I, Lyle Sears Hintze, am now attempting to write a history of myself. Each year, on the 26th of April, I become a year older. Tradition and State records say that that was the day and month I was born, the year being 1925 (I do not remember). I feel that my parents were happy, because I was eighth child to come into the family of Henry H. and Ethel Irene Sears Hintze. I was the seventh son. Just what they wanted. I was born of goodly parents. Taught after the manner of the day. My parents strived diligently to teach me the Christian values of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As I came to learn in later years, the Gospel of Jesus Christ was very important to them. After I was married, Nadine made a comment that she always enjoyed visiting with Mom and Dad because they loved to talk and teach their children the gospel. This they both did continually, even in death. (Any failure in my life not to live up to these teachings are my responsibility not theirs, for they taught well.)
I do not remember anything concerning my birth. Records indicate that I was born at the old Cottonwood Maternity Home, in Murray, Utah, 26 April 1925. The hour was around 3:00 am. At the time of my birth the family was living in Elberta, Utah, just west of the land of Goshen.
I was 9 years old when my parents moved from Elberta, yet there are a few mental pictures that linger in my mind of that time. One is the experience with the run-away team of horses and wagon. I was two years old at the time. Dad had left me alone with the team and wagon at the top of a hill while he went to talk with some people at their home. Just as Dad got to the door, something spooked the horses and off they went down the hill at the speed of a run-away team. At the bottom of the hill (about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile) we intersected another road, and the team made a right turn, the wagon and I followed at full speed. The horses traveled about another 1/2 mile, then made a left turn through an irrigation ditch (wagons had crossed here many times) and stopped at a fence. Beyond the fence was a grove of popular trees. When Dad caught up to us, I was hanging on to the side board of’ the wagon. This was the only thing keeping me in the wagon as the floor of it was completely gone. (It was a gravel wagon – forerunner of the dump truck.) The floor boards were 2 x 4’s and 2 x 6’s that run the width of the wagon making them easy to take out, starting from the back, when the wagon was loaded. Dad picked me off the side of the wagon, carried me to the grove of trees, knelt down and prayed. Three things are still vivid in my mind of this experience. I can still see Dad at the door of the house when the horses started to run. Second, the whole thing must have caused a lot of noise, for as we made the right turn, we passed the Jones home. I can see the Jones’ standing next to the road watching as we went by. Third, I can still see Dad carrying me into the grove of trees and praying.
Another early experience, is the burning down of the house. I was told that this was the second complete burn-out for the family in Elberta. From what can be determined the fire started in the kitchen. My bedroom was next to it. Had I been sleeping in my own bed that night it would have been next to impossible to escape. (The frame house offered no protection from fire once the fire got started.) This night I was sleeping outside under the stars with big sister, Jane. The rest of the family was sleeping on the porch at the opposite end from the kitchen. This allowed them to escape. All of our temporal materials were lost. We were blessed that no life was lost, which could have easily happened. Mother and Dad were at the Ward house attending a social.
Family (kids rodeos) were a great sport in Elberta. I was the youngest at the time, therefore I was the one that my brothers let (more likely forced) to ride the calves or bigger sheep. Riding of horses I also enjoyed, but sometimes I found myself on the ground more than on the horse. (Uncle Bill can tell us a lot about walking home.) One summer day I fell from or was thrown from four different horses. I still carry scars on my left elbow from a fall and slide along the gravel road. This was not just the ordinary scratch. Before it healed, I had blood poison in the index finger of the right hand resulting in a visit to the doctor at Dividend to remove the fingernail.
I have the distinction (at least once) of disobeying Dad and having him happy that I did. I was with him hauling hay from the stack in the field to the barn. It was after dark. There were some stray cows in the hay field. Dad told me to drive them away while he finished loading the wagon. I was scared and didn’t go. When Dad finished loading the wagon he went out to drive the cows away. He came back very happy that I hadn’t gone. The cows charged him. Dad was sure that they would have run me over had I gone.
