Wallace Dittmore Heaps

May 17, 1972

Other Short Histories

Dad’s Miniature Farm by
Rachel Heaps Holmstrom

Memories of Uncle Wally by Shirley Ellen Blackmer Tyler, niece

Wallace Dittmore Heaps
By Rosalind Heaps, daughter-in-law
(May 2006)

Born in Butlerville, Utah on the twenty-second of October 1910, Wally was the eighth child in the growing family of Benjamin Franklin & Ann Eva Heaps. With the loss of an older brother who only lived seven days, Wally was the only boy in the family with six older sisters who loved, cared for, and spoiled their new baby brother, but that didn’t last long. Within the next five and half years, three more boys were born giving Wally the male playmates he was sure to enjoy and rule over as their older brother. From the time Wally was 3 ½ years old until he was 8 there was continuous talk about the Great World War going on in Europe. So along with the farming chores, there would be war games to play with his younger brothers.

The family of ten children moved to a farm in Twin Falls, Idaho sometime after his youngest brother, Albert was born. They had several work horses to pull the plow and wagons as well as a smaller horse to pull the family's buggy. They also had a small, young horse called Peanuts that had never been ridden or broken. At 9 years of age, it was Wally's job to bring up the cows from the pasture a half-mile from the barn and get them ready for his dad, Ben, to milk. One day, Wally just did not want to make that half-mile walk to the pasture for the milk cows, so he called Peanuts over, the unbroken horse, put a rope around her and climbed aboard. He felt it would be relatively safe to have her out of the corral since there was no place for her to go but down the lane.

After letting the cows out of the pasture, he remembered he had left the corral gate open and the cows could get out on the road and get away if he didn't get there first to close it. With the cows in a hurry to get up to the barn to be milked, Wally knew he needed to hurry to beat them there, so he dug his heels into the sides of Peanuts and she took off like the wind. The old rope that he had around Peanuts broke, so Wally had to hang on to her neck for dear life as she sped up the lane. Arriving at the corral, he told her "whoa" and she stopped very suddenly, almost making Wally fly over her neck, surprising both horse and boy. Wally said that Peanuts turned out to be a great horse and never had any trouble with her after that experience that gave him quite a fright.


The above story of Wally and Peanuts was told to the family of Cliff and Roz one night for family home evening, October 1977 and was taped recorded. To listen to the actual sound clip of Wally telling his story, click play below, or go here.



Wally was 10 years old when three of his sisters: Eva, Leona, and Mary, were married in 1921 to start families of their own. His sister Leona was to die a year later following the birth of her daughter, Leona. Some say it was from complications of childbirth or breast fever, but according to the story Cliff, Wally’s son, remembers being told that a friend had come to visit Leona, greeting her with a kiss while she was still in the hospital following the delivery of her baby. The friend was just getting over the flu or cold at the time and Leona's resistance was still weak causing her to become very sick and die shortly after. This made a great impression on Wally that when he had his own family; they always kissed their children on the cheek rather than the lips to keep from passing colds and other infections from one to the other.

It wasn't until March second of 1924 that Wally was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the age of 13 1/2. Not too long after that when he was around 14 or 15 he had a big confrontation with his father and ran away from home, hopping a freight train and ending up in Kansas City or Oklahoma City or both at one time or another, gaining employment by unloading railroad cars. We don’t know how long he was gone from home but we feel it wasn’t too long. Cliff says that his dad avoided talking about those early years of his youth, maybe to avoid setting a poor example for his children. We do know that he never did graduate from high school.

Marie thinks it was sometime in the early ‘20s that Wally came down with a sever case of the mumps. He was living alone in his own apartment at the time, when he woke up one morning with the mumps and realized they had “gone down on him”. He said, “He picked them up and went right back to bed”. He was so desperately ill that his family had to go get him, take him home, and nurse him back to health.

