My name is Scott Alexander Edgar. I grew up in a “Latter-day Saint Home.” That is to say, we were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In the mid-1800s, early “Mormon” missionaries were sent from America to Europe to share “the Good News” of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many of my ancestors (on both sides of my family) were taught in their home countries (England, Scotland, and Holland) and were converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My pioneer ancestors’ surnames were: Edgar, McKay, Timpson, Strickland, Noorda, Wezenaar, Brown and Carr. Because of their faith and commitment to the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, these noble ancestors of mine followed the call of a living Prophet of God (Brigham Young) and immigrated to America. They were early pioneers who left their homelands and made their way by ship to American ports. Once on American soil, they fitted out wagons and handcarts, joined wagon trains, and moved slowly but deliberately across American and Indian lands to “Zion” in the Salt Lake Valley of the Utah Territory. I am forever grateful to these faithful, brave and determined ancestors of mine. I am grateful for their testimonies, their sacrifices, and their commitments to the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are my family heritage and an important part of who I am.
(NOTE: If you are interested, click HERE to view a six (6) generation Family History Fan Chart.)
I was born December 21st, 1946, at Letterman Army Hospital on the Presidio of San Francisco. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a young boy, I spent many Saturdays exploring the city and often fishing under “the Golden Gate Bridge.” In those days, a young boy my age could safely go just about anywhere in the city for a 15-cent bus/trolley transfer ticket; …just hop on and hop off. On Saturdays and “no school days,” my Mom would often give me a brown bag with lunch, and just send me off for the day “…dinner’s at five” she would say. If I hadn’t had enough for breakfast, she would often make me an “eggy sandwich” to start my day off (an eggy sandwich was a hot fried egg, cooked over easy, and placed between two slices of buttered white bread, umm, umm!). Anyway, for me the city was a magical and safe place to be. I loved baseball and enjoyed watching or listening to games at old Kezar Stadium. I remember when the New York Giants ball club transferred to San Francisco and the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to LA (both teams made the move around 1960). Those were great days for the city. In addition, I also enjoyed Fisherman’s Wharf, the Marina, the Palace of Fine Arts, the Legion of Honor Art Museum, the Presidio of San Francisco, hanging out at the Cliff House (where I could buy penny candy), swimming at Sutros baths (and later ice skating there), wondering through Playland at the Beach, exploring Golden Gate Park, swimming at the old saltwater Fleishhacker Pool, and enjoying pink popcorn while visiting Fleishhacker Zoo. I also loved fishing at Old Fort Point underneath the Golden Gate Bridge …and, at other times, fishing at China Beach or Lake Merced.
I was the only son of five children: Karen (my older sister), me, Nancy, Laurie, and Robin. Our parents were formally divorced in August 1956. Then, in the Summer of 1962, after my mother’s second divorce, we moved with her and our two stepbrothers (Tony and John), to San Jose (CA). In 1964, I graduated from Cupertino High School. And, shortly afterwards, I moved by myself to Southern California (Garden Grove) to spend time with my Dad. His band (the Mel Edgar Trio) was playing nightly at a nice hotel lounge across the street from Disneyland. While there, I attended one semester of college at Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa (CA). I lived with Dad for about six months, then he took a “gig” in Elko (NV), and I decided to return home to San Jose. Back in San Jose, I attended another semester of college, this time at Foothill College, Los Altos Hills (CA).
When I turned 19 years old, I was given an opportunity to serve a two-year proselyting mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Vietnam War was just ramping up and many of my friends were being drafted into military service. At that time, because of the war, there were limits on the number of young men who could serve as missionaries for the Church. Many young men were being drafted to fill the growing manpower needs of the military. Fortunately, I was granted a “ministerial deferment” (for two years), which allowed me to accept a two-year mission assignment, and I was assigned to the North Central States Mission. My mission home was in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Full-time missionary work changed the direction of my life. Not only was I able to teach the truths of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, but I was also able to mature and learn valuable and important life principles. I learned who I was, and I gained a firm testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, I gained valuable life skills and good habits, such as goal setting, self-discipline, punctuality, personal cleanliness, self-reliance, kindness to others, and so much more.
