As I have said before, when we are influenced for good by the exemplary men and women around us, it can make us want to be better people and share that euphoria with others.
In light of that exhortation, I want to share a story as related to my children. These memorable events occurred as a result of your mother and I choosing to live in married student housing and while we were living at Wymount Terrace just a few months after we were married.
First of all you should know that each of the married student housing options had extremely long waiting lists. Just after we were married in 1985, we sublet an apartment at Wymount.
It was in the former buildings that no longer exist, but it was a great experience while it lasted, and your mother and I were committed to getting back there for the duration of my schooling, so we applied and hoped and prayed for this opportunity.
We lived in a basement apartment across the street from my sister’s home on 400 S in Provo. Your mother had already graduated and was supporting me completing my schooling at this point.
We lived there a few months before the call came that we had been selected to reside in the new Wymount Terrace married student housing just south of the original Provo temple. We anxiously moved to our new apartment and found we were members of a ward with a number of BYU football players. It turns out that our bishop was Floyd Johnson, who at the time was the BYU football equipment coordinator.
He was one of the finest men I ever had the privilege to meet. We loved associating with him. We spent nearly four years in that ward with him as our bishop. It was a delight. When I graduated, we moved to California and then a year later returned to Provo. Floyd always remembered us and welcomed us into his large group of friends.
Years later when he passed, BYU Athletic Director Val Hale said at the time “This is a sad day in the history of BYU Athletics. Floyd Johnson was, perhaps, more beloved than any other person who has ever worked for the athletic department.
He was a friend, confidant, father figure, spiritual adviser and counselor to thousands of athletes, coaches and administrators. He was an equipment manager who cared much more about souls than soles. We will miss him.”
When your mother and I moved into that student ward, we were still newlyweds and the rigors of school and family were nearly overwhelming. Being new parents is a big assignment and a really tough job. Floyd understood that, and he served as a father figure for all of us who were lucky enough to be in his ward.
Floyd Johnson was kind, and he honored and cared for his crippled wife, Hannah, who suffered with acute arthritis. We are honored that he was part of our lives.
Enjoy the following article about the Heart of Y athletics.
My tribute to Floyd Johnson.
Thanks for sharing a bit of our story.
In 1989, Walter Penning formed a consultancy based in Salt Lake City and empowered his clients by streamlining processes and building a loyal, lifetime customer base with great customer service. His true passion is found in his family. He says the best decision he ever made was to marry his sweetheart and have children. The wonderful family she has given him and her constant love, support, and patience amid life's challenges is his panacea.