David Randall Walvoord

David Randall Walvoord
David Randall Walvoord

David Randall Walvoord, 92, of 400 SW 14th Ave. Amarillo, died Saturday night, November 18, 2023.

Services will be at 3:00 PM Friday, November 24th at the First Presbyterian Church in Amarillo with Murray Gossett presiding. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors.

David was the second of seven children born to Randall and Elizabeth Walvoord. David was born in Racine, Wisconsin on February 27, 1931. David attended Fratt Elementary School and later went to McKinley Jr. High School both in Racine.

David Randall Walvoord
David Randall Walvoord

David was a hard worker all his life. During his summers, David would mow lawns for 50¢. In the winter, snow plows would plow the streets and pile up snow in front of people’s driveways so they were unable to get their cars out. David would shovel them out for 50¢.

Most people had coal delivered to their house through a coal chute that ran into their basement. David would earn money by emptying out coal-fired furnaces of ashes for several homes in the neighborhood. He would haul these buckets of ashes in his red wagon to the dump grounds near the Jr. High School. He received 5¢ a bucket.  He enlisted his younger brother Johnny to help. David also had a paper route for the Racine Journal Times. David would labor for a truck farm (which were smaller farms that sold produce directly to the public) for 12½ cents per hour to pull weeds. He worked about 6-hours a day during summer. His mother would pack a sandwich and root beer for lunch.

David Randall Walvoord
David Randall Walvoord

David and his family attended First Presbyterian Church in Racine. After World War II, in 1945, David’s father was transferred to Amarillo, Texas and the whole family moved when David was 15-years-old.  David helped drive the car on the long trip. In Amarillo, David attended Sam Houston Jr. High for ninth grade and played football and coronet in the band. David later went to Amarillo High School.  He played coronet there as well. As a senior, David was enrolled in Diversified Occupation at Amarillo High.  It was a co-operative training program between school and industry. These students attended school only one-half of the day and spent the other half working in shops in the city of Amarillo. David worked at the Amarillo Globe-News in the afternoons during the second half of his school day.

Once a math teacher at Amarillo High challenged the class with a math problem.  If anyone could solve it, she would give those students an “A” for the semester. David and his best friend, Ted couldn’t solve it, so they went and talked to a Math Professor at Amarillo College.  Before long, about five professors were working on solving the problem. David and Ted both got A’s in that class!

David wanted to take boxing but Amarillo High School didn’t offer it. He found out that Amarillo College had a boxing program called Golden Gloves and David enrolled.  The training was difficult but David enjoyed it.  He earned a boxing letter sweater. Boxing served David well later in life and taught him how to be disciplined and careful how he handled himself. David had a mail room job at Globe-News and always had a paper route on the west side of town near the VA Hospital. Early in his senior year, David joined the Naval Reserves. The Korean War was starting. David was a radio man and would send messages in Morse Code. His unit was called Naval Security Group. David graduated from Amarillo High in 1950.

David’s younger sister, Joann Walvoord, worked at the phone company with a young lady named, Naomi Ruth “Peggy” Phillips.  They were both service reps at Southwestern Bell Telephone business offices.  They were called tub mates because they shared a common work area separated by their account books.  They were hired at the same time and were in the same training class. They became good friends.  Peggy would laugh at Joann because she would always have to answer the phone, “This is Miss Walvoord.  No… that’s spelled W-A-L-V-(as in Victor)-O-O-R-D.”  Peggy would answer the phone, “This is Miss Phillips.” No spelling necessary.

Joann asked Peggy to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. A week before the wedding, Joann asked Peggy to come on a blind date with her brother David and her fiancé, Bill Forbes.  They went dancing at the Avalon night club on Amarillo Boulevard.  David was a good dancer, much better than Peggy. Five months later, on April 13, 1952, David and Peggy married each other in Locust Grove Baptist Church in Locust Grove, Texas. The pastor that married them was Clayton Watkins who was the same pastor that baptized Peggy at age 13. Joann (Walvoord) Forbes was Peggy’s Matron of Honor and Bill Forbes was David’s best man. Joann and Peggy, were still co-workers at Southwestern Bell. Now that they each were married, the tables had turned! Joann Forbes answered the phone, “This is Mrs. Forbes.” (No spelling necessary).  Joann now had the last laugh when Peggy would now answer the phone, “This is Mrs. Walvoord.  No… that’s spelled W-A-L-V-(as in Victor)-O-O-R-D.” David taught Peggy to drive a car while they were dating. Peggy helped David study and would help him type papers. Even though David could type at 45 WPM from his Navy training, he was a terrible speller. Peggy was an excellent speller and a good student.  David’s grades got much better after marrying Peggy.  David was really good at math and would score twice as high on an IQ test in math versus language arts which the tester thought was unusual.

David graduated in 1955 with a Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA) and earned a Masters in Education (ME) in 1957, both from West Texas State College. David grew up with his family attending First Presbyterian Church in Amarillo.  At one time David was a Deacon (1965) at the same time that his father, Randall H. Walvoord, was an Elder. David served as Elder in 1968, 1976, 1980, 1990, 1999, each being a three-year term. Each week on Monday mornings, David and his father would attend the Men’s Prayer Breakfast at church.  David was continuously involved for over 60-years and helped cook the breakfast each week. For many years, every Sunday afternoon, David and his dad would play tennis together.  Sometimes his sons or brother Gary would join them to play doubles.

