Sunday, September 26, 2010

Scott Allen Hepworth

I, Scott Allen Hepworth, was born 3 Aug 1949, in Logan, UT, son of Leland and Anna Mae Hepworth. I was baptized on my birthday, 3 Aug 1957, in Minidoka Stake Center, in Rupert, ID. I was born when my parents were in Logan, UT, where my father attended Utah State University and my mother worked in a bank until I was born. My father flew in an army air force plane from Hamilton Field near San Francisco just in time to see me after I was just born in the Logan Hospital. Ten months later, Dad graduated with a degree in Vocational Agriculture and took a job teaching Vo-Ag in a high school in Bruneau, ID not far from Boise. In Bruneau, when I was just over 13 months old, my brother Clyde was born in Boise. Our young family had a small dog for a pet until he got in trouble over bothering some chickens and Dad had to shoot him.

When I was two, my family moved to Malta, ID where Dad taught Vo-Ag at the local high school. Our family lived in the small town, next to the main highway, in a house with a fence around it to keep the children inside the yard. I reportedly climbed the fence to get out. I was also spotted occasionally climbing over a side fence that ran adjacent to a canal. I climbed everywhere in and around and on the house, and was frequently inclined to dig holes in the front yard. My brother Clyde once reportedly threw two shoes in the fire, one belonging to each of us. Some 14 months after Clyde was born, when I was 2 years and 3 months, our sister, Celia, was born, in Burley, ID. My siblings and I had most of the then common childhood diseases.

Living in Malta meant living near my father’s parents, Grandpa and Grandma Hepworth, who had a home on “the ranch,” which was a few miles west of town toward the foothills, on the way toward Elba, which was in a small valley between Mt. Independence (10,500 ft.) and Mt. Harrison. I loved to visit my grandparents’ place, regularly enjoying their horses, cows, pigs, chickens, etc., as well as spending time with Grandpa doing chores, milking, feeding, and working with the tractors in a variety of ways, and eating Grandma’s cookies. My Uncle Nyle Hepworth and Great Uncle Don Chandler often frolicked with me as a toddler, playing a game called “bear.” At the age of 5, I learned to ride my Grandpa’s black horse, Jill.

During this time, on a trip to the Sun Valley area, I almost drowned in a swimming pool in Ketchum, ID, when a bigger kid took my inner tube. I remember going down in the greenish colored water of the deep end of the pool, then seeing a streak coming toward me through the water, when my father dove in to rescue me. This experience led to a few years of dread fear of the water, even putting my head under water. I was so fearful that preparing for baptism required considerable effort on the part of my parents to get me to put my head under the water in a local canal. The baptism itself turned out just fine as I cooperated fully and had a nice experience. I remember well feeling good about it, and was especially aware and excited about receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost the following Sunday in Sacrament Meeting, when my father confirmed me and gave me the Gift.

When I turned 6, our family moved to Shoshone, ID, where my father taught science/biology at the local high school, and I had my first grade in elementary school. During this year I had a tonsillectomy in a hospital in nearby Jerome. The family lived on the south end of town with access to undeveloped areas to explore. Here I was exposed to black widow spiders, had my first fights with boys who bothered girls, resisted vigorously nurses attempts to give me shots, spent time with my family on picnics to Wood River, crossing a swinging bridge. At the conclusion of one trip, as the family gathered into the car to return home about dusk, we heard a lamb bleating and coyotes howling in the distance. I asked Dad what coyotes eat, and at the prospect of having a little lamb be eaten by a coyote, Dad took me back across the bridge and on the other side of the canyon river, in the dark, with the light of the moon, Dad searched and found the little lamb alone and stranded below the rim inside the canyon. When told to stand on the top of a large rock, while Dad went to find the lamb, I obeyed without question, watching the dark horizon encircled around me for coyotes coming to prey on the lamb. I held onto Dad while he carried the lamb back across the swinging bridge and loaded it in the car to take home. The lamb, we named him Woodie, was later taken to Grandpa’s ranch to be raised. When the time came to harvest Woodie, the family declined the mutton.

By the time I entered the 2nd grade, our family had moved to Paul, ID to be near Minico High School in Rupert, where Dad taught biology. Over the next several years, we rented three homes, including an old school house, where we lived when I was eight and was baptized on my birthday, 3 Aug 1957, in the Minidoka Stake Center in Rupert.

