Meet Julius Barrow Papa. He's Heath's grandfather. He was born March 23, 1919. He served a mission in what was then called the Northern States mission where he met his wife Leona. The story goes like this. Julius was near the end of his mission and was companions with Leona's brother who was the only member of his family at the time. He had helped teach Leona and her family the gospel. He felt something when he was with her so he talked to the mission president and it was agreed that he would be able to go on a date with Leona 1 week before his release. Back then things were different. Elder Papa didn't know if or when he would be able to return to date Leona. One month after his return he proposed over the phone. Leona's answer was, "You'll have to come back here (Michigan) to find out." He did and she said yes. They were married December 19, 1941. In his journals he lovingly refers to her has his sweetheart. Six weeks after they were married Julius was off to World War II which took him to Africa and Italy. He was gone about 2 1/2 years. After the war he did not speak much of his experience. Julius and Leona had 4 boys, the youngest of which is Rex, Heath's Father
He was a Bishop and then the president of the Gridley, CA stake. He was called to serve as a mission president in the Anchorage, Alaska mission in 1981. When he returned he was called to serve as the 2nd counselor in the Temple Presidency of the Oakland temple. He was set apart by President Gordon B. Hinckley. Three years later he received a phone call from the second counselor in the first presidency, Thomas S. Monson. He was then called to be temple President. He kept a record of ordinance workers he set apart (33) and sealings that he performed (791) which included names and dates.
There are a lot of great stories in his journals. So many that I couldn't pick just one to share. He writes of serving his family and attending little league games of grandchildren. He writes of some terrible things that were happening in the world and says in 1990, "People are really beginning to say that the second coming is not far away." I wonder what he would think if he could see the world today.
One of my favorite lines in his journal is "By the way I am not the best speller as you can see." It makes me feel like he was humble and that he knew I would be reading his journal (or someone would). Also, I'm with you Grandpa Papa, I am not the best speller either. :)
While reading his journals I've been grateful for the opportunity to get to know this great man.
Julius B. Papa
March 23, 1919 - October 28, 2000
(Uncle Weldon, if there is any information in this post that is incorrect please email corrections to firstname.lastname@example.org)thanks :)