It was during the late 1920's that Ford introduced the Model A, scaring the riding horses off the roads. His sister, Virginia married in October1928 to Ed Jarvis. Ed was born in Mexico to United States parents and as a result had dual citizenship in both countries.

The stock market crashed the following year, just a few months before Helen's marriage in December 1929 to Lee Maury.

Jobs were scarce during the depression and in 1930 Wally found himself in Norwalk, California, living with his sister and brother-in-law, Mary and Vic, and their family of two young daughters, Doris and Erma, and a baby boy, Donald. Vic was working as a milker on a dairy at the time and Wally was working as a general laborer, picking up work where he could and moving where the jobs could be found.

With the nation in the great depression and Franklin D. Roosevelt serving as President, things were looking pretty grim and Wally found himself back in Idaho. He attended the University of Idaho, majoring in business administration for the school year of 1932-1933 and took a correspondence electrical and radio class. He also served in the Idaho National Guard in the 116 Cavalry Reserve Unit from 1932 to 1935, achieving the rank of Captain. It was June of 1935 that his mother, Ann Eva passed away. Later that year that his brother, Paul Avard married and in another two years, in 1937 his brother, Lewis married.

It wasn’t too long after that Wally left Idaho and returned to California to live with Mary and Vic for a while. By then, their family had grown and their oldest daughter, Doris, was a freshman at El Monte High School. While attending church with the family, Mary introduced Wally to a young gal in the ward, Marie Horspool, who was a senior at El Monte High. Mary let Wally know that it was time to settle and he should marry Marie. After Marie graduated in 1937 from high school, she picked up odd jobs babysitting and cleaning house and was busy with the church young adult activities. She says that she and Wally never did actually date, but went on several of the youth activities together. Wally gave Marie a ring for her birthday on December 23, 1938. Six months later, they were married on June 23, 1939 in Baldwin Park. The bridal party consisted of Doris and Erma, Marie’s sister, Rose and their cousin, Evelyn Horspool as bridesmaids. The flower girls were Virginia’s daughter, “Sis” and Helen’s daughter, “Janny”. Wally was 28 years old, 9 years older than Marie.

Marie & Wally
About 1949

Marie Horspool
El Monte High
1937 Graduation

Abt 1928 in Idaho
Victor & Mary (Heaps) Mulliner & Wally
Doris & Erma

1939 in California
Wally with Gary Mulliner,
Mary & Vic’s youngest baby

Marie says that at the time she met Wally he was a smoker. He was also called by the Bishop to serve in the Young Men’s program; therefore, he felt he needed to quit his cigarettes. He would still carry a pack in his shirt pocket and would reach for a cigarette with his hand, look at it and angrily say, “I don’t want that”, throw it down on the ground and stomp the daylights out of it. He was eventually able to give up the bad habit. Marie says that Wally was a very determined man and when he made his mind up to do something, he usually had the will power to do it.

The only transportation Wally had when they were first married was a motorcycle he used to go to work. His dad was visiting Mary and her family at the time of Wally’s and Marie’s marriage, so Wally borrowed his father’s car to take Marie to get married. His dad really liked Marie and told Wally he had better treat her good. Of course Wally enjoyed teasing and that was just the excuse he needed to tease Marie all the more.

At the time of their marriage, Wally was working with the local gas company as a temporary employee. It was the September following their marriage that he was hired on with Douglas Aircraft, working with blueprints and lithograph in the engineering reproduction department, eventually working up to the position of supervisor over a team of 20 other men.

Marie says they lived not too far from the high school her younger sister and brother attended. So after school, Rose and Jim would walk over to visit Marie and wait around until after Wally got home from work. Wally would then give the two of them a ride home on his motorcycle. It wasn’t too long after getting his job with Douglas they were able to purchase their first car, a two-door Chevy. They also made the move from Baldwin Park to Venice and lived there until after the birth of their first two children, Anne who was born in 1940 and Cliff in 1941.