Military Service: United States Air Force
When I returned home from the mission field (April 1968), I was instructed to report to the military service draft board. I was certain I would not be accepted because I had a heart murmur (or something) that almost kept me from serving in the mission field. So, I confidently reported to the draft board. They scheduled me for a physical, and much to my surprise, I passed! I was told I would receive my Army draft notice in the mail within the month.
Well, before I got the draft notice, I stopped by the local Air Force recruiter’s office and joined the United States Air Force. I began active-duty military service on September 8th, 1968; and I was trained as an Intelligence Technician and Arial Photo/Imagery Interpreter. Ultimately, I made the Air Force my career. I served multiple tours in Southeast Asia, England, and Germany. I separated briefly from the service long enough to attend and graduate from Brigham Young University-Provo (Dec 1979) with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations.
After graduation, I reentered the Air Force and served as a Foreign Affairs Officer (FAO). My primary area of responsibility (AOR) was the Middle East. I served as a Middle East area specialist, analyst, and briefing officer. In that capacity, I lived and traveled in many countries (Far East, Western Europe, and the Middle/Near East). On December 31, 1993, I retired from the Air Force after serving 24 years on active duty (plus a few years at BYU). For me, military service became my life; it defined me. It was a challenging career full of growth, learning, and some excitement. Except for a lonely one-year combat tour in Southeast Asia (the longest year of my life), I fully enjoyed serving. It was a great honor to serve in the United States Air Force (USAF).
While on active military duty, I also had the privileged of being married to two wonderful and amazing women (at different times), both of whom supported me in my military service and on many assignments. I know it wasn’t always easy for them. I love them both; and looking back, I was loved, strengthened and blessed beyond measure by both Jenny and Kathy. I was truly blessed to have these ladies in my life. I am so grateful for these beautiful and loving ladies. I am a better man because of them.
My Dear Jenny Marie was my first wife and companion. She was so beautiful, smart, and compassionate. We met on April 28th 1968, after the Stake Conference of the California Palo Alto Stake. This was the same month I returned from serving a two-year Full-Time Missionary assignment for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When I first met Jenny, I believe I was seriously attracted to her. I told my mother, “I think she’s the one!” From the beginning of our relationship, I was always happy being with Jenny. And, she made me a better man just being near, and thinking about her. I was always happy when Jenny was near.
However, our dating and courtship became a little complicated. There was another young lady in my life. Her name was April. I met April more than two years earlier (1965) while we attended LDS Institute classes at Foothill College, California. It was April (and a few other very good friends) that encouraged me to prepare for and serve a full-time mission for the Church. Over a short period of time, April and I became “an item” together. And eventually, it was April who helped me prepare for and then saw me off to the Mission Home. And, she was there when I returned home two years later.
The complication was “I had warm and loving feelings for both of these ladies.” Also looming in my life was the developing military conflict in South East Asia (the Vietnam War). I received my U.S. Army draft notice in August 1968; but by then, (to avoid army life) I proactively enlisted into the U.S. Air Force (frankly, I had often thought about joining the Air Force).
Those were my little complications, my dilemmas! I knew I loved Jenny; but, I still had “warm feelings” for April. Then, when Jenny found out about April, we had a little talk; she gave me an ultimatum: “Make up your mind” she said. “It’s me our her!” Well, at the time I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to April. With that, Jenny walk away from me and out of my life. April and I continued to date though the Summer of 1968: and soon (September 8th 1968), I swore into the Air Force and flew off for military training in Texas. Then, several months later while I was on active-duty service, I finally came to my senses. I remember thinking: “I was happiest when I was with Jenny;” “I did not want to loose Jenny;” “I wanted to be with Jenny.”…and, “I hoped Jenny felt the same way.” I missed Jenny and knew I was still in love with her. So, I attempted to reach out to her.
Reaching out to Jenny was not easy. I wrote to her several times, but …NO Response! Eventually, I engaged my Mother to help me (she had seen Jenny from time to time at church). I was flying into the San Francisco Airport in March 1969, and I devised a plan to have Jenny pick me up and give me a ride home (bad, I know). Mom was to tell Jenny she had a conflict and then ask Jenny if she would pick me up at the airport. Well, the plan worked. Once Jenny and I were together again, we would not be separated. Within just a few days, I asked Jenny to marry me. My decision was easy to make.
