Wenig Funeral Home in Oostburg (920-564-2771) is serving the
Walvoord family.

Updated: February 10, 2017 — 5:59 AM

Wilber Wayne Walvoord (1927-2016)

Wilber Wayne Walvoord (1927-2016)

Wilbur W. Walvoord, age 89, passed away on May 12, 2016 at his Sabina, Ohio home.

He was born on April 9th, 1927 in Ravenna, Ohio, the youngest of four children of Clarence and Fern (Rogers) Walvoord. He spent his childhood on his parents’ sheep farm in Edinburg, Ohio, and graduated from Edinburg high school with his sweetheart, Marjory Buchanan, who became his wife in 1946. He served as a radio man in the navy during WWII, then graduated from the Ohio State University with a BS in Agriculture and became a lifelong Buckeye fan. He managed several farms in Ohio and, after retiring from farming. When he was 70 years old, he designed and built a beautiful log home where he and Marj lived the rest of their lives. His hobbies were building and repairing clocks and furniture, and, being a farmer, he could fix anything. He solved the crossword puzzles, cryptograms, and jumbles in the daily newspaper and could guess the Wheel of Fortune puzzles long before anyone else had a clue. Although he was quiet and reserved, he always came up with a clever quip. He was a loving and steadfast husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather and his absence has left an enormous void.

Wilbur was preceded in death by Marjory (Buchanan) Walvoord, his wife of 59 years, his parents, and two siblings, Roseanne (Roy) Hastings, and Roger (Inabel) Walvoord.

He is survived by his sister, Margaret (Elbert) Steele, sons Wayne, John (Nancy), and Michael (Gloria Roberts) Walvoord, daughters Christine Finch and Deborah Walvoord, eight grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and many extended family members.

A memorial service is planned for August 20, 2016, at 1:30 p.m., at the Edinburg Cemetery Chapel (Route 14, Ravenna, Ohio).

Updated: February 10, 2017 — 6:00 AM

Merry Christmas from WalvoordHistory.com!

Jeanette Hester Walvoord

Jeanette Hester Walvoord (1905-2003) at Christmas time about 1905. Jeanette was the daughter of Will and Lydia Walvoord and granddaughter of Henry and Henrietta Walvoord.

Updated: December 26, 2016 — 1:42 PM

Walvoords Celebrate 55 years of Marriage!

Mr. & Mrs. Johnny Walvoord on December, 16, 1961.

John Earl “Johnny” Walvoord, a native of Racine, Wisconsin, married Caroline Nan “Nan” Spears, a native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, on December 16, 1961 in Pine Bluff.

Johnny, is the fourth of seven children born to  Randall and Elizabeth Walvoord.  Nan is the third of four children born to Ira and Helen (West) Spears.

Johnny and Nan have two children.  Son, Shaun and daughter Jeanan.

Daughter, Jeanan, describes her dad as “a patient, smiling, loyal, gentle, quiet, saver, math genius, hard worker.”

She describes her mom as, “the life of the party, generous, loving, shopper, talker, fun, smart, everyone’s best friend!”

But states that, “their common bond is their love & honor for our Savior. I’m so blessed I get to call them my parents! Happy 55th!!!”

Nan (Spears) Walvoord with her wedding attendants. Betty Jo Walvoord, sister of the groom, is at the far left.

The Proposal

She said, “YES!”

Updated: December 16, 2016 — 12:45 PM

Photo of Walvoord Thanksgiving 2016

Walvoord Thanksgiving 2016 in Flower Mound, Texas

Walvoord Thanksgiving 2016 in Flower Mound, Texas

Updated: November 25, 2016 — 6:19 PM

“Football is Family” since 1895.

The NFL advertisements say “Football is Family.”  For the Walvoord Family, “Family is also Football”… for FOUR Generations since 1895!


My Great-grandfather, my grandfather, my dad, and I, all played football.

Below are photos of FOUR generations of Walvoord football players.