It was June 1940, while Marie was pregnant with Anne that Wally and Marie decided to take the trip from Southern California to St. George Utah, the closest temple at the time, to be sealed for eternity. Wally’s father, Ben, was visiting from Idaho, so he drove them over to El Monte to pick up Mary and, with Ben and Wally taking turns driving; the four took off to Utah in the little old car on the open highways and two lane roads. There were no freeways at the time, so it was a very long trip especially with Marie six months pregnant with Anne. Arriving hot and tired at the temple in St. George, Wally and Marie entered, and after receiving their endowments and going through the sealing ceremony, they returned to the car and all headed right back home to Southern California. There was no money for hotel rooms for a much needed rest and overnight stay. It took at least 2 days for the round trip.

It was the following year that Wally’s father had a stroke. After recovering, he decided to put his life in order and gave Wally his old pocket watch. Each of his other children also received something from their father, but we don’t know what the items were. Marie only remembers that Rachel was given the car because she didn’t have one. Two weeks following his stroke, Benjamin Franklin Heaps died in Pocatello, Idaho on 19 April 1941. Marie also says that following Ben’s funeral, all the brothers and sisters gathered and took photos with the old Brownie cameras. This was most likely the first time all the kids were together in the same place since their mother’s death in 1935.

It was that fatal Sunday morning, December 7, 1941 that they heard on the radio of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the United States was plunged into World War II. The family was driving home from church following the blessing of their second baby, Cliff, born the previous September. Marie’s cousin, Ray Horspool, on leave from the Navy, had gone to church with them and was in the car when the announcement came. Ray couldn’t believe what he was hearing. His comment was that it couldn’t be true, it was impossible, this couldn’t be happening.

The month following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Wally’s sister, Rachel elopes with Paul Ray McMellan, but within a year, expecting their baby daughter, Susan, files for divorce. In January 1945, Rachel married Glen M. Rowe.

After working for Douglas for 6 years, Wally and Marie sold their half-acre home in El Monte to buy a farm in Filer, Idaho with Mary and Vic who had already moved there and had picked out the right place. So with the sale of the El Monte home, Wally sent up their share for the purchase of the farm. He quit his job in June 1945 and made the move to find out that Mary and Vic were not able to put Wally’s name on the deed at the time of purchase. Later, they had the farm refinanced and made sure that Wally and Marie’s name were included on the deed as co-owners with Mary and Vic.

The farm house was very big and the two families took separate parts of the house for their own living space. By then, Mary and Vic had five children and the bigger part of the house. Wally and Marie were expecting their third baby and had two rooms for their part of the house. The big dinning room was made into Marie’s kitchen where she used her mother-in-law’s old electric stove to cook on. The family all slept together in the same large bedroom.

Wally and Marie only lived in the farm house with Mary and Vic for a short time before Wally found a job on a nearby farm that also provided a little house of their own to live in. With snow on the ground and the farm work slow, he picked up a job at the Colorado Milling and Elevator Company located in Filer.

It was while living in the little farm house that Cliff remembers him and Anne having their tonsils removed. Cliff also remembers walking the dirt paths and farm roads, picking fresh asparagus along the way. It was while living there that Peggy Ellen Heaps was born in Twin Falls on December 9th, 1945.

Wally & sister, Rachel

Wally with Cliff & Anne
Filer, Idaho

Anne - 1941

Cliff - 1941

During their time on the farm, Wally took on the project of building a travel trailer completely from scratch. One end had crib like bunk beds for little ones. The other end of the trailer had a double bed with a hammock hanging over it for another child to sleep. This trailer was to become their home for the next few years.

The economy and farming situation didn’t work out, so Wally and Marie, still having part ownership in the Idaho farm in Filer, moved back to El Monte, California, and lived with Marie’s folks for a short time. It was while living there that their next daughter, Sylvia Ruth Heaps, was added to the family on 19 March 1947.

They didn’t stay there long because the in-laws were more than enough for Wally, so he moved his growing family to a trailer park in El Monte while Cliff and Peggy finished the school year; Cliff was in kindergarten and Anne, first grade. It was while living in the park that Wally hired on with North American Aviation in September 1947.

