>His blog was called “Three Score and More, a blogspot site.
Here are my comments about Richard B. Johnson’s mission to Finland in 1954 when he was 19 and the clothing and other items he needed to go on a 30-month mission to a cold country which at that time was just recovering from the deprivations of World War II. Though I didn’t arrive until four years later, there were still a lot of things they didn’t have. They certainly were not a prosperous country like Sweden at the time. Though today, Finland probably has the best economy and the highest standard of living per capita of any nation on earth. NOKIA, the telephone and information technology company, has help them immensely. I have always had a positive feeling about my experience and the Finnish people:
Don White said…
Gayle, I labored in Finland under Presidents Phileon Robinson and John Warner from 1958-61 and when I left from Salt Lake City in 1958 much of what you described was the same–including the two-story mission home bunkhouse, the donations (I got about $100 also)at the farewell, though the meeting was in the chapel.
We did take a lot of clothing including long-john garmets and the hat which we discarded halfway through the mission in favor of a fury Russian-style hat that made more sense because it was much warmer and came down over my ears. Elders George McComber ( who is now stake patriarch in American Falls, Idaho), Don Wagstaff, Richard Groberg, Ray (I think) Johnson, and Doug Hardy of Canada all came over on the SS Stockholm to Gothinberg, thence by rail to Stockholm, by ferry to Turkuu, Finland and down to Helsinki.
I served primarily in Lappenranta, Helsinki (where I started with senior companion Gerald Bench), Oulu (with Don Woodward), and opened Kemi and was Branch President in Koukola. Your article was excellent and complete. Keep up the good work.
I was educated at the University of Utah in journalism, later got a law degree and worked many years in the P&C insurance industry, last serving for 8 years as president/CEO of Western National Mutual Insurance Company, a 24-state firm with offices in Minneapolis and Seattle.
I played baseball in college (Elder Groberg said he booed me from his perch on the centerfield grass where I played) and had a $10,000 bonus offer to join the Pittsburg Pirate organization–that was a lot of money in those days–and I turned it down to go on a mission. I’m glad I did.
My wife and I have held a temple recommend all these 43 years of marriage and use it.
I had graduated from college by the time I left, so there were a lot of leadership opportunities including District President and traveling elder, as well as Mission Historian and assistant editor of the Valkeus along with Don Woodward who later worked a long time for the Deseret News. I worked for some magazines, and was an AP newsman in Salt Lake. My wife, Carolyn, and I were married in the Manti Temple in 1965 and we have four marvelous children, all now living in Florida where we live. I was just released as high priest group leader and am employment director in the Windermere Ward which is part of the Orlando South Stake, located across the street from the LDS Temple where I worked for several years until health problems made it impossible. I do a lot of freelance writing and tend 18 blogs including
and several others.
I met a visitor to our Ward from Utah, Todd Smith, last Sunday. He had served under Pres. Melvin Luthy, who was in the mission when I was there, eventually 2nd counselor. It’s a small world. Elder Luthy was a missionary’s missionary. The best.
Hope to see you sometime in Orlando soon. Our Ward currently meets 1 p.m. but we’ll go to the 9 a.m. time in January.
Nakeimeen, Veli Johnson
and kindest regards, Don White
my email, if anyone wants to get in touch is