Happy New Year 2017 from WalvoordHistory.com!
Merry Christmas from WalvoordHistory.com!
Walvoords Celebrate 55 years of Marriage!
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…
Photo of Walvoord Thanksgiving 2016
“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. …
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…
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!!!”
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.
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.
CONGRATULATIONS on 50 Years!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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).
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.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
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Walvoord/Walvoort Family History Website is now on Facebook! A new plugin called “Add Link to Facebook” has been added to the website. Now whenever I post new Webpage or Walv-Blog Post, it will also post on our Facebook Page.
To get news or posts to show up on your Facebook wall.
- Go to Walvoord/Walvoort Family History Facebook Page.
- “Like” (some posts might not show up on your wall).
- “Follow” (be sure to do this if you want all, new posts to show up on your wall).
New posts are few and far between, but when I do post new stuff, you will be able to see it on your Facebook wall.
Tell your friends and family who are interested in Walvoord/Walvoort Family History!
Hello everybody. You will hopefully be seeing some good changes on the website. Most notably, the theme has changed from “Adventure Journal” to “Frontier.” Before “Adventure Journal” I used the “Parchment” theme. I loved that theme, but the developer no longer supported any updates. “Adventure Journal” was the new choice for a couple of years. I still love how it displays photos on the pages and posts. Now a change has been necessary because of all the devices out there that are used, from different browsers to, tablets to smart phones. Getting a website to look good on all of these devices requires a theme that is “responsive.” “Frontier” is one responsive theme that seems to fit the bill.
The number one goal for this site (other than finding time to work on it) is to find the right slideshow plugin to handle the wealth of photos I have to share. I was using a plugin called “Showtime” for a while and although it didn’t do exactly like I wanted, it served okay for a while. But it was a “Flash” plugin and wouldn’t work on many browsers including iOS (ipads, iphones, etc.). Flash is becoming obsolete for this reason.
So I’m now testing NextGen Gallery and quite honestly it is a pain. It may just be a learning curve on my part, but I need something easy that will give time to add new content to the site instead of sapping all my strength on “figuring it out.” NextGen uses “jQuery” instead of “Flash,” so that is the type of plugin I am looking for.
If any of you techies out there are familiar with WordPress themes and plugins and have suggestions on a “Responsive Theme” or a “jQuery gallery plugin” please post here and I will check them out.
I know this new theme will take some getting used to both for me and you. Check back often, because as I learn the ins and outs of this new theme and plugins I will keep tweaking and moving things around in the hopes that the site will be easier to use and full of new content.
As of today, WalvoordHistory.com is now formatted for Mobile devices using WPtouch. WalvoordHistory.com now supports 100’s of phones on all major platforms (iOS, Android, Blackberry & WindowsPhone).
This is William O. and Janna (Te Kolste) Walvoord’s home in Holland Nebraska around the turn of the 20th Century. The pathway from the picket fence gate leads to the boardwalk of the Walvoord Store seen in the lower left of the photo. The house still stands today.
This photo is courtesy of Ann Walvoord Graff.
This week’s photo is also of the Walvoord General Store in Holland, Nebraska in the early 1900s. At this date, William O. Walvoord’s son, John Christian Walvoord (1879-1964), had taken over the store, hence the name J. C. Walvoord’s Store. This is the east entrance to the original store. Last week’s photo showed the south entrance which was previously a competing store. Next door to the store’s left, is the Dutch Reformed Church in Holland, Nebraska. The picket fence to the right surrounded the home of Willam O. Walvoord.
Thanks again to Ann Walvoord Graff for providing this wonderful photo!