Wally, Sylvia, Marie
Peggy, Cliff, Anne

Wally & Marie
Anne & Cliff

Going back into the aircraft industry was not what Wally really wanted to do because of the union, but North American didn’t have the union at the time he hired on like Douglas did. Therefore, it was a much more acceptable employment for him at the time. When North American did become unionized, they did not require those who were already working to join. For the next twenty plus years that Wally worked for North American, he never did join the union.

Although Wally never completed his high school education and only took a few college classes, he was continually interested in increasing his knowledge and education, attending several special training classes that North American offered over the years. They included the Sperry auto-pilot training, bombing systems, turbo-jet engines and fuel systems, job supervision and ACE operator training.

Working in Inglewood, they bought a piece of property close by in Westminster and as soon as Cliff and Anne were out of school in June, Wally moved the little trailer onto the property for the family to live in while he started building their home. As soon as the house was half built, the three girls and parents moved in, leaving the trailer to Cliff as his own room. It was while they were living in the trailer in Westminster that the Idaho farm sold and Wally and Marie received their share of the investment. The family lived in Westminster for nine years and it was while living there that their daughter, Donna Louise, was born on the 28th of October 1951 in Santa Ana where the hospital was located.

With the Apollo project, the first unmanned missile, the family had to move to Palmdale for two years from Easter vacation of 1953 through the Easter vacation of 1955. One of the projects Wally worked on while at North American included testing rocket engines on cars on railroad tracks. Other North American projects included the Thor, Supiter, and Atlas missile programs.

It was while living in Palmdale that Cliff would no longer be the only boy in the family of so many daughters. The first son, Stanley James was stillborn on August 5, 1953 and that was when the doctors discovered that Marie had epilepsy, requiring medication to control it. Their next son, Mark Edwin was born January 17, 1955 very healthy and very active. So active, that he kept Marie busy chasing after him.

Following the Apollo project in Palmdale, the family was transferred to Florida for most of the next two years. About a year after moving to Florida, Wally and Marie received letters that Wally’s sister and brother-in-law were in a terrible car accident. Glen was killed on April 1, 1956 leaving Rachel a widow with her little girl, Susan. Rachel was terminally ill with breast cancer, passed away six months later on October 24, 1956. It was the following March 1957 that Wally and Marie’s last daughter; Rachel Leona was born, named after both of Wally’s deceased sisters.

Little Rachel was six months old when the family was transferred from Florida back to California. This time the move was to be a vacation the older children were never to forget. With seven children loaded in the 1954 Mercury station wagon and a 15 foot travel trailer being pulled behind, they traveled north from Florida to Washington D.C. to visit several monuments. Cliff chose to take care of the baby while the family took off to see the sites. When the family returned, he was then allowed to wander by himself.

The family camped along the way with some of them sleeping in the trailer and others in the station wagon. As long as it wasn’t raining, Cliff slept outside on a cot. Many of the campgrounds and trailer parks had laundry mats and every two days, Marie would have to wash clothes for the big family and Rachel’s diapers.

They had intended to continue north to Clinton, New York, but the challenge of seven tired, cranky children in the station wagon and frequent visits to the laundry mats was more than the family could endure. Therefore, they started heading west on the newly built toll road, Highway 80 to Idaho to visit family before continuing on to California.

Cliff says that somewhere along about Wyoming or Montana the station wagon had a flat tire. Wally changed the tire with the spare but before they could reach town, the wagon had a second flat. He exchanged that tire with one he took off the trailer. After unhitching the trailer, loading up the two tires and leaving all the kids with the trailer along side of the highway, Wally and Marie headed off to town to either get new tires or have the two fixed. The kids didn’t have much to explore, but it did give them a few hours to stretch and run around before their parents came back with functional tires and they were on their way down the long highway again.