My baptismal date was an important day, April 26, 1933. Dad came to school and picked me up early afternoon. We then picked up Bishop Patten, then drove to the pond of natural spring water at the remains of the old mill refinery East of Goshen. This was about a 6 mile drive. After Dad and I got out to the middle of the pond, with the bishop on the bank, he began to question me about being baptized and if I wanted to be a member of the Church. With the baptism over, we returned to school. School was then dismissed, the whole student-body, we walked the mile plus home for a birthday party. When I was 9, I was kept home from school to tend Ray. I believe Mom was doing some Relief Society work. Anyway I got playing with some gas and matches, (in a can). The flames leaped out of the can and frightened me. In an effort to put the fire out I kicked the can causing the gas and fire to splash up on my clothing, especially my right pant leg. Before I could get my pants off, I had cooked the lower part of the leg beyond the well-done state. The upper part of the leg was just well done, more flesh. To cool off the burn, I went to the well and poured a bucket of water over my leg. I buried the burned pants, got dressed again and said nothing when Mom and Dad came home. Mom had me walk half mile (one way) to get some eggs. It was very difficult, especially with the pant leg rubbing against the open sore. I did make the trip. At supper, I wasn’t hungry and went to bed. Later, Ray told the folks what had happened. When they saw the leg they were sick. (me too). A box was made to put my leg through so the covers would not touch, and somehow I made it through the night. The next day we drove 18 miles to the doctor in Payson (Dr. Curtis). This became a daily ritual for the next few weeks. My sister, Jane, became my legs during these weeks. Each day the bandage was peeled off – new medication put on – the leg rewrapped then sprayed with paraffin wax, sealing out the air. The next day 18 miles (one way), cut off the bandage which was stuck to the sore (Jane can give a better account of what it was like). I do remember that it did hurt a little. This was the daily ritual. I still carry the scare of the burn on my lower leg. Very tender when bumped.
I remember the visit of Elder Melvin J. Ballard to Elberta. Dad was called to be Bishop. Elder Ballard was there for the call and setting apart. (This is something you do not see the Brethren doing today.) While Dad was bishop, a new Church house was built. I remember being with Dad while the basement was being poured. Dad’s pocket watch fell from his pocket into the cement and became part of the basement wall, that was until the forms were taken off. There was Dad’s watch, face out still running.
My formal schooling began in a two-room school at Elberta. The first three grades were held in one room while the 4th thru 6th in the second room. During the second and third grade, I was the only student in the grade. Beginning with the 4th grade the school in Elberta closed. We were transported to Goshen. This was a bus ride of about 4 miles (it sure seemed much further as a young boy). I remember one of the first visits back to Elberta, how shocked I was that Goshen was so close to Elberta. Of course, I was seeing it through much older eyes. It was a good walk home if you missed the bus or misbehaved and the driver made you walk home. I can not remember being forced to walk, but I did walk home by choice to walk with a friend who did get kicked off. It was during my 6th grade year that we moved to Taylorsville, Utah (1936).
To close out the Elberta period of my life, I can remember walking along the same road I had walked many times (birthday party walk from school, getting eggs after I burned my leg, forced to walk because the horse left me high and dry). It was just at sunset, I was saying to myself “Well, it did happen.” This was May 1936. The world was supposed to come to an end. Thus ended life in Elberta. Dad moved the family to Taylorsville, Utah.
Life in Taylorsville introduced me to electricity, running water (in the house, cause all water runs) and the bathroom without a path and a Sears catalog. School was attended at Plymouth Elementary and Jr. High school. It was only a block away. Mrs. Gerrard, my 6th grade teacher, gave me a good start in the new school. During the 9th grade, I was elected to be a cheerleader without ever trying out. Me – stiff as a board. High school years were spent in Granite High – back to riding a bus. The summer before my 10th grade started, I was riding on the back of a car (coup) Keith was driving. I slid off and broke my left arm. High school started with my arm in a cast. I missed out on the fundamentals of football. (As I look back, I didn’t miss out on too much not trying to make the team.) I did play a little second team basketball.