1895 Football Team (probably Sheboygan High School in Wisconsin) when John G. Walvoord (1872-1932) played football at age 23. He is second from the right on the middle row with arms folded.



Close up of John Garret Walvoord from his 1895 Football Team when he played football at age 23.



1921 Football photo (Sheboygan High School in Wisconsin) where Randall Henry Walvoord (1904-1978) played football when he was 17-years-old. He is second from the left on the back row.



Close up of Randall Henry Walvoord in 1921. He was 17-years-old in this photo.



1945 Sam Houston Jr. High School Football Team (Amarillo, Texas) where David Randall Walvoord played football when he was 14-years-old. He is in the bottom photo, first from the right, back row.


Close up of David Walvoord in 1945.


1972 6th Grade Football Team at Belmar Elementary in Amarillo, Texas where Scott Walvoord played football at age 11. He is number 89 (Mike Ditka’s number when he was a Dallas Cowboy at this time).


Close up of Scott Walvoord in 1972.


Four Generations of Walvoord Football Players in 1895, 1921, 1945, 1972

Four Generations of Walvoord Football Players in 1895, 1921, 1945, 1972


Updated: September 19, 2016 — 3:27 PM

Golden Wedding Anniversary Celebrated

Betty Jo (Walvoord) Dillon, is the sixth of seven children born to Randall and Elizabeth Walvoord. Fifty Years ago on September 3, 1966, Betty Jo married Michael Lee Dillon in Amarillo, Texas.

Happy Golden Wedding Anniversary Mr. & Mrs. Dillon!  They have two children and two grandchildren and live in Marshall, Texas.

Betty Jo (Walvoord) and Michael Dillion.

Betty Jo (Walvoord) and Michael Dillion.



Updated: September 3, 2016 — 4:13 PM

Happy July Fourth!

Happy Fourth of July from the Walvoord Family! Over a 100 years ago today (c. 1912), this photo was taken of the Walvoord Family in Wisconsin. My great-grandfather (John Garrett Walvoord) is sitting in the middle (with the white hat) my grandfather (Randall Henry Walvoord) is the little boy at the back corner of the wagon wearing a hat and holding an American Flag.

4th of July in Wisconsin c. 1912

Walvoord Family celebrating the 4th of July in Wisconsin c. 1912

Updated: July 4, 2016 — 6:23 AM

Happy Thanksgiving

imageHappy Thanksgiving from our Walvoord Family to yours!


Updated: November 27, 2015 — 10:31 AM

Academy Award® Nominee

Dave Walvoord is the Visual Effect Supervisor for DreamWorks Animation.  Their Animated feature, How To Train Your Dragon 2 is nominated for Best Animated Feature.  Best of luck to Dave Walvoord and the rest of the DreamWorks team tonight!

How Train Your Dragon 2 has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature

How Train Your Dragon 2 has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature. Dave Walvoord is the Visual Effects Supervisor for DreamWorks Animation.

Dave Walvoord

Dave Walvoord

Dave Walvoord most recently served as visual effects supervisor on How to Train Your Dragon 2, the sequel to the 2010 Academy Award®–nominated blockbuster. Prior to his work on How to Train Your Dragon 2, Walvoord served as a CG supervisor on the Academy Award®–nominated film Kung Fu Panda, and as the head of lighting on the Academy Award®–nominated Kung Fu Panda 2. In addition, he worked as a CG supervisor on both Over the Hedge and the Academy Award®–nominated Shark Tale.

Prior to joining DreamWorks Animation, Walvoord worked at Blue Sky Studios as a supervising technical director on the animated feature Ice Age and as a digital effects supervisor on the Academy Award®–winning short “Bunny.” In the live-action realm, he has contributed his talents to Fight Club and Star Trek: Insurrection.

Walvoord received a master of science degree in visualization science and a bachelor of science degree in computer science from Texas A&M University. He currently sits on the Dean’s Advisory Board at that institution.

