This picture was taken on one of his many business trips. Some of you will recognize the setting. Click to enlarge and you’ll see the date and time. And all that time we thought he was working!
Early in 1997 I was working on building a website in tribute to my parents, trying to collect stories and anecdotes from them. I asked Dad if he would be willing to send me an abbreviated–mostly because of space limitations at the time—autobiography for me to use.
Before I go any further, I want you to know that I loved my daddy. More than that, I adored him. He was my ultimate hero right up to the day he left these earthly bonds. We had a very close father/daughter relationship down through the years, and I am a lot like him in many ways.
Okay, back to Daddy’s autobiography. Below is what he emailed me on the date above:
Preparing an abbreviated autobiography is pretty difficult! I tried to put together some highlights in a condensed form. Since my memory and dates are fallible, I asked Mom to look at my draft and she wants to expand it!
So my purpose is to give you a background from which to extract whatever you want to condense further. The dates are as accurate as Mom can supply.
We were married while I was in Graduate School at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, after going together for several while in college at Oneonta, NY. A year and a half without Alta was long enough, so we became one in Corning, NY just two days after Christmas in 1937.
On January 18, 1939, Peggy was born at Northville, NY…the same home and place where I was born on July 6, 1914.
[With a Master’s Degree in Chemistry] My first job was with American Cyanamid Chemical Company in Stamford, CT, where we built our first home at 145 Ridge Park Avenue.
In Stamford we were active in the Swedish Evangelical Congregational Covenant Church, where we made many wonderful friends. It was in Stamford that Martha was born on April 16, 1941, and Bobby on March 17, 1943.
While living in Stamford, my work evolved into developing a sugar refining process, and working in Meridian, MS; Baton Rouge, LA; Alvarado, CA’ Clewiston, FL; Manatee Cuba, and Chicago, IL Then I accepted a position as Plant Superintendent at Inland Sugar Company, and moved to Milwaukee, Wi, in 1949. There we bought our second home.
In Milwaukee we helped start the first Pilgrim Holiness Church in the state of Wisconsin. One of our favorite pastors there was Dr. O. D. Emery. After the merger with the Wesleyan Methodist Church, or pastor was Rev. Lowell Davis, who is with us here today. [at the time of this writing.]
When the Inland Sugar was sold, I was employed at Allis Chalmers Mfg. Co. for 12 years in Process Engineering. The first project to which I was assigned was the the starting of of a Soybean Plant sold to Spillers Ltd in Cardiff, Wales, during part of 1952/53. Upon returning to the States, I entered the Pyro Processing Division working with Rotary Kiln processing of paper Mill Lime sludge., Florida Phosphate Rock, Limestone and Cement. I had a special experience in the selling of and the starting up of a new limestone process for Dow Chemical Company in Ludington, MI, which involved many tripe on the car ferry across Lake Michigan from Milwaukee and back.
In 1956, responding to an urgent call for help, we moved to Wilson, AR for a period, to serve as Superintendent at a soybean mill at Wilson Soya where the company built us a new house for us to occupy. While there we found a Pilgrim Holiness Church to attend Sunday mornings–60 miles away in Jonesboro, AR. There, at that church, daughter Martha met her husband-to-be, Jerry Payton, one of the Payton twins. Peggy, for the last part of our year there was at Owasso Bible College in Michigan.
At South Shore, KY, Charles Taylor & Sons purchases a special Traveling Gate-Kiln Plant to process making high temperature furnace rock. The success of this process evolved into the sale of a similar plant erected in the Negev in Israel, where Alta and I spent several months there, living in Beersheva and Mitzpe Ramon.
After returning from Israel in 1966, radical change was taking place within Allis Chalmers and I decided to retire, and for several years worked with a friend (Rev, Don R. Good) as house builder and Real Estate Broker in Manitowoc, WI. Back in Milwaukee (1972) my next position was with Globe Union Mfg. as an Environmental Engineer for lead battery plants in 14 different states. After 6 years at Globe Union–now The Johnson Control Co.–I retired and spent some time as Vice President at Ackerlow Industries in Grafton, WI. Following that I worked for a friend for a time in Brandon, MS, before moving to Brooksville, FL in 1980.
We became active in the Brooksville Wesleyan Church where Dr. Jack Adams had become pastor. When a group gathered tor starting a new church in Spring Hill [Florida] we moved there to be part of building it. Our Founding Pastor was Rev. Jim Den, and then Dr. Jack Adams [again] after Jim retired. Soon after that Rev. Wesley Wright was called to be pastor there.
We left Florida to be with our daughter Martha in Missouri for a few years, but just had to return to Mom’s beloved Florida in June 1995.
Peg here. As I retyped this from the email Dad sent me that day, my mind flashed back through all the years and my heart swells with pride. Daddy was a remarkable man, earning the love and respect of all with whom he connected. Through many of those years and his travels, we frequently traveled with him–except Cuba and his overseas trips—even during school months, some of my most treasured memories. I think Mom was the pioneer homeschooler, taking our lessons with us as we traveled around the country.
For more information about my dad—if you’re interested–visit my two previous posts at:
Thank you all so much for letting me talk about my dad, whom I loved so much…and still do… and whom I miss so terribly much.