During these years, a major recurring highlight for me and our family was going to Grandpa’s place.

Also, for four consecutive summers, our family left Paul and lived in Moscow, ID where Dad attended the University of Idaho to earn his Masters Degree in Mammalogy. I enjoyed these summers immensely, living in a different house each time, spending numerous hours swimming, especially diving, and almost always exploring and playing outdoors. I also had several exceptional excursions when I and my brother were able to join our father, often with his major professor, Earl Larrison, on a variety of field trips.

I enjoyed the hobby of rock collection. I also collected keys and became something of a locksmith. Throughout these elementary years, I also enjoyed playing baseball, actually softball, basketball, and football. I enjoyed team sports very much, but also enjoyed competing in wrestling. When I was in the third or fourth grade, while sitting next to my mother in the balcony of the Church during our meetings, I happened to look through her glasses and discovered that I could see the speakers and everything very clearly. This was a real discovery, as my parents learned that I had quite poor vision. It was wonderful to get glasses and be able to see very well. I also did exercises the eye doctor gave me, often spending time looking out in the distance at the Sawtooth Mountains.

I did not participate in cub scouts, (sadly) considering it childish, but very much enjoyed entering real scouting as a Blazer at the age of 10. Fern Zohner was my teacher and I especially remember a wonderful 5-mile hike up Mt. Harrison. I entered MIA as a First Class and progressed to the point of being ready to receive my Eagle just before our family left Idaho, when I turned 13.

My first official boy scout camp out was a terrible disappointment to me, but a time of serious growth in personal commitment to keeping the commandments I had been taught. As a brand new real scout and deacon, I joined the troop on one of their routine campouts to Jackson Island on the Snake River. I was fully prepared for serious scouting, and was horrified when it turned into a Word of Wisdom-breaking “party” of sorts. There were about two dozen boys, I being the youngest, having barely turned 12, with the oldest being 14. Three men had taken us in the back of some trucks to the river, then the men put up their tent on one end of the island while the boys went to the other end and put up tents. That evening, all of the boys, including my best friends, smoked cigarettes and most of them drank from a bottle of whiskey and looked at black and white magazines of nudist colonies. They became quite distressed as the evening went on and as I refused to participate. Their primary concern became fear that I would report their behavior to the bishop when we returned home. When the older boys did not prevail upon me, they made every effort to get my best friends to persuade me, but I remained determined and did not participate. I remember when they finally gave up and left me alone around a campfire. We eventually went to bed and the next day, jumped off piles of gravel at a nearby gravel pit, then went back to the Church house. As I walked home with friends who lived nearby, we were very quiet until near my home, when one of them asked me if I was going to tell. I said something like, “I won’t have to.”

The next morning, as I came with my family to Church, we saw a long line of boys outside the bishop’s office. I was later spoken to by my leaders who commended me for not doing what the other boys had done. Immediately after this experience, we had a new scoutmaster, a younger man who had returned from serving in the Korean War. His name was Doug May, and I came to love him and respect his disciplined manner of shaping us up while having fun with our troop. We had many wonderful scouting experiences that helped me progress toward the rank of Eagle in about two years.

During these years, my mother had three little girls, each born premature. Carol Ann had only a couple of hours in her very tiny mortal body.  Linda, born 9 Mar 1958, when I was not yet 9, weighted only 3 lbs., 10.5 ounces.  We prayed fervently that she would live, and she made it. It was a glorious thing for our family when she finally came home, even with a large facial birthmark, which was subsequently removed. As her older siblings, we all joined in watching over her, to make sure she continued to live. She grew up and was a very happy addition to our family. Sharon had only two days as a mortal.  Her tiny body was laid to rest along side Carol Ann's in Paul, ID cemetery.

The last year or so of living in Paul was extraordinary in that we had a new house that my parents built and owned instead of rented. It was everything a brand new house could be. We loved it. Clyde and I enjoyed sleeping in the basement. We had close friends in the neighborhood and enjoyed life very much during this time.