Updated: February 22, 2015 — 7:34 PM

Flashback Friday, The Randall and Elizabeth Walvoord Family

The Randall and Elizabeth Walvoord Family in January 1955.

The Randall and Elizabeth Walvoord Family in Amarillo, Texas in January of 1955.  (Left to Right) Joann, Johnny, Elizabeth, Randall, David, Mary. In front, Betty Jo, Gary, and Randy.

The Randall and Elizabeth Walvoord Family in Amarillo, Texas in January of 1955. (Left to Right) Joann, Johnny, Elizabeth, Randall, David, Mary. In front, Betty Jo, Gary, and Randy.

Updated: January 30, 2015 — 12:15 PM

2014 The Year in Review

2014 The Year in Review

Happy 2015 everyone!  Walvoord History.com (as usual) has great plans for the next year. And (as usual) those plans may or may not get accomplished.

First, the year in review:

  • WalvoordHistory.com, the website is sporting a new look using a “responsive” WordPress theme called Frontier. This theme has great flexibility and makes the website look consistent no matter if you are on a PC or iPhone or a tablet.
  • I found a simple photo Slide Show plugin called Portfolio Slideshow Pro.
  • I also added a plugin called “Add Link to Facebook” which allows new WalvBlog posts or new web pages to add a link to our new Walvoord/Walvoort History Facebook page. The Dutch developer of the plugin recently pulled the plug on support for any of his WordPress plugins and no more updates will be happening, so I may have to find another solution when it stops working.  Apparently something about taxes (VAT) the European Union has implemented was the cause and his dissatisfaction with WordPress.
  • Also, at the bottom of each post or page now shows when it was last updated. If you think you’ve already read a Walv-Blog post or web page, this will help you to see if anything has changed since you last read it.  If there are any major changes (including new photos) to the page or post, I will “push it out” to the Facebook page for you to click on.

As far as Genealogy…

  • No births or marriages were reported to me for 2014, so if you have any family news you would like to share, please do.

We lost as least five Walvoords during the year including, my brother Kit.

  • Kit Randall Walvoord (age 56) died in January in Amarillo, Texas.
  • Michael John Walvoord (age 44) died in June in Austin, Texas.
  • John David Walvoord (age 71) died in October in Commerce, Texas.
  • Stacey (Hill) Walvoord (age 37) died in November in Arlington, Texas.
  • James Randall Walvoord (age 69) dying in December in Dallas, Texas. 

Also, Elizabeth Ann “Betty” (Roger) Carpenter (age 93) died in December in Madison, Wisconsin. Betty was the daughter of Ada Adeline Walvoord (1889-1959) and was the last of my grandfather’s first cousins.

I was not made aware of any other deaths in the Walvoord Family.

Second, Looking forward…

  • I have several new biographies nearly ready to publish.  I just need to do some more editing and searching for better photos.  If you have any biographical information, photos, or stories to share about your Walvoord/Walvoort ancestor, please share those with me and I will try to publish them on the website.
  • I have an idea to make an obituary archive page.  I will try to organize it by date or by name, not sure until I play around with it to see what works best. Some obituaries will be digital and other will be an image.  I have lots so it may take a while. Please send in any obituaries from your branch and I will do my best to get them included.  No obituary is too old or too recent.
  • I also have an idea to make a photo slide show of wedding/engagement photos from throughout the years from all years. Please send any that you want included.
  • I have several distant cousins who have promised me information and photos from their branches and hope to add those things to the website when received.
  • I plan on writing biographies on my dad’s generation (aunt and uncles).
  • I also have a list of Blog topics to write about that I hope will be of interest to the Family.

Please keep the emails and comments coming!  I love hearing from you.

Scott Walvoord

Nashville, Tennessee



Updated: January 24, 2015 — 8:10 PM

A TBT (Throw Back Thursday) Christmas

Jeanette Hester Walvoord

Jeanette Hester Walvoord (1905-2003) at Christmas time about 1905. Jeanette was the daughter of Will and Lydia Walvoord and granddaughter of Henry and Henrietta Walvoord.