In August of 1978, David lost his father, friend, and tennis partner to a heart attack. David continued to play tennis until he was 85. David began his career as an educator by student teaching at Robert E. Lee Elementary in Amarillo. David was first offered a job at Margaret Wells Elementary, the same school his younger siblings attended, but fortunately, David was hired as a math teacher at Humphrys Highland Elementary School instead.  He was paid $3300/year. This was in 1955 and David taught eight 40-minute classes a day. He taught there for 3-years. David was Membership Chairman of Amarillo Teachers Association and went to a convention in Corpus Christi.  Peggy and David returned home from the convention and returned to their home at 1909 S. Carolina at 2:00AM in the morning. Later that morning, David received a phone call at 6:00 AM from Dr. Alfred Little the Superintendent of the Borger School District.  Dr. Little happened to be one of the Commanders at the Naval Reserve Center in the Surface Group in Amarillo, although David didn’t know him at the time.  Dr. Little asked David to come to interview for a Principal’s job at James Bowie Elementary School in Borger, Texas. Out of 72 applicants, Borger hired David to be principal of that school in 1958 for $5200/year. At the same time, David went to Albuquerque to test for an officer commission in the Navy.  He was a Third-class Petty Officer, a radioman. In the Summer of 1958, David was commissioned as a Ensign in the Naval Reserves. David served as Commanding Officer (CO) of the Naval Reserve Center in Amarillo for many years. David was in the Reserves for 31-years and retired in 1979 as Lieutenant Commander.

In 1960, David was offered a Principals job in Amarillo at the brand-new Oak Dale Elementary School. His salary was $6000/year. They moved back to Amarillo and bought a house in the Olsen Park neighborhood at 4207 Emil. Peggy was pregnant with their third child at the dedication of this new school. David was a member of TEPSA (Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association). In 1985, David was named TEPSAN of the year. David was elected president of the organization in 1986. “Better Together” was David’s motto. David’s year as President, the Winter conference was held in Dallas at the Loews Anatole Hotel with over 1500 Principals in attendance.  At this conference David held the first and only prayer breakfast.  David had a connection to a prominent theologian to speak at this breakfast.  His uncle, Dr. John F. Walvoord, was President of Dallas Theological Seminary and was the keynote speaker. David was selected as the National Distinguished Principal of the Year for Texas in 1985 and went to Washington D.C. to receive an award from William Bennett the Secretary of Education under President Reagan. David served as principal at Oak Dale for 36-years and retired in June of 1996. He was an educator for 41-years. After retirement, David and Peggy were part of a ballroom dance club, bridge club, took many cruises, and bought time share properties in Maui, Hawaii and Williamsburg, Virginia. They traded these time shares for other vacations in dozens of places around the world. They also took a a guided tour of the Holy Land with a group from their church.

He was preceded in death by his parents Randall and Elizabeth Walvoord of Amarillo, sister Joann Forbes of Roswell NM, sister Mary Dzuik of Hereford, and son Kit of Amarillo.

David is survived by his wife, Peggy of Amarillo; son Keith (Kim) of Pinehurst, NC; son Scott (Amy) of Nashville, TN; brother Johnny (Nan) of Carrolton; brother Randy (Sharlet) of Lincoln, NE; sister Betty Jo (Mike) Dillon of Marshall; brother Gary (Bonnie) of Oklahoma City; and six grandchildren, Kirk Walvoord of Amarillo; Tyler (Emily) Walvoord of Austin; Preston Walvoord of Raleigh, NC; Caroline (Floris) de Groot of Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Catherine Walvoord of Dallas; and Katie Grace Walvoord of Nashville, TN. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews who will miss his corny jokes and repetitive stories.

David and Peggy were married over 71-years.

Viewing will be 8:00 am – 5:00 pm on Wednesday, November 22, 2023 and 8:00 am – noon on Friday, November 24, 2023.  Flowers may be sent to Boxwell Brothers Funeral Home or First Presbyterian Church.

 

 

9 Replies to “David Randall Walvoord”

  1. I knew David and Peggy from my days working at Amarillo ISD. I had their son Scott as a student when I was a science teacher at Crockett JR High. My condolences to all.

  2. I was blessed to have Mr. Walvord as my principal throuhout my elementary years at Oakdale Elementary. His quiet strength and caring ways were most memorable on that fateful day in November when he quietly made his way into each classroom to personally inform each teacher that President Kennedy had been assasinated. He then gathered us all outside around the flagpole for prayer. His consolation and encouragement were a source of strength that helped us see that there was always hope even on the darkest of days. He made a positive and lasting impression on me and my two sisters, “the Bilderback girls”. Our prayers are with his family. Thanks for sharing your husband and dad with us all those years!

  3. A good, good man! So blessed to have been trusted in my job. If it was good for kids…that is what we did! I formally met Mr. Walvoord in our school cafeteria; he was washing tables after lunch.
    Soon, he was in Austin receiving the prestigious award of the Principal of the year by the Elementary Principals Assoc.
    They chose the best!
    Oak Dale Eagles…a safe haven!

  4. David was an amazing man to work with, he truly loved his students! I was PTA president for 4 years and I volunteered for Oakdale many years! He was a very supporting principal and extremely kind.
    I think his time at Oakdale is still the record for Amarillo. Prayers for his family!

  5. David was a wonderful uncle. It was always a joy to see him and i will miss him and his jokes. He lived a full life and I will look forward to the day I see him again.

  6. Scott,
    Deepest sympathy regarding your father’s passing. Our condolences to your entire family.
    Your dad’s obituary was beautiful and described a man of honor, dedication and commitment. He accomplished a full life.

    Our best,

  7. David Walvoord was my principal at OakDale Elementary for 29 and half years of my 30 years as a teacher. He was an encourager, which made me desire to always do my best. I count it a blessing and an honor to have worked in OakDale under the leadership of Mr. Walvoord.

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