One friend at school was Alan Gomez (I think that was his last name), part of a migrant farming Mexican family in the area. He stood out in our totally white group, and I liked him, often making a point of being sure he was involved in what the rest of us were doing. As a result, he liked me. Ironically, an older brother or two of his drove while drinking and had a car collision with my father and my brother and sister on board. Fortunately, everyone was wearing seat belts and no one was seriously hurt.

One unique experience during this time involved receiving a gift from my father’s associate teacher who found a kangaroo rat in the desert north of where we lived. We called him Plumpkins and enjoyed having him as a pet. We trained him to climb on our arms and even get on our head, and he was cute and easy to feed, living on grain, getting virtually all the water he needed from grain, as a truly adapted desert animal. He looked like miniature kangaroo with long legs and tiny forearms and pouch. He would fill his cheeks with grain kernels. As fun as he was for us kids, he did get out of the early cages we had for him and got lost in the basement until we found the sleeping bag he built a nest in.

My father wanted to go on and obtain a Ph.D., and I remember countless prayers during family prayer, which we had morning and night, before breakfast and dinner, always kneeling as a family against our chairs surrounding the table. For a period of time, our prayers consistently included a request that we get a National Science Foundation Fellowship that would pay for much of the expense of getting this advanced education, since it would be especially challenging with a family of four.

It was thrilling when we received the news that we would be moving to Stillwater, Oklahoma, a long ways away for us. As exciting as this way, there was the sadness of leaving friends, especially a girl I cared for a great deal named Connie Maxwell, the bishop’s daughter. We made an attempt to take Plumpkins with us to Oklahoma, but sadly he died in the back of the U-Haul trailer, when we were in southeastern Utah, and we buried him by the side of the road.

Moving to Stillwater was a milestone in my life, with new geography, society, and circumstances that had significant affects on me. I gradually ceased to wear my custom-worn felt cowboy-style hat and even more gradually stopped the practice of having my front pants pockets bulge with important contents like pocket knives, a small emergency kit, a container with matches, assorted keys, a folded bandana, and other practical items I felt were part of being prepared. For me, life in Stillwater ended up being life with Robert Michael (Mike) Duffin, with whom I formed a very close friendship. We were the Nadoes, complete with our own song, sung to the tune of Night Riders in the Sky, and had a profound positive affect on one another. He was especially influential in my transition from preoccupation with pure adventure to more serious academic attention, wherein I progressed from comfortably accepting B grades to becoming a straight-A student. He was also instrumental in my learning to much better control my temper, which had been a lifelong challenge for me. We really had a wonderful time growing up together. After getting our Eagles together, we did most everything else together as well. We enjoyed early morning seminary with our friends and our patient teacher, Sister Carolyn Call.

Through our years, Mike and I served together at Church, he playing the piano and I leading the singing in Priesthood meeting. As we progressed through the deacon, teacher, and priest offices of the Aaronic Priesthood, we passed, prepared, and blessed the sacrament together virtually every week. We had an extraordinary experience camping together many times over that period of years in an area near Ripley’s Bluff several miles southeast of town, near the confluence of Stillwater Creek and the Cimarron River. We constructed a homemade “cabin” mostly from cottonwood trees felled in a clearing we converted into a campsite. We had many days of varied adventures in that area, typically reached by riding our bikes from home.

Just before my senior year in high school, with a close girl friend named Denise Weibel and Mike and I and all our other friends fully geared for a great time in our final year in high school, a major change occurred when my father, having obtained his Ph.D., took a job as a professor at Chadron State College, in the Pine Ridge area of northwestern Nebraska, south of Rapid City, SD. We were delighted to discover a new, albeit small, chapel on the western outskirts of town, housing the small branch of the Church in the Chadron area. We moved into a nice home and felt good to be together as a family in a new adventure. I learned that all I needed was to complete an easy requirement related to Nebraska History and I could graduate from high school without having to attend my senior year, enabling me to enter college a year early. I enjoyed college much more than high school and had two full years, majoring in biology with a minor in math, before I turned 19 and went to the New Zealand South Mission. We enjoyed Nebraska, especially the hills and hunting in that part of the state. I was a serious student, but I also enjoyed rock climbing in the summer and tobogganing in the winter. In the summer I turned 18, 1967, Mike Duffin and I had a particularly adventuresome trip traveling together through the intermountain west, especially through Yellowstone and the Tetons and much of the rest of Wyoming.