The family finally made it back to California, renting a home in Westminster from 1957 until the day following Cliff’s high school graduation in June of ’59. Wally had been working in Downey and transferred to Canoga Park, so the family moved to Granada Hills for the next few years. Anne had just finished up her first year at BYU and came home that summer engaged to Jerry Barlow. Cliff had joined the Air Force and was no longer under the roof. Anne and Jerry were married the following September in the Los Angeles Temple in California and returned to Utah for Jerry to finish his degree while Anne started their family with the birth of Joni in 1960 and Jane in 1961. Following Jerry’s graduation, they moved to Idaho and settled near Jerry’s folks and only visited southern California occasionally for Wally and Marie to get to know their grandchildren.

It was while Cliff was in the air force and after Anne’s marriage that Wally again picked up some college classes in business administration at UCLA from September 1959 through June 1960. It was not long afterwards that he and Marie found an old house on four acres located in Ontario, California to move their family of five children to. Wally could have a milk cow, Bossy, grow some tomatoes and harvest the concord grapes and walnut trees already growing there. Marie made lots of grape jam and juice during the years on their small farm and the kids sold tomatoes to the neighbors to earn their spending money. Besides the farming and milking, Wally was also involved with the kid’s 4-H and Boy Scouting activities.

Having a milk cow was a lot of work for both Wally and Marie. Wally would get up early every morning and milk the cow when it was still dark outside before getting ready to go to work. Marie would then strain, cool and refrigerate it. The routine would be repeated in the evening before dinner when Wally came home and had changed his clothes. The cat would often join him for the milking to wait patiently for a squirt or two to come his way. Except for the times Bossy was big with a calf and “dried up”, the milking would continue twice every day, morning and night. There would be plenty of milk for the family and some for Marie to sell to families in the ward. The raw milk would separate with the cream floating to the top of the one gallon jugs and often Marie would skim off the cream to whip up for dessert or to make butter. It was when Bossy was dried up that Wally and Marie would be free to take a trip or get away for a few days needing someone only feed and water the animals. Otherwise, if they left when the cow wasn’t dry, Wally would have to make arrangements for Brother Durrant from the ward to come over and milk twice each day. Milking was not an easy task and Brother Durrant was the only person Wally knew of that knew how to do it. 

After years of work transfers and many moves, the family was finally able to settle down to the same house for several years giving the them a chance to get to know and develop long time friends at school and church. Rachel entered kindergarten right after they moved to Ontario and they continued to live there through her eighth grade.

In the meantime, Anne and Jerry, living in Idaho by now, were continuing to multiply and replenish the earth with the birth of three more daughters, Sharon, Susan and Mary and the adoption of Wanda, Holly and Burton by 1965, giving Wally and Marie a total of eight grandchildren in a very short time.

Wally’s youngest brother, Albert (Toady) had suffered health problems for years with polio as a child and later diabetes, Lou Gehrig's disease, and finally on September 1, 1965 he died of a heart attack at the age of 49. Wally and Marie joined the family at Albert’s funeral in Pocatello, Idaho where Wally gave the invocation and his brother Lewis gave the benediction at the service.

His brother, Avard was a journeyman electrician and had been working in the San Francisco area when he fell from scaffolding 40 floors up, landing on his feet, shattering them. After much surgery and therapy, Avard was able to walk with the aid of a cane, but was no longer able to work and collected disability. Being divorced, he moved in with Wally and Marie in Ontario for a few months. While living with them, Wally felt the need to move and upgrade the old electrical box that was located high on the house just under the eves to eye level for easier reading and working with. Marie was the one who was home during the day when the county inspectors came along to pass the work being done. They had told her the electrical box should not be moved and would not pass. Wally and Avard continued working on making the change and every time Marie would walk by, Avard would comment to her, “It won’t pass.” With Avard’s supervision, Wally completed the job and the inspectors came for the final inspection. He asked Marie if her husband had done the job. She told him that he had along with his brother who was a journeyman electrician. The inspector didn’t ask another question and signed it off right then and there.