December 7, 1941 brought a change in all our lives. Pearl Harbor was bombed. United States entered into the war. World War II. It was Sunday. Church was over, I was the attendant on duty at the service station operated by Eugene. I was listening to the radio when the music was interrupted to tell of the bombing. This was during my Junior year in high school. Near the end of my Senior year, I signed with the Navy. I wanted to get in the Airforce but they would not take me because I wore glasses. I didn’t want to be a foot soldier. This made the Navy the choice. When I signed, I was promised that they would let me graduate from school. This word was not kept. Notice came to report to Faraget, Idaho on May 15, 1943, three weeks before graduation. When I took my checkout slip around, all of my teachers gave me full credit – meaning that I would get the high school diploma. I just would not be around to receive it. The winter of 1943, I played basketball on the Ward M-Men team. The year before the team finished second in All-Church. This was the year for the Taylorsville Ward. I played the bench, usually the first or second substitute. We won the Stake championship. Won the Regional championship. There was an injury to one of the regulars during the championship game. I played the complete 2nd half of the game. After the game was over the team was informed that I was ineligible. Too young. Had to be eighteen. This was early April, I did not have a birthday until the 26th. They said that there would be no protest, I just could not play in the All-Church. Could suit-up only. I had been playing because I would be going in the service and not be around the next year. The team won the All-Church championship without my help.
To cover the war years, I was the youngest of 5 Henry Hintze’s sons in the service. Keith broke the Navy tradition. I was the only one to leave the United States and go into the war zone. This was in the Pacific. I ended up defending my big brothers from the enemy of the ‘rising sun’. They all stayed close to home.
My three years in the service (minus 15 days) took me from boot camp in Idaho to San Diego for anti-aircraft training, to camp Penlton, near San Francisco, to a ship that took me and thousand others to the war zone. We stopped off at the Fiji Islands. Then to New Caledonia. Here I became a dry-land sailor (September 1943). By November, I was a dry-land sailor on the Solomon Islands (Guadalcanal). This was the turning place of the war. The enemy (Japan) was stopped here. The long push back to Japan began. It took a couple of years to complete the job. My arrival to Guadalcanal was the day after the Japanese had made what proved to be their last attempt to bomb the American camps and air strips. I was assigned to a landing craft unit. We were assigned to take supplies to the front-line islands. At this time the fighting was going on at the North end of the Solomon Islands (Bougainville). We took helium blimps aboard the craft, flying them over the boat for protection against diving aircraft. The blimps were taken aboard deflated, inflated only as needed. The object was that the cable holding the blimp would cut the wings of the plane if they came diving in. The flying blimp would also give protection while the ship was on shore loading. My assignment in the outfit was storekeeper (Navy talk for taking care of supplies). Once I was assigned to go to the front with a convoy. During the night we came under attack. It was just like the 4th of July. The fire works was beautiful. Tracer bullets coming from the diving planes, bullets going up from the ship. Also shouting from the near islands. Three enemy planes went down in flames, then a big ball of fire as they hit the water. Something hit the stern of the ship where I was standing – nothing happened but my heart got caught in my throat. This ended my fighting experience, but not the war. After 9 months on Guadalcanal, our supply unit moved to Bougainville. The U.S. forces controlled only 1/5th of the island, just enough to have an air strip for fighter planes to give air protection to the long-range bombers based farther back down the chain of islands. Bougainville had a smoking (sparks at night) volcano that would rock us to sleep each night shaking the whole island. After 9 months here, I was sent back to the States. My unit was being sent to the Philipines. I sailed under the Golden Gate bridge the latter part of March 1945. After one month leave at home, I reported to Portland, Oregon, where a ship was being commissioned (more like a floating hotel). We were assigned to China to house soldiers. While waiting for the ship to be equipped and supplied, the war ended. I also got another leave and came home for a couple of weeks. While at home I took out my endowments (July 11, 1945). Even with the war over we set sail for China via Pearl Harbor, September 1945. We stayed at the harbor for a month. Our orders were changed, this time being sent back to the States at Charleston, South Carolina. We were to house the men putting the battleships in mothballs. We left Pearl Harbor for San Diego. Thanksgiving 1945 was between San Diego and Panama Canal. Passing through the canal was an experience. It took one full day to make it from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. Christmas and New Years (1946) was spent in Key West, Florida. Jacksonville was the last before arriving at our assignment in Charleston. April 19, 1946 I was discharged from the Navy. My war souvenir brought back from the Pacific was malaria.