The small branch in Chadron was an immense blessing to me. I was able to serve in multiple callings, several at a time, in addition to home teaching and fellowshipping less actives. There were no other guys my age, so I was marvelously blessed in the two years prior to going on my mission to enjoy having the local full-time missionaries be my almost day-to-day friends, spending a lot of time with them, going out visiting and teaching with them, learning from them. I learned that missionary work was best when done with the involvement of local members. I carried that understanding with me to my full-time mission, and it continues with me to this day. I was very close to knowing the discussions, so that I was able to perfect them very quickly when I entered full-time service.

Like so many others, my mission was a monumental time in my life. I loved the people and the country of New Zealand as well as my presidents and my companions. I had many growing experiences for which I will always be grateful. The ultimate blessing of my time in New Zealand was the totally unexpected development of crossing paths with the lady missionary who would become my eternal companion.

Lorraine Joan Griffin was born 14 Apr 1948, in Melbourne, Australia, daughter of Aylwin William and Mary Wilson Griffin. She was baptized at the age of eight, …in the…

Lorraine and I were married on my birthday, 3 Aug 1971, in the Logan Temple. We lived for our first couple of months in a basement apartment just below campus, then found a live-in arrangement taking care of Laprile Mitchell, an elderly widow we came to call Grandma Mitchell. That lasted two years. In Logan, on 12 Dec 1972, we had our first child, Ann, born in the same hospital her father had been born in.

After completing the requirements for a B.S. degree from USU, I took some graduate business classes, then received a fellowship to attend the American Graduate School of International Management to receive a master of international management degree from “Thunderbird” in Glendale, AZ. Most of the time we spent in Phoenix, we lived on a horse ranch, taking care of Mrs. King who lived in a mobile home, with us having a small bedroom that had previously been occupied by ducks. To contend with the lingering odor, we placed newspapers on the floor, and ate TV dinners at night while watching TV. I enjoyed riding the horses, but Lorraine had an unpleasant experience that scared her, much like her mother had once had riding a horse.

After turning down offers of employment I would later wish I still had, because I insisted on obtaining an MBA, I enrolled at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Texas, at Austin and we managed apartments as I went to school full-time, my practice for the first five years of our marriage. In Austin, on 13 Feb 1975, we had our second child, our Lisa.

After finishing my MBA, in the midst of an economic recession, I collected an inch-worth of rejection letters before finding a job through a neighbor of my parents at a young computer company in San Antonio called Datapoint Corporation. I was hired as a Financial Analyst for $13K per year, dismayed at that sum after all I’d been through preparing myself for the big time. I applied myself to solving problems and helping management in a variety of ways and enjoyed some high level visibility which led to my being selected for a special assignment at a new acquisition in Sunnyvale, CA, called Amcomp. My job was to help the president of the company figure out how to make this 12-year old company profitable. It was really two companies that had been merged together and had never been profitable on sales of about $10 MM per year. In four years, as a result of lots of improvements, the company produced $8 MM in pre-tax profit on sales of $40 MM. I learned what it meant to do a turnaround.

I enjoyed my work with Datapoint, including learning the roles of program manager, marketing director, corporate development director, and general manager. I traveled a great deal in the early 1980’s. I enjoyed the corporate acquisition work I did. I enjoyed meeting people, making presentations, and organizing special teams to accomplish specific projects. I managed hardware, software, and systems development groups without any real technical knowledge, learning to work carefully through other people who were technically knowledgeable. Having started out as a financial analyst with close connections to top management, I was fortunate to be placed in positions to learn nearly every functional area of business, finance, marketing, engineering, manufacturing, etc. This served me well as I evolved into increasingly general leadership roles.