On the day of Avard’s birthday, he had to go to Orange County to collect his disability check. While he was gone, Marie made him a cake that looked similar to the side of their house where the electrical box was. Across the cake, she wrote, “It won’t pass.” Avard returned home just before Marie finished the cake so she had Wally head him off from entering the house. Wally kept him busy with the rabbits and other farm animals, long enough for Marie to finish and hide the cake in the pantry. Following dinner that night, the cake was brought out and Avard got the biggest kick out of it.

It was after Avard moved out from living in Wally’s trailer and getting a room of his own that he died suddenly of a heart attack on January 12, 1966, just four months after his brother Albert.

The following summer, Wally and Marie’s second child, Cliff married a college classmate, Rosalind Marshall in Ontario. Wally’s sisters, Mary and Helen attended the wedding. After years of fighting diabetes and heart problems, it was just a little over a year later that Mary passed away in September 2, 1967,  two years following Albert.

Sylvia, Wally and Marie’s third, married Gary Harnagel in the Los Angeles Temple Thanksgiving weekend, 1967 and had their first daughter, Christina the following September. With Anne, Jerry, and all eight of their children living in Idaho, Christina was the first grandbaby Wally and Marie were able to really enjoy.

Wally had pre-diabetes that he kept under control with medication and diet, but he also had heart problems. After suffering a heart attack and recovering, North American forced him to retire a year later at the age of 58 when his youngest child, Rachel, was in the sixth grade. He no longer had the long commutes back and forth to work and was able to spend more time on the four acres, milking the cow, Bossy, growing tomatoes and other garden plants, taking out old walnut trees with Cliff’s help, and building a new garage he had started years before. At this time, their youngest son Mark was excelling in basketball and Wally would often attend his games.

Over the next few years, more grandchildren were added to the family with the births of Russell Heaps in California, Jonathon Barlow in Idaho, Kathy Harnagel in California, and Linda Barlow in Idaho. With Peggy and Donna moved out and on their own, only Mark and Rachel remained at home.

Wally and Marie sold the four acres and moved the family up to Buhl, Idaho with the intent to buy a farm – again. Rachel was a freshman in high school and Mark was finishing up his senior year. They rented while looking for a farm and after a year, they were asked to serve on a 12 month work service mission to a New Mexico Indian Reservation. Mark stayed in Idaho and attended college, living in the dorms while Rachel attended her sophomore year in Shiprock, New Mexico. Marie served as Laurel Leader and Wally was the Activities Director.

It was while they were on their mission in New Mexico that their daughter Donna was married to Virgil Gerlach on Thanksgiving weekend. Wally and Marie took leave from their mission long enough to attend the wedding in California and visit the children and grandchildren, including the two new additions, David Heaps and Richard Harnagel. Upon their return to the mission, they were told that the mission rules did not include visits outside of the mission boundaries to California. Wally had no regrets for leaving to attend his daughter’s wedding and would do it again in a heart beat.

Following their mission in 1973, they moved back to Buhl and Mark, 19 at the time, moved back in with them and was hired on with Green Giant. Mark and another young man, Carl, also 19, were out driving the Green Giant work truck along the dirt roads between farms that were tall with corn stocks. They were checking the crops to see when they would be ready for harvest. Not being able to see around the tall corn fields or the trees and farm houses located near the intersections, they collided with a big milk truck and the boys didn’t stand a chance.

Marie had just mailed off Cliff’s birthday card and was at the laundry mat doing the washing when she heard the sirens of all the emergency vehicles, not knowing it was for her son. Wally was in El Paso, Texas visiting his sister, Virginia at the time. The phone was ringing as Marie was returning home with the laundry and was told of Mark’s accident and he was in the hospital. With both boys on life support, Marie called Wally and the children in California with the news of Mark. Both Wally and Cliff rushed off to Idaho to be there when the doctor told them that there was no brain activity and the decision was made to take Mark off life support.