On April 15th, 1969, Jenny and I were married and sealed together in the Oakland California Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Together, after our marriage and sealing, I began to see how truly wonderful Jenny Marie really was …much more wonderful than I had imagined! In addition, Jenny was loved and admired by all who knew her. She was one of those kind of people. And, she was the most compassionate person I knew. If anyone needed understanding and compassion, Jenny was the person they would turn to. In fact, it wasn’t unusual for me to come home from work and find Jenny there helping a friend in need. That is just who she was. Jenny and I lived happily together for 15 wonderful years: growing, raising a family, and learning. We were “a military family” living mostly overseas and we loved our life. Jenny was always loving and supportive. Also, Jenny loved children (who doesn’t). In fact, she dreamed of having eight (8) children …and, I was okay with that (it was important to her). She sinisterly wanted to have eight (8) children. However, we were only able to have seven (7) children together. And, all but one of our children were born overseas (Scott Russell was born in Eugene, Oregon).
Sadly, just after 10:00 pm in the evening of April 8th, 1984, Jenny sat up suddenly in bed, gasping for air, and then collapsed lifeless in my arms (from a congenital heart condition). Despite my efforts, and the noble efforts of the local paramedics, Jenny did not recover. She was pronounced dead on arrival that evening at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (West Germany).
Jenny was only 37 years old when she passed on, and just seven days later (April 15th), we would have celebrated our 15th Anniversary. Regardless, I have so many wonderful memories with Jenny. I loved her dearly (and still do). I was devastated without her. I felt lost and did not know how to move on. Instantly, I became an “unworthy” and humbled single parent of our seven (7) beautiful children. This was hard, not only for me, but for all of our children, as well. “How were we to manage without Mom?” It was a life-changing event for all of us.
At the time, we lived in West Germany (at Ramstein AFB), and thanks to the kindness and generosity of the United States Air Force (and many of our friends in Germany), we were allowed to relocate as a family from Germany to Bountiful (Utah). My Intelligence Unit Commander assigned a co-worker of mine (Captain Steve Meyer) to escort us from Germany to Utah, and to arrange a duty assignments for me at Hill AFB, Utah. The physical transition was seamless.
The Lord knows us, He know our challenges, and he is merciful. And, He makes compensations, as necessary. He has a plan! In addition, the U.S. Air Forces streamlined our evacuation from Germany to Utah. With the Lord’s help, we were met at the Salt Lake Airport by many, many family loved ones. Also, thanks to the tremendous support and compassion of the Bountiful (UT) 9th Ward Relief Society sisters, we were able to survive and stay together as a family. Jenny’s death occurred Sunday evening; and, we were on the ground in Utah by Wednesday afternoon. Jenny’s funeral and burial services were held on Saturday, April 15th, 1984 (our 15th Wedding Anniversary). My friend and escort (Steve Meyer) spent the week working out my transfer details and then flew home to Germany after Jenny’s funeral and burial service.
I love and appreciate the Lord, my family, the U.S. Air Forces, the Ward Relief Society, and my understanding children. And, I know I will see my Jenny Marie again!
About six years later, I found myself on another assignment to the Middle East (Jordan). On my way back home, I stopped in San Francisco and drove to Monterey, CA to be at my daughter Heather’s High School Graduation (I arrived late and missed her graduation ceremony, but I did have a wonderful several days visit with Heather). Then, I continued on to our home in Illinois (and to my children who were with friends). However, my flight was delay in Los Angeles, so I call some old friends of mine in LA, and they invited me to attend the L.D.S. Single Adult Conference that weekend with them in Long Beach.
At that conference, I met another amazing and wonderful woman, Katherine … a beautiful single-adult women from Las Vegas, NV. When we first met, she referred to me as “the Captain with Seven Children” (a reference to the Von Trapp Family in The Sound of Music). We laughed together and danced together throughout most of the evening. I really enjoyed her company, and it didn’t seem to bother her that I was “an active-duty military officer” (her father was a retired Air Force Officer). Also, it didn’t bother her that I had seven (7) children at home (waiting for me to return). Apparently, she was able to see beyond the obvious challenges.