TBTC (Throw Back Thursday Christmas).  This is Jeanette Hester Walvoord circa 1905.  She was the daughter of William “Will” Walvoord (1877-1973) and Alyda “Lydia” (Lemmenes) Walvoord (1882-1964).

Updated: January 23, 2015 — 7:10 AM

Walvoord Thanksgiving Memories

How a Family Tradition Came to Be…

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Every year, for as long as I can remember, the Walvoord family has gathered together to share food and give thanks. My branch of the Walvoord Family truly enjoys each other and everyone looks forward to getting together each year.

My Aunt Mary, Mary Elizabeth Walvoord Hale Dzuik (1928-2009), is the one who started a family custom that would eventually reach mammoth proportions.

Mary thought it was important to get the family together often.  In fact, she built her house in Hereford, Texas specifically so it would have enough room for family gatherings. It was felt that Christmas should be spent with individual family groups, but Thanksgiving was a holiday that the whole Walvoord Family could gather for.


Although not at Thanksgiving, this is an early gathering of Walvoords at Aunt Mary’s in Hereford, Texas circa 1956. From left to right: Peggy (Phillips) Walvoord (holding son Keith), David Walvoord, John F. Walvoord, Timothy Walvoord (boy looking back), Geraldine (Lundgren) Walvoord, Lynn Hale, Randall H. Walvoord, Betty Jo Walvoord, Mary F. Walvoord (84), Aunt Mary (Walvoord) Hale, Johnny Walvoord (sitting holding Cindy Hale [L] and Gary Walvoord [R]), Bill Forbes (holding son Mike) and Joann (Walvoord) Forbes.

Aunt Mary had these family get-togethers for many years as the family grew and grew.  Soon hosting Thanksgiving became quite a chore, so Mary’s younger brother David and sister-in-law Peggy (my parents), began to host Thanksgiving every-other-year.  They had bought a new and bigger house in Amarillo, Texas in 1969 and were now able to handle the growing family reunions.  In one instance, I remember my parents, who had a game room,  put the ping-pong table top on top of the pool table, draped a tablecloth over that and put chairs around converting it to a large dining table. Of course myself and the rest of my younger cousins were regulated to the children’s tables (usually several card tables) sprinkled in other rooms of the house.

In those early days, Thanksgiving would alternate between my parent’s house and my Aunt Mary’s house in Hereford, Texas.

The Sears Wish Book


Sears Wishbook Catalog from 1968

After the noon Thanksgiving meal, everyone would sit around the dining room table with the Sears Christmas “Wish Book” Catalog and make up their Christmas Lists of items they wanted costing less than $5.00.

Drawing Names

After the lists, an exciting time was had by drawing names of all family members (including those not present).    It was always a secret who had drawn your name much like the “Secret Santa” games that people play today, although we didn’t call it that.  The name one drew was who they got to buy a gift for for that Christmas.  If you drew someone from your own family, that slip of paper was put back in and you would re-draw.

There was always a limit to how much you could spend.  It was usually no more than five dollars but then with inflation, the limit, I think, was raised to $10.00.  When it became harder to buy anything meaningful with ten dollars, the tradition of drawing names each Thanksgiving was abandoned.

Games and Dallas Cowboys Football

In those early days, after the noon meal at Aunt Mary’s, the adults would play Canasta and the kids would play outside with Lawn Darts.  Many of the guys would play tennis on a nearby tennis court.  I also remember playing the game Clue for the first time.

In later years, the post noon meal activities include a walk to a park for kids to play, or a game of ping pong or throwing the football around. When in the Dallas area, Aunt Nan would open up her shop (The Vintage House) for a shopping “field trip” that most of the ladies would enjoy and get a little early Christmas shopping in.


