Happily ever after: Professor love stories

By on February 13, 2003.

By Lauren Masters

Merrill J. Bateman entered the third grade shortly after his family moved to American Fork. A few months later, the Scholes family made the same move and enrolled Harold and Marilyn Scholes in the school Bateman and his sister Beverly attended. Both were assigned to acquaint the Scholes to life at their new elementary school, and Bateman became good friends with Harold while Beverly showed Marilyn around. The friendships continued as they became teenagers.

When Bateman was in high school, the Church hosted a dance festival held in Salt Lake City at the University of Utah football stadium under the MIA program. Bateman?s stake had been assigned to send several local couples to the competition, and a director was called to be responsible for holding practices.

At the practices, each participant was assigned to a partner. Bateman was not given his first choice.

?I wanted to dance with Marilyn,? Bateman said. ?So I switched partners.?

The MIA director wasn?t too keen on the idea that the six foot two Bateman was paired with the five foot two Marilyn. ?The dance instruction didn?t like that,? Bateman said. She promptly switched them to other partners. They promptly switched back to each other.

?After three or four times she let us stay together. She got the picture that we wanted to dance together,? Bateman said with a laugh.

Over the next seven years, the two would date off and on beginning with Bateman?s last two years of high school and continuing with the two years he spent at the University of Utah before serving a mission in Great Britain. During that time, Marilyn graduated from high school and was enrolled at BYU.

When he returned home, Bateman once again began dating Marilyn, and about a year later the two were married.

Robert and Michelle Walz

Spring 1978: Robert Walz stared at his parents in their Conoga Park, California dining room just hours after getting off the plane from Minnesota on a mission for The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints. He realized that after spending two years away, he didn”t have much to say to them. It was his mother, who suggested that he go to an institute activity. There he runs into some old friends and starts to meet several people including Michelle Davis ”81, a girlfriend of his friend Pat who was on a mission.

Fast forward two months to 1978 Summer Term at BYU, where and Walz and Davis chatted at the CougarEat and reminisced about their mutual friend Pat.

Davis had a crush on him, but was afraid to do anything about it because she was three years younger than him. Walz claims that Davis even stalked him, but he didn”t mind. Davis laughs and insists that Walz is just exaggerating.

“I didn”t have to go until fall, but I moved it up because my best friend was going summer term at the dorms, and because I knew he might be there,” she said. Then two weeks into the term Davis and her cousin needed one more class and decided to add Communications 101, where Walz would be. “We”d go eat at the Morris Center every Wednesday night and then go to class. At first I was really excited and nervous that I was sitting by him, my palms of my hands were sweaty because I was sitting next to this cute guy that I had designs on,” Davis said.

“She and I were able to communicate well,” he said. “She”s got these big brown eyes that just slay me, there”s nothing I could do about it, and she had these tan legs.”

They dated for a couple of weeks and decided to drive home to California before the start of fall semester. In the car was when the first proposal took place. After driving for hours, Davis insists that Walz asked her to marry him, even though he had limited recollection of it.

Walz thought that Davis was nice and cute, but the thought of marriage made him afraid.

“We went home and I had to make it clear that, no we weren”t getting married,” he said.

Meanwhile, Walz and Davis returned to BYU fall semester and they”d would enjoy frequent dinners together. Their dates would consist of going to the Morris Center and Davis giving him all her vegetables.

“I was really a starving student,” Walz said. “I was living because my relatives Idaho would send me down a bag of potatoes, and my parents would give me this thing of peanut butter.” Davis lived in the dorms and they ate together two days a week. For 35 cents, a student could get a dinner salad and with another 35 cents you could get all the soda pop you could drink, so Walz took advantage of it.

“She would give me all of her vegetables and I would make a big salad, and she would get two pieces of bread and I would make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I thought I would”ve died and starved to death,” he said.

By then, Walz”s feelings had deepened and the interest grew into love, but the fear of financial burdens and being so young were there. But, that didn”t stop him from proposing nine months later a second time.

“When I asked her the second time it should”ve been her tip when I said ”don”t tell anyone.” I don”t know why she kept coming back but she did,” he said.

Two days later, Walz changed his mind and said that he was “just kidding,” and they should date other people.

Devastated, Davis dated other people and wanted to give up the relationship, even being told by her roommate to dump him, but Davis saw the potential of how great a husband Walz could be, plus his charm and charisma won her heart back.

