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Randall Henry Walvoord (1904-1978)

Randal Walvoord c.1923

Randal Walvoord c.1923

Randall Henry Walvoord was born on March 16, 1904. On June 28, 1927 he married Elizabeth Katherine Marie Korn, the youngest child and only daughter of David and Mary Anna (Imig) Korn.

Elizabeth was born on a farm near Abilene, Kansas on August 2, 1902.   Elizabeth was the youngest child and only daughter of David and Mary Anna (Imig) Korn.  In the Fall of 1907 the Korn family sold their Kansas farm and returned to Waukesha, Wisconsin where Elizabeth’s grandparents Jacob and Katherine (Eiler) Korn had settled from Germany in 1840.  Her grandfather, Jacob, was considered a pioneer of the town of New Berlin, Wisconsin.

Elizabeth later attended Carroll College in her home of Waukesha, Wisconsin where she earned a B.A. in History, and was a member of Theta Pi Delta Sorority.  Elizabeth’s sorority sister, Jean Toutenhoofd (daughter of Mae Walvoord Toutenhoofd), introduced Elizabeth to her cousin, Randall Henry Walvoord, who also attended Carroll College before transferring to the University of Wisconsin at Madison.  Randall earned a B.S. degree in electrical engineering.  He was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) Fraternity. Randall’s fraternity brother, Reuben G. Henrich, married Randall’s cousin, Jean Tootenhoofd.

Elizabeth married Randall on June 28, 1927 in her parents home at 202 James Street in Waukesha.

Randall became County Engineer in Racine. When the Racine City Engineer was drafted to fight in World War II, Randall took over his responsibilities as well. Randall was considered too old and had too many children to fight in the war but never-the-less was recruited by J. I. Case Company to help with the war effort. He built wings for the B-26 attack bomber.

After the war, he continued to work at J. I. Case as a draftsman but didn’t like the inside work. He went to work for Allis Chalmers (a Milwaukee company) as an outside sales engineer. He would go from plant to plant to see what kind of motors they needed. As the company expanded, Randall was given a choice to transfer to either New York City or to Dallas, Texas. He didn’t like New York and since his younger brother, John, lived in nearby Ft. Worth he chose to make Dallas his new home. But before actually moving to Dallas, Randall was transferred to Allis Chalmers’ Motor Division in Amarillo, Texas.

The Randall & Elizabeth Walvoord Family c. 1943.  Front Row (left to right) Joann, Johnny, David.  Back Row, Mary, Elizabeth, and Randall.

The Randall & Elizabeth Walvoord Family c. 1943. Front Row (left to right) Joann, Johnny, David. Back Row, Mary, Elizabeth, and Randall.

So in 1945, Randall, Elizabeth and their five children (Mary, David, Joann, John, and Randy), moved to Amarillo. Sometime after the move, Allis Chalmers closed their Amarillo Motor Division. G. E. Jones Electric Company took over Chalmers` business and Randall was offered a job in their Sales and Repair Department where he remained until he died.

Five children were born to Elizabeth and Randall in Racine. Mary Elizabeth was born, September 6, 1928. Her brother David Randall was born February 27, 1931. Their sister Joann Ethel was born November 13, 1932. John Earl was born October 24, 1934. The last child to be born in Racine was Randall Paul who was born on June 8, 1944.

Two more were born in Amarillo for a total of seven children. Betty Jo was born in Amarillo on October 31, 1945 and the “baby” of the family was born October 2, 1948 and named Gary Alan.

The year 1958 was an eventful year for the Walvoords. In May of that year, the family was honored as Amarillo`s “Family of the Year” at a special awards dinner. The family had been nominated along with 25 other Amarillo families to compete for the honor. Just one month later on June 19, 1958, tragedy struck when their daughter Joann, a wife and a mother of a five-year-old son, unexpectedly died of a cancer that was detected too late. She was only twenty-five.

Randall and Elizabeth celebrated their 50th golden wedding anniversary on June 28, 1977. Randall died the next year on August 31, 1978 at the age of seventy-four, in Amarillo, Texas.

Elizabeth Korn Walvoord, Age 95,  died March 31, 1998 in Hereford, Texas southwest of Amarillo.  She was preceded in death by her five older brothers, Bert, Jake, Peter, Arthur, and most recently, Earl, who died in 1984 and who was a loved and well-known citizen of Waukesha.