Friday, February 8, 2008

Floyd Wilford bio

Written by their eldest daughter, Jo Ann Wilford Klundt
November 2004

Floyd Andrew Wilford was born on October 10, 1914 in Hooper, Weber, Utah, the second son of Louis Joseph Wilford and Jeanne Helene Guignard. His family moved quite a lot as he was growing up and, after completing 8th grade, he went to work to help support his family. Louis had immigrated with his family from Belgium and Jeanne had immigrated with her family from Switzerland.

Florence Barbara Peterson was born on October 21, 1916, in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, to Arthur Martin Peterson and Florence Jackson.

As a young man, Floyd moved with his family to Eugene, Lane, Oregon, where he met Florence, who had moved to Eugene to live with an aunt and uncle. They met at a Mutual dance and fell in love. They dated for two years before eloping on September 16, 1935. Floyd did various types of construction work until, in 1938 he was invited by a member of his LDS ward to go to work as a journeyman or apprentice at Riggs Optical (later became Bausch & Lomb Optical Company). He learned that trade and was transferred to the Portland office of B&L Optical. Because of his trade, he was deferred from serving in the military in World War II. B&L Optical made glasses and goggles for the military, a critical industry to the war effort.

Prior to leaving Eugene, Floyd and Florence were blessed with the birth of two daughters. Jo Ann was born on February 11, 1937, and Judy Marie was born on August 28, 1938. Floyd and Florence lived with Floyd’s parents after Jo Ann was born, until they moved to Portland.

Two more children were born to Floyd and Florence in Portland. Karen Lynn was born on October 28, 1946 and Dennis Alan was born on June 1, 1948. When he was just one month old, on July 3, the family moved to Walla Walla, Walla Walla, Washington, where Floyd had been promoted to manager of that B&L office.

Floyd was known as a man of integrity and was a diligent worker. He was known for his skill in the optical business. Shortly after a 5th child, Keith Andrew, was born (December 6, 1951), Floyd was promoted to the position of manager of the B&L office in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah. Florence and the children stayed in Walla Walla to sell their home. Floyd went on to Salt Lake and purchased a small home there on 7th East, south of Liberty Park.

After Florence and the children joined him, they bought a larger home at 1154 S 1300 East in Salt Lake City. Jo Ann graduated from East High School in 1954 and moved back to Walla Walla on January 1, 1955. In 1956, Floyd was again promoted to become manager of the B&L office in Long Beach. The family moved to Long Beach, Orange, CA where they eventually bought a home at 2114 Kallin Avenue. They lived in that home until 1997, when they bought a condominium in Leisure World in Seal Beach, CA.

It was while they lived in Long Beach, that Floyd and Florence became active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Floyd had been born and raised in the Church. Florence’s mother had died when Florence was 8 years old and, although her parents were members of the LDS Church, Florence was not baptized until she moved to Eugene. She was baptized the month before she and Floyd were married.

In November, 1962, Floyd and Florence were married for time and all eternity in the Los Angeles Temple and Judy, Karen, Dennis and Keith were sealed to them. Jo Ann had married Arthur Klundt in August 1958. Arthur was not a member of the Church. It was 19 years later, on September 1, 1981, that Jo Ann was sealed to her parents.

Floyd worked for B&L until 1961, when he retired. They used his retirement money to buy a wholesale optical dispensing business. They sold that five years later (1966) and Floyd worked then for two opthamologists as an optician for one year. They then bought a retail optical business and ran that successfully for ten years, before selling it and retiring for good from the business world. Although Florence had never worked as a secretary or bookkeeper, she became both in the retail business. In 1976, they sold the business. They had lived frugally all of their lives and, as this is written, they are 90 and 88 years of age and of clear mind and able to take care of each other in the condominium they purchased in 1997.

After selling their business, they found great joy and satisfaction as they served as ordinance workers in the Los Angeles Temple and it was a great sorrow to them to have to give that up in 2001 following surgeries to replace both of Floyd’s knees.

They have always been devoted to family. Until 2003, Floyd and Florence hosted much of their large family for Thanksgiving dinner. In 2004, they realized they could no longer carry on the tradition of “cookie day” in December. Grandchildren have taken over the responsibility for each of these events.

Floyd and Florence have 21 grandchildren and 46 (#47 is expected in 2005) great grandchildren and they take pride in the fact that they know each of them. They remember each person on their birthday, and each family at Christmas, with cards and gifts.

Floyd’s father-in-law taught him to play golf in 1945 and he has continued to enjoy it. He did well, winning some tournaments. At age 90 he continues to golf 2-3 times each week. Shortly before his 90th birthday he won a trophy.

Note from Cassie: Great Aunt Florence passed away on December 21, 2007. Although her family will miss her terribly, she is in a better place.

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