Kathy and I dated and spent quality time together (as individuals and with our children). Over a relatively short period of time (8 months), we fell in love and Kathy agreed to marry me. I proposed to Kathy at the very highest point in St. Louis, inside and at the top of St. Louis Arch, officially the highest point in the City. On February 24th, 1990, we were married and sealed together in the Las Vegas Nevada Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and we continue to be happily married together. Kathy is amazing, and I love her. She is smart, talented and beautiful. And, she has a firm testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To this day, I believe Kathy and I were guided to the Long Beach Single Adult Conference (me from the Middle East, and her from Las Vegas). We were brought together and I found another wonderful companion: my beautiful, patient, forgiving, and loving Katherine Elizabeth (Kathy).
All combined, Jenny, Kathy and I have raised ten (10) beautiful children. They are all grown now and have families and children of their own. Currently, we have 32 wonderful grandchildren who call us “Papa and Nana.” I love them all. Without question, love has no bounds!
In December 1993, after 24 years on active-duty military service, I hung up my uniform and retired from the United States Air Force. My retirement ceremony was held at the Officer’s Club, Hickam AFB, Hawaii. Afterward, we moved to and settled in Henderson, NV. Kathy resumed her Nursing career, and I struggled for months trying to find work. Apparently, my specific military training and skills were not in high demand in Southern Nevada. So, at length, I went back to school to study computer networking and repair technologies. Eventually, I found work at Boulder City Hospital and managed to work my way up to become the hospital IT Manager. I enjoyed working with my hands on computer hardware and computer network technologies.
While in Southern Nevada, I also gave into my lifelong dream of owning my own horses. We bought some of these beautiful creatures and purchased a corral for them at the local Henderson Horseman’s Association. These were a noble herd of Friends. I believe horses are a gift from God! They added joy to my life, and they make the land beautiful.
Then, in the Summer of 2006, after about 12 years in Southern Nevada, the City of Henderson became too crowded for us; so, we decided to move on. We packed up, sold our home, loaded the horses into a trailer, and drove north. We settled in Sanpete County (Central Utah) and bought a small ranch outside of Spring City (we learned Spring City is a National Historic District). We began “living the dream.” We had horses, dogs, cats and sheep. Kathy continued her nursing career at Sanpete Valley Hospital (Mt. Pleasant, UT), and I started a small computer support business in a nearby college town (Ephraim, UT).
After all the children had moved out and began their own families, our home in Spring City became a favorite destination spot for the grandchildren. We loved it. It was a happy place for all of us. Plus, with our horses, dogs, cats, “and sheep,” it became a peaceful and relaxing place to be. I was truly living the dream of my lifetime. I loved waking up in the morning and beginning each day. Kathy and I continued to live that dream for more than ten (10) wonderful years.
Then, in December 2016, there came a phone call from a friend asking us to accept a Full-Time Senior Missionary assignment for the Church. After prayerful consideration, Kathy and I decided it was the right thing to do. We interviewed with our Bishop, filled out our papers, met with our Stake President, and submitted our papers to Church Headquarters in Salt Lake City. Several weeks later, we received a package in the mail from the Prophet (Thomas S. Monson). We were called to serve in the Hawaii Honolulu Mission and assigned specifically to Brigham Young University-Hawaii (BYUH).
Well, then what? We put our home up for sale. I sold my truck. With the help of many of our children, we held a successful “Garage/Barn Sale.” We also sold our horses (ouch!). We received (and accepted) a good offer on our home. And, with the help of good neighbors and friends, we hauled all our “do not sell” items to storage units. (Of course, all the above took several weeks.) In the end, we did a “white tornado” clean-up job on the house and packed Kathy’s Honda CR-V with our mission travel bags. We gave our farewell talks in church on April 30th; and, on Monday morning, May 1st, 2017, we left our home in Spring City and drove north to Provo. We entered the Provo Missionary Training Center (MTC) at about 11:00 am.
After five days of inspirational training and learning, we drove out of Provo heading south towards Southern California. On the way, we stopped at the Title Company in Nephi (UT) and signed the documents closing the sale on our home. After which, we continued our journey to Southern California to ship our Honda to Hawaii. We had a brief but wonderful visit with our son Sam, his beautiful wife Erin, and their adorable children in San Clemente (CA). Then, Sam drove us to the Sea Port at Long Beach to drop off our Honda for shipment; and finally, Sam drove us to the Los Angeles airport (LAX). (Sam was proud to say he “sent us out into the mission field” knowing that just 13 years earlier we had sent him out into the mission field in Venezuela.)