Six months pregnant with their third baby, Rosalind made the trip with Marie’s oldest brother to attend the funeral that September 1973. Wally and Marie never did buy a farm in Idaho and the month following Mark’s death, they and Rachel moved back to Ontario to repossess the house from the first defaulted sale and resell it.

It was after Christmas 1973, Rosalind’s third baby wasn’t due for another two weeks and Cliff had some time off from his college classes that he decided to take off for the desert with a friend for some exploring and camping on the condition he would call home every day to see how his family was doing. There was nothing eventful to report with the first two nights, but the call home on Sunday was different. Rosalind was in labor and if Cliff wanted to be there for the birth of his baby, he had better get to the hospital. Wally and Marie were already on their way to pick her up and take her. It was only a 20 – 30 minute drive in their old VW and Wally was more concerned at getting Roz there on time than driving softly over railroad tracks or avoiding every other bump and rut in the road between home and the hospital. Everyone made it to the hospital on time including Cliff after three days on the desert smelling of mesquite, sagebrush, and campfire smoke. The doctor had Cliff wash up and dress in his hospital gown and he was there for the birth of their daughter, Roxanne.

By the summer of 1974, Wally, soon to be 64 and Marie were able to complete the sale of their four acres in Ontario and buy a half-acre home in Alta Loma where the garden would be smaller and the house larger and newer. Four more grandchildren were added to the Heaps clan with the births of Robert Barlow in Idaho, Becky Harnagel, Steven Heaps and Krista Gerlach in California. Steven was only a few days old when Wally’s sister, Helen died on December 20, 1975 unexpectedly from a stroke.

Even though the half-acre Alta Loma home was rocky compared to the four acres in Ontario, Wally and Marie enjoyed puttering around the garden and working in the garage as well as the visits from family, children, and grandchildren. Their home was also the place their daughter, Peggy chose for her marriage to Tom Walton. For a couple of years, Wally worked for the Ontario School District driving a bus. The kids on his route soon learned not to mess with him or break the rules, he didn’t put up with anything they tried to dish out. The birth of seven more grandchildren came over the next six years: Matt Barlow, Jennifer Gerlach, Karlyn Heaps, John Harnagel, Kacy Barlow, Terry Walton Harnagel, and Derrick Gerlach. Then in 1981 Wally was to learn of the death of his sister, Virginia, never knowing how or when she died until a few months later. She died at the age of 72 on April 24, 1981.

1981 brought on the birth of Kenneth Heaps, the marriage of their last daughter, Rachel to Mike Holmstrom in the Los Angeles Temple in August 1982 and the birth of Carson Barlow. One of the last photos of Wally was at Rachel’s wedding reception. He had been out in the back yard weeding when Marie found him on the ground, collapsed from a heart attack on November 13, 1982. Wally was 72 years old. He and Marie had a total of seven children and twenty-nine grandchildren at the time of his death with Rachel adding another four in the years to come.

The horse and buggy was the family’s main mode of transportation when Wally was growing up. He helped bring United States into the space age with the Apollo project and the other technical duties he performed while working with Douglas and North American and he lived to see the moon walk. With all the experiences he had and the technology he saw, the most important thing in his life was his family; his children, grandchildren, his siblings and Marie’s family, he loved them all. His posterity and memory live on in the lives of those who knew and loved him.

Sources for Wally’s History

[Benjamin F. Heaps] [Benjamin F. & Ann Eva] [Ben's Family Photos] [Ann's Family Photos] [First Generation] [Leona Heaps Murdock] [Mary Heaps Mulliner] [Eva Luella Heaps B. Freeman] [Helen Marjorie Heaps] [Rachel Heaps Rowe] [Virginia Heaps Jarvis] [Wallace Dittmore Heaps] [Paul Avard Heaps] [Lewis Delbert Heaps] [Albert Delroy Heaps] [More Photos] [Ancestry List] [Immigration & Migration] [Past Reunions] [Restored Photos] [Family Recipes] [Messages & News]