When the school year ended, Davis and Walz went their separate ways. Davis headed back home to Woodland Hills, Calif., while Walz stayed to be on BYU”s fencing team. It was on a road trip to Boise that Walz realized he knew where he wanted to take the relationship.

“By the time I got home, I got to thinking that if I didn”t marry her, I wouldn”t live, that I would die, because I loved her so much,” Walz said. So he packed his bags and the excuse that he needed to renew his drivers license, and headed back home after being away from Davis for two weeks.

Meanwhile, Davis dated her missionary a couple of times, but things weren”t the same. Walz then made his move and as they continued dating again, they took a different approach to their dating.

“We decided if we were serious about it, we should put time and effort into praying about it. What a novel concept,” he said.

Walz used one of his mother”s old wedding rings, and had a plan to propose at the Los Angeles temple. But, plans changed. One summer night, after returning from the Gold and Green Ball, they went back to his house and were talking when suddenly Walz had his answer.

“I had this incredibly overwhelming witness from the Holy Ghost that I was supposed to marry her,” he said. “It was the most intense experience I”ve ever had in my life. So, it just came out of my mouth. So she was kind of skeptical, because this being the third time, but I had the ring that my mom gave me, and this time I let her tell people.”

Through the long process, Walz promises that he is a better husband than he was a boyfriend.

They”ve enjoyed 24 years together. Years that have involved going to numerous sporting events, since Davis is a sports fanatic, and even enduring a triple header baseball games. Davis is not only a big sports fan, but Walz”s most loyal fan. For 20 years Walz has been a reporter for Channel 5 News and Davis has only missed a dozen of his broadcasts. Their latest hobby now is talking walks together.

“He”s very clever and creative, and fun. He”s got a quick wit, and he”s a natural take-charge type of person,” Davis said. “Also, he is always helping someone out whenever they need it.”

Besides, it”s not everyday that you marry Deseret News” 1988 Sexiest Man in Utah County.

Randy and Vickie Bott

For their first date, Randy Bott and Vickie Pehrson took a break from work at a hamburger booth at the Millville County Fair.

“I took her over to see the cows and pigs,” Bro. Bott said. “I know. I”m very romantic.”

They said they hadn”t really thought about dating before the mission, but when he returned she was 16 so dating was legal.

They had seen plenty of each other growing up in the same small town.

Bro. Bott said it was B.C. when he first met Vickie. He remembered pulling her pigtails and home-teaching her family when she was 10.

Then, he said, the age difference was more obvious.

“She grew up while I was gone,” he said. “But if I had any idea how young she really was I wouldn”t have dated her. It was too late by the time I realized.”

A good impression was already set.

“She was cute and intelligent and witty – probably not in that order,” he said.

Vickie didn”t remember a first impression.

“I”d always liked him,” Vickie said. “He always had a lot of drive and he always had a fun sense of humor.”

Randy and Vickie dated for about 2 and a half years before they were married and they spent a lot of simple time together.

“One thing we enjoyed doing a lot was just walking,” Vickie said. “Just walks and talks.”

Engagement lasted nine months and Bro. Bott said it was too long.

“Her parents were afraid we would get married before she graduated from high school,” he said.

Vickie graduated and, shortly after, Bro. Bott broke out the pill bottle full of quarters his grandfather gave him for Christmas. Attached to the bottle was a note that said:

“Randy my boy, the joy of my life, take this lucre and buy you a wife.”

He dropped a diamond ring inside the bottle and took it to Vickie in her living room.

They were married September 1969.

Since Bro. Bott teaches religion full-time he is always in the classroom on their anniversary. They want to change their anniversary to July.

They like to take mini honeymoons to England and the South Pacific.

To keep their marriage strong, the Botts made a commitment to each other when they were first married that Bro. Bott swears by.

President and Sister David O. McKay had made a commitment not to fight and had not fought for 65 years. When the Botts learned this they followed the example.

“We”ve been married for 33 years and never had a fight,” Bro. Bott said.

Paul and Quina Hoskisson

It was the typical BYU meeting grounds, the ward activity. Yet, Paul and Quina Hoskisson”s engagement has a little twist from the standard story.

In the summer of 1971, Paul, religion professor, and Quina, Spanish professor, began attending the same ward.

First impressions were simple: Paul thought Quina would be fun to date, and she thought he was a little arrogant (a thought that would change very soon).

While they noticed each other in ward meetings, it wasn”t until an activity at the end of the summer that they officially met.

At the ward social they began talking and getting to know each other.