After a few years of splitting stock values, as Datapoint accomplished 40 consecutive quarters of growth, and was named “darling stock of the year” in 1981 on the New York Stock Exchange, I experienced the reality that what goes up can also come down, when the news broke in February 1982 that Datapoint would not continue its growth pattern, and was in fact in some trouble. If I had been living in San Antonio, it is possible that I would have been privy and may have innocently participated in the insider selling that occurred just ahead of the precipitous drop in stock price. But being in Silicon Valley, a world apart from San Antonio, pre-occupied with the peripheral products division primarily, I was in a na├»ve position of simply watching in shock as the stock price plummeted. As the corporate direction changed, I was asked to help get rid of some $90 MM in cash by buying companies, in a failed attempt to fend off Asher Adelman, a New York arbitrager, who had spotted an opportunity to make a quick $40 MM by buying Datapoint stock at very depressed prices, getting control, and closing it down, selling assets, and keeping the cash. Even though we got rid of the cash by acquiring some 22 foreign distributors, Asher gained control, but only to have control without the cash, so his plan was foiled, and no one really won. As direction changed further, I really enjoyed the experience of negotiating the sale of portions of the peripheral products division to larger companies.

In the course of selling our thin film media operation, I met a man for whom I subsequently worked when I was hired as a marketing consultant, before becoming president of Disctron. That was an interesting experience in working with a team of guys to take a company from a loss of $6 MM on sales of $16 MM to a pre-tax profit of $7 MM on sales of $28 MM in two years, only to be virtually wiped out by competition and industry stagnation and being forced to sell to the highest bidder.

At the point between Datapoint and Disctron, I made the commitment to implement plans I had developed with Lorraine, with some involvement of my parents, who lived with us for 2.5 years, and whom I felt needed something more to do, to open a specialty retail operation we called Home Cookery. This was the beginning of having our own corporation and of my experience with small business. We experienced considerable change and adaptation over a period of years as market conditions compelled us to get out of one business and into another. We went from retail gourmet shop and cooking school with a French bakery to more of a deli operation, then to more of an office catering operation.

I had considered Home Cookery a sideline while supporting it and my family from income earned through my corporate jobs. Following Disctron, and my call to serve as a bishop, in 1986, I got involved as CEO of a small publicly traded company called Kitchenetics, later renamed Elan Products, Inc. This too was a roller coaster of growth and improvement followed by disaster.

Finding my calling as a bishop to be a significant opportunity to serve, and with the desire to better accommodate the practical time requirements of the calling, I decided to become fully self-employed with Home Cookery. Once thus engaged, my effort went into finding a more established off-premises catering production company to acquire, which led to American Hospitality, and a period of great excitement with a new management team I assembled, but the Persian Gulf War period economic downturn resulted in a prolonged drop in corporate event sales. I made the mistake of trying to keep the business going, covering the payroll with our personal reserves and borrowing capacity until finally forced to divest and end the misery.

I was a bishop for nearly six years (six tithing settlements), then was called into the stake presidency as 2nd counselor to Gene Smith. For over a month, I was still bishop as well as in the stake presidency. Once I was settled into my new calling, and finding it to be much more streamlined, with virtually every time commitment quite schedule-able, and at a time of serious financial need, I sought another corporate job, this time ending up as CEO of a $10 MM, 80 employee point of purchase display and shipping container producer in San Jose. The company was owned 54% by Frank, 40% by Richard, and others owned the rest. Frank and Richard had once been friends, but Richard felt abused by Frank, and Frank resented Richard's popularity. Frank always saw to it that he made more money, but he spent it and had little in the way of personal assets. Richard had more substantial assets which were the primary collateral for the company’s bank line of credit. Serious friction between the two lead to tribulation with the bank as well as contention within the company. I spent a few Saturdays trying to counsel with these guys, only to have Frank decide he would leave for the French Riviera for a year or so, leaving me to work with the company without him.

Two major developments occurred in my life during this time. One, after our June semi-annual stake conference, our stake president was killed in an auto accident, and after two months without him, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Area Authority Elder Bill Parmley came to a specially called stake conference at the end of August. I was called to be stake president at a time I often worked 70-80 hours a week, hardly seeing my family as it was. This caused me to ponder my working circumstances. The second major event occurred after taking a walk in Alum Rock Park near our home on New Year’s Day with Lorraine and Lisa and Todd. I plucked a branch to keep it from poking someone in the eye on the trail, something I had often done, and I played with the bark, and got resin on my hands, never thinking it was poison oak. Upon returning home, I took a shower and inadvertently spread the oil all over my body. Some 36 hours later I was in the hospital, receiving heavy doses of prednizone to curtail the extreme reaction of my immune system that had become life threatening. I had a few days of not being able to see, and hours of not being totally rational, unaware of whether it was day or night. After the poison oak finally subsided, I had to receive a variety of antibiotics to fight off the various infections that practically took over my body. All together, I was down and out and recuperating for six weeks. Toward the end, I had a wonderful time of reading through the scriptures and felt very inspired to many specific verses pertaining to Zion. I also had a marvelous experience one afternoon, after my son came home from school and talked with me for about a half an hour. Afterwards, he commented that our visit had been very nice, that he had enjoyed it very much. That caused me to ponder my situation much more, and I subsequently decided I needed to wrap up Golden Bear and come home to be self-employed again, with more flexibility, to spend more time with my family, my children and my wife.