Shortly after returning home, Eugene came over home to talk about going on a mission. We talked with the Bishop – they had intended to talk with me but they thought maybe I would want to be at home for a while. It was not long after this that the papers were completed. A call was issued to serve in Denmark. I entered the Mission Home October 1946. The Home was back of the Lion House (the garden area of the new Church office building). This was the second group to enter the training program after the war – also the largest (260). Because of the size of the group, those of us who lived in the Salt Lake area stayed at home (slept). Richard Lindsay and I sat at the back of the class, sitting near the front was a lady missionary that seemed to be a big flirt. Later I learned that her name was Nadine Day.
My departure for Denmark was delayed because the Navy Reserve would not give me a release to leave the United States. This held up the issuing of my passport. We were grateful that Wayne and Dorothy still lived in San Francisco. Wayne knew his way around the Naval headquarters. The release came shortly after. Thanksgiving was spent on ship heading for Europe.
I arrived in Denmark the first week of December 1946. Just in time to get prepared for a Danish Christmas. The Danish people were willing to talk to us, but they were more interested in American goods than spiritual things. You would think that after 3 years of German occupation that they would be hungering for religion. What is good enough for Mom is good enough for me. It was a difficult two and one half years. We could only talk about the Book of Mormon. It was tell-and-no-show. The Mission President before leaving as the missionaries were called home because of the war, canceled all orders for printing the book. After the war the Church decided to update the printed material before reprinting the book. The result was that there were no copies to the Book of Mormon to give out until after I returned home. We did find a few copies in second-hand book stores. I found a 1851, first edition which I still have. No modern-day records were set in baptisms. It was a difficult time for missionary work. Many of the faithful saints were immigrating to America.
I was released from my mission April 19, 1949. Had the opportunity of doing some traveling. The passage home was booked from England. This gave time for a little visit around Europe; Germany, Italy, France, Belgium Holland, Scotland and England before sailing home. From the time I entered the service until returning home from my mission I had spent seven Thanksgivings and Christmases outside of the U.S. (Maybe that is a little exaggerated, one Christmas was spent in Key West, Florida.)
While on my mission, the North Jordan Stake was organized. The Taylorsville Ward was combined with wards from the Granger area and Hunter. Dad was called to the High Council. Nadine’s dad was senior member of the High Council. I had been dating Danish girls. The folks suggested I try an American girl. I brought Brother Day’s daughter (Nadine) home. Mom gave her approval. Christmas 1949, I went to visit Nadine, and her mother locked us in the bedroom saying we couldn’t come out until we were engaged. Just happened that I did have a ring, or we would still be there.
The fall of 1949, I entered BYU. Nadine and I were married June 14, 1950 in the Salt Lake Temple. Elder Spencer W. Kimball performed the ceremony. Graduated from the “Y” August 1952. Since I still had some G I Bill schooling left, we stayed in school. May 1954 I was hired by the Church Education system to teach seminary. My first assignment in the program was at Roosevelt, Utah. We stayed there for 5 years. The beginning of the 1959 school year found us in Bountiful, Utah teaching. We have been in the area since. This school year, 1983-84, marks the 30th year for teaching. Of these years, 15 have been as principal of a seminary. Since 1976, I have been working with the handicap program, still teaching seminary. This has been a rewarding experience.
In 1972 I was granted what the Seminary Department called a summer sabbatical. What it meant was that I was being paid for going to school during the summer months rather than take a year off at half-pay to go to school. This was to last for 3 summers. In 1974, I completed my Masters program. During the summer of 1974, the Department announced a study program for seminary teachers. It was a study trip to the Holy Land. One requirement was that your wife had to go with you. We applied. Having taught for 22 years, we had enough points to be accepted. Nadine had said that we were going to do something big for our 25th wedding anniversary. This trip seemed to be big enough for us. We arrived in Rome, Italy on June 14, 1975, 25 years from the day we were married.
Nadine has told about our children. We have been blessed with 8 wonderful sons and daughters, four of each. Six have married. We are blessed with fourteen grandchildren (September 27, 1983). We lost one grandson July 24, 1981. Wendell, since his accident in July 1979, has been a source of great spiritual strength to all of us. We were happy for his marriage May 1983.
As a family, the Lord has been kind to us. We are grateful for all He has done for us.