1960 Dallas Cowboys Logo

At kickoff time, nearly everyone would sit in front of the TV to watch the Dallas Cowboys play.  My grandfather, Randall Henry Walvoord (1904-1978), was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and my older Aunts and Uncles were born in Racine, Wisconsin.  You would think that they would be Green Bay Packers fans, but their loyalties have always been for the Dallas Cowboys.  My grandfather moved the family from Racine down to Amarillo, Texas in 1945 and since The Dallas Cowboys started up in 1960, this branch of Walvoords has followed them from the beginning.


As the family grew larger and larger, the hard work of Thanksgiving preparations was spread around between between more of my aunts and uncles.  Hosting of Thanksgiving began to rotate between my Aunt Mary’s in Hereford, Texas, David and Peggy Walvoord’s in Amarillo, Texas, Johnny and Nan Walvoord’s in Carrollton, Texas and then Gary and Bonnie Walvoord’s in Amarillo (then later to Oklahoma City after they moved there).  In this way, no one had to host more than once every four-years.

Grafting in Another Branch of the Family Tree

One Thanksgiving, in Carrollton, Texas, when it was Uncle Johnny and Aunt Nan family’s turn to host, they thought to invite John F. Walvoord’s family who lived in Dallas.  John F. Walvoord was my great-uncle and the younger brother of my grandfather Randall H. Walvoord (who had died in 1978).  My Great-uncle John and great-aunt Geraldine and their children and grandchildren added another six to ten to the Walvoord numbers each year. In hindsight, we all wondered why no one had never thought to invite them before, because they added so much to the family.

As Thanksgiving rotated between Hereford, Amarillo, Carrollton, and Oklahoma City, some years just had bigger turnouts than others.  More of the Walvoord family lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, so the Carrollton year had more people show up than the Hereford year or even the Amarillo year.  With the combination of everyone enjoying the bigger turnouts and convenience in the Dallas area, and the fact that Aunt Mary my my parents were getting older and hosting Thanksgiving was more difficult for them, the Panhandle locations were eventually dropped and then later so was Oklahoma City.

The Next Generation

Eventually the Walvoord Thanksgiving settled into a Dallas only rotation and the annual burden of hosting fell on my Aunt Nan’s family in Carrollton.

To give her a break, one year my cousin Cindy (Hale) Horton (Aunt Mary’s youngest daughter), hosted at her home in Austin, Texas.

Another year, John Edward Walvoord (son of John F. Walvoord) hosted at his house in Dallas.

Johnny and Nan’s daughter Jeanan (Walvoord) Hamilton started hosting at her house in Flower Mound, Texas alternating each year with her mom.  Jeanan loves hosting so much, she became content to host every year and in true Walvoord fashion wants to set a record in attendance each year.  The record attendance (I believe) is 62, but generally averages around 50 or so each year.

In 2009, my cousin Kristi (Dillon) Spess began hosting every-other-year in Austin, Texas and did so this past 2013.

Group Photo, Prayer, and Doxology

Although photos of various family groups have been taken nearly every year, many years, a photo of the entire family together was simply forgotten. By the time somebody thought of it, some of the family had already left.

I believe it was my cousin Jeanan, who one year, organized an approach to make a group photo of everyone.   Before the noon prayer and food, everyone gathered outside to get a group photo.  The photo is to be taken at 12:00 noon sharp.  If you’re not there, you miss being in the picture. Jeanan has been known to “Photo Shop” a couple of lollygaggers into the photo. After about “500 photos” from “30 different cameras” are taken, then generally, the eldest Walvoord male present, would say the blessing.

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Walvoord Thanksgiving in Amarillo, Texas in 1972

Walvoord Thanksgiving in Amarillo, Texas in 1974

Walvoord Thanksgiving in Amarillo, Texas in 1977. This was the last Thanksgiving with my grandfather, Randall H. Walvoord. He died in August of 1978.