Paul grew up in Utah, and had traveled extensively. Quina was from Galicia, Spain.

“I thought ”this is an interesting person,”” Paul said. “I had been looking on three continents for interesting people and here she was in my backyard.”

Paul decided he wanted to know more about this interesting woman, so he asked her out.

The first date was a group picnic in the mountains roasting hot dogs.

Paul and Quina arrived at the canyon expecting to see a large group of people. Yet only one other couple showed up, which left Paul and Quina with more time to talk one-on-one.

During this time, she began to see the true Paul: an intelligent man with a heart of gold.

Quina noticed that Paul was fun to talk to, understood people of other cultures and was handsome.

For the next couple of months, the two began hanging out a lot more and studying together in the library.

Their love for education and the gospel were just a few things that drew them together.

“One of the things that attracted me the most to her, besides she”s beautiful, was her commitment to the Savior,” Paul said.

After two months, Paul knew Quina was the perfect wife for him, now all he had to do was ask her.

One morning, after Paul went to the temple, he arrived at Quina”s apartment to ask her the question.

The 8 a.m. wake up call did not put her in a good mood, and Paul had to pay for it by waiting.

After an hour of getting ready, Quina came out to talk to Paul.

Then Paul proposed. A couple silent moments, then Quina said she would have to think about it.

A week later, Paul received his answer: wait a year.

“I wanted to make sure he meant it so I made him wait,” Quina said jokingly. “It was very smart, not to jump into things. It gives you time to know each other in different circumstances,”

After nine more months of dating, Paul felt like it was the right time to officially propose.

Instead of scouring the stores for the perfect ring, he decided to make it.

With the diamond he already had, Paul cast the ring he would give to the woman he wanted to spend eternity with.

After careful thinking, he decided to take her skating, something she had never done before.

At the Springville skating rink, Paul held onto Quina so she wouldn”t fall down.

In the middle of the crowded rink, he asked once more if she would marry her. This time her answer was yes.

In August 1972, Paul and Quina were married in the Salt Lake City Temple. They were sealed in the same room that Paul”s great-grandfather, father and parents were sealed in.

After being married for many years, the Hoskissons are a couple who are still very in love.

“If you work at it marriage just gets better, love gets better, marriage gets better, life gets better,” Paul said.

Stephen and Janet Robinson

?Love will find a way? the old adage says, and if it?s true love ? well, nothing, not even a roommate, can keep it from happening.

As an unspoken male tradition dictates at the beginning of each BYU semester, Stephen Robinson (now a religion professor) and his roommate, then both undergrads, were making the rounds at their complex, knocking on apartments and introducing themselves to the women when Janet opened the door. As Robinson recalls, ?Janet ? boy, she sure was something.?

One conversation later, the two young men were believers in the truth that Janet was special. Unfortunately for Robinson, his roommate beat him to the punch in asking Janet out and soon the two were a couple.

Winter break was coming up and Janet and Robinson?s roommate had passed their three-month anniversary of dating. The two of them were planning to drive back to Provo together at the end of vacation and offered a ride to Robinson, who lived along the way. The several-hour drive proved to be valuable quality time between Janet and Robinson.

The union between the previously happy couple would soon become a precarious one.

?On the road up, Janet and I both knew she was with the wrong guy,? Robinson said.

When they got back to Provo, Robinson unpacked and was heading to bed when his roommate stormed in the apartment and slammed the door. He was home uncharacteristically early. Traditionally, his trips over to Janet?s apartment lasted for hours, and this time he was cutting it short.

The visit had only lasted three minutes, just enough time for Janet to break up with him.

Never one to cower from an opportunity and blessed with the chutzpah to do something about the situation, Robinson took control. His roommate was muttering and getting reading for bed.

?While he was undressing, I was getting dressed,? Robinson said with a smile. He immediately headed over to see Janet.

The two went on a walk that night, and after dating nine days they were engaged and planning to spend the rest of their lives together.

During their engagement, Robinson and Janet discussed what kind of relationship they wanted, and Robinson asked if they could agree on him presiding in their home and her following his council. It was a sensitive subject, and Robinson ?could just see her firing up.? Janet answered with, ?If it was anyone but you I would say no.?

They were setting the stage for a pattern of equality in their future marriage ? a marriage that after 30 years is still intensely devoted to being equal with each other.

?She thought she could trust me,? Robinson said. ?In 30 years of marriage I have never told her what to do. She is closer to the Spirit. She is my first counselor. If we do not come to the