Upon arrival in Hawaii, we were met at the Honolulu Airport by our mission supervisors (Elder Brad & Sister Marsha Dee) and driven to our missionary apartment in Laie, near the BYUH campus. Our mission call was a 23-month assignment to serve in the Hawaii Honolulu Mission and specifically at Brigham Young University-Hawaii (BYUH). Kathy (Sister Edgar) was assigned to serve as the Visiting Home Nurse for the Married Student Mothers (and their babies), and I was assigned as a BYUH Computer Support Technician. My specific duties were to serve as the Database Administrator of the BYUH Conduct Manager Software. In addition, I often conducted interviews and investigations of reported student Honor Code misconduct; and I taught the Leadership Pattern Classes on campus: “Lead Like the Savior.”
It is difficult for me to put into words the feelings and experience we enjoyed while living and serving in Laie, Hawaii. Laie is “a Holy Place.” For centuries, the North Shore of Oahu has been a sacred and special place for native Polynesians. More than 100 years ago, visionary Prophets and Apostles of God came here sensing the area was a spiritual source of faith and strength. Since then, Prophets of God have returned and dedicated this area for the blessings of all God’s children … and, that Holy Work of God still goes on even today. The Laie Hawaii Temple, the Brigham Young University-Hawaii (BYUH) Campus, and the Polynesian Cultural Center (the PCC) are all closely knit together and united in purpose to continue the Holy Work of God (to prepare and gather the elect children of God). Through the years, the University moto has been “Enter to Learn – Go Forth to Serve.” Students from all over the world (the Pacific Islands, Asia, China, Taiwan, Korea, Southeast Asia, India, Mongolia, North America, Central and South America, Western and Eastern Europe, Africa, and many points between) come to BYUH (speaking more than 70 native languages). They “Enter to Learn” and “Go Forth to Serve.”
It was our humble privilege to work and serve among these great young people. They are part of the noble, raising generation. I am certain, many of these young men and women will become future leaders in the world and in the Kingdom of God.
Brief Mission Homecoming Report
After 23 months serving in the mission field, we returned home on April 2nd, 2019! We left Hawaii with many emotionally fond farewells and alohas, followed by a very happy/sad departure from the Islands. Upon arrival in Salt Lake City, there was yet another emotional event when we first came down the escalator at the Salt Lake Airport to a joyful band of sign-carrying and waving loved ones. It took several days to settle down after that. Eventually, we got on the road and began our “pilgrimage” visited as many loved ones as possible. We traveled to Utah, Nevada, California, and Arizona (Kathy even flew to Massachusetts to visit her folks). We visited our wonderful but dispersed family (and retrieve our little dog Missy from our Daughter Heather and Son-in-Law Stephen’s home in Arizona). Those were wonderful/emotional and exciting times!!! Kathy and I had the time of our lives traveling, visiting, and reconnecting with our children and grandchildren (and our little dog Missy).
This was an emotional and joyful period for us, but it was also very stressful. We missed our friends and life in Hawaii; we missed the honor of wearing our missionary name tags; our daily routines had changed; we suffered a little from jetlag; and we had (and still have) much to do to reconnect with reality. But it is so wonderful to have family and friends …and to be loved. We have much to be thankful for, and we have Hope in the future! We love the Lord; we love our family and friends …and the Gospel is True. Hurrah for Israel! We are so very blessed.
Currently, we are working and still trying to settle down. Kathy has been hired at Cedar City Hospital (Intermountain Healthcare) as a Labor & Delivery Nurse and a Lactation Consultant. I am retired and work as a “Hobbyist” around the home. We bought a nice house in the City of Enoch, UT (see the note below). We moved into our home July 1st, 2019. Life is good! The Cedar City area is wonderful; we love the people in our Enoch 6th Ward and neighborhood, we love the new Cedar City Utah Temple; and it appears the city is at geographical crossroads for our family. Now, isn’t that convenient and wonderful? Hurrah, Hurrah for Israel!
Note: If you thought the City of Enoch had been translated, well maybe you’re right (Genesis 5:21-24 and Moses 7:69, 21). But it may have returned … perhaps to pick up a few more travelers. I don’t know for sure! 😀
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