Frank had really wanted me to fire Richard, and fully expected that I would, but I decided Richard was the more valuable of the two, and figured out a way to remove Frank from the company by buying him out by orchestrating an ESOP. This was a very interesting and personally rewarding experience for me, requiring careful timing and some sleight of hand to get Frank to sign the papers while believing Richard would not sign, only to have Richard actually sign and secure the deal. Frank made an attempt to foil the signed transaction, including firing me, but the management team was prepared to survive the standoff and Frank was compelled to leave. It was very rewarding to me to teach a management team how to self-manage, not requiring someone like Frank to be the boss, telling them what to do all the time. It was also rewarding to train the employees in business philosophy of improving things to make more money. We also helped about 20 Spanish-speaking employees learn ESL.

Upon leaving the packaging company, I decided to become self-employed again, this time with Event Connections, working with Lorraine on corporate events. The years went by, and we continued to prosper and serve in the Kingdom. When my son returned from his mission to Canada, I suggested he check out the Internet and he quickly became very interested. He took classes from San Jose State University and became quite proficient in web development skills. We began trying to figure out how to commercialize his skills, working on a variety of projects. As our paths crossed with some Australian friends, we formed OmniOP, Instillvision, and Centennial Media USA and worked on it together as father and son. We also formed Brite Host. Times were tough as the economy, especially the Silicon Valley area and technology industries, suffered in the aftermath of the bust. Paul eventually got a full-time job with InfoOne as a developer. And in late 2002 we embarked on a new start up called Seaware Technologies.

Personal Journal Entries

We're rejoicing at having survived a frightening experience with a fire on
our hill and in the park by us. We were awakened yesterday at 1:45 a.m. by
the smell of smoke. The day and night before had been Santa Ana winds,
gusts 50-70 mph, the winds associated with California fires. When we looked
out the front door, we were shocked to feel the heat and see the flames and
embers flying through the sky with the wind. We began praying as we went.
We got everyone up, called 911, were told to prepare to evacuate, did so,
activated our neighborhood preparedness organization, etc. Realizing the
winds could take the fire wherever it would, we all knelt in prayer and
asked the Lord to protect us, and specifically to calm the winds, and bless
the professional fire fighters who were on their way. The winds calmed for
about 4 hours, and the dozens of fire trucks and men got into position and
eventually contained the fires. There are still hot spots up the canyon,
but only one home was totally destroyed and several others badly damaged,
with no loss of life. About 6:00 a.m., the winds picked up again and the
whole day was furiously windy, power outages, downed trees and limbs, a real
mess. We packed up quite a lot of most important things into our vehicles,
then emptied them. We're now getting back into some organization,
expressing our thankfulness to the Lord for watching over us. We were all
here together, Lorraine and I, Paul and Kristin, Sharon, Shayla, Susanna
(14-yr old Portuguese "daughter"), and Jared Griffin. Very memorable


  1. How we wish more of our ancestors would have been able to write more of their history! Maybe out there somewhere, more direct descendants have more documented history to share.

  2. See my latest at: I found you here. I can't stop reading. My history of my son, Jason's heart transplant can be found at entitled A Whisper of Springtime. Lovina researched the info (your unknown author) for William and Elizabeth Babbitt. It was found in a poetry/history type book I put together for a family reunion around 1988 or 89?. Jason is starring in a movie called Chick Magnets rated PG directed by Brian Douros, an Indie film by Utah talents and they hope to release it to a national audience in May 2012.

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