Walvoord Thanksgiving in Amarillo, Texas (at Bonnie & Gary's house) Back row: Alan Gowdy, Kit Walvoord, Ed Dzuik, Scott Walvoord, Mike Forbes, Keith Walvoord, David Walvoord, Nan Walvoord, Johnny Walvoord Middle row: Elizabeth Walvoord, Tresa Hale, Bonnie Walvoord, Betty Jo Dillon, Peggy Walvoord, Pam Forbes, Mary Dzuik, Lynn Gowdy, Jimmy Gowdy Front row: Jeromy Gowdy, Wendy Walvoord, Jeanan Walvoord, Kristi Dillon, Derek Horton, Cindy Horton, Fletcher Horton, Gary Walvoord, Mark Walvoord, Shaun Walvoord

Walvoord Thanksgiving in Hereford, Texas in 1981

Walvoord Thanksgiving in Amarillo, Texas (Uncle Gary's) in 1982

Walvoord Thanksgiving in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1991

Walvoord Thanksgiving in Carrollton, Texas in 2003

Walvoord Thanksgiving in Flower Mound, Texas in 2004

Walvoord Thanksgiving in Flower Mound, Texas in 2005

Walvoord Thanksgiving in Flower Mound, Texas in 2006

Walvoord Thanksgiving in Flower Mound, Texas in 2007

Walvoord Thanksgiving in Flower Mound, Texas in 2008

Walvoord Thanksgiving in Austin, Texas in 2009

Walvoord Thanksgiving in Austin, Texas in 2011

Walvoord Thanksgiving in Flower Mound, Texas in 2012

Walvoord Thanksgiving in Austin, Texas in 2013

Many Walvoord descendants from this branch are very musically gifted and some even have degrees in Music (I’m not one of them). One year, my cousin Lynn (Aunt Mary’s oldest daughter) spontaneously began singing the Doxology after the prayer and everyone joined in.  It is now a tradition every year.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.



Feeding a family this big, requires a lot of food. Some of the food the Walvoords share each year are, of course, turkey.  Some years we’ve had four turkeys: two roasted turkeys, one smoked turkey and one deep-fried turkey. Usually someone provides a large ham.

Some of the classic Walvoord dishes enjoyed are Aunt Nan’s corn bread dressing of which she makes massive quantities taking several days to make.  I don’t recall ever having “stuffing” at Thanksgiving which is a more northern tradition.  Another favorite is Aunt Nan’s corn bread casserole.  Everyone laps ups up Aunt Nan’s pink salad. Aunt Mary always made a broccoli-rice casserole that I loved.  Aunt Betty is known for her fudge.  Mrs. Hale (Granny Hale was Aunt Mary’s mother-in-law) made the most delicious variety of home-made pickles in her relish tray. Aunt Mary also made delicious pumpkin pies from a recipe that was handed down from her Uncle Earl Korn’s wife Laurine. Earl was the older brother of my grandmother Elizabeth (Korn) Walvoord.

Someone would always bring Pecan Pie.  My grandmother who was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin would pronounce it “Pee-can Pie” and us Southern Walvoords would “try” to correct her to the proper pronunciation of “Pi-khan Pie.”  My grandpa would call pickles: “cucumbers” and cucumbers: “pickles.”  I think he did that just to tease me.

Continuing the Spirit of Aunt Mary’s Thanksgiving

July 31, 2009, Mary Elizabeth (Walvoord) Hale Dzuik went to be with the Lord.  That year, Thanksgiving was held in Austin, Texas.  It was the first Thanksgiving without the one who built this family tradition.

My uncle and aunt, Randy and Mary (Froehlich) Walvoord planned on coming to Austin that year for Thanksgiving, but were unable to attend.  This Mary was sick and dying of cancer and just couldn’t make the trip even though she wanted to.

My cousins Lynn and Cindy who seem to always think of others before themselves, after losing their own mother several months earlier, packed up leftover turkey, dressing and all the fixings and flew from Austin to Florida so Randy and Mary wouldn’t miss out on Thanksgiving.

I think Aunt Mary would be proud of that.


What are your memories of Thanksgiving?

Share your family’s memories and traditions of Thanksgiving in comments below.


Updated: November 24, 2016 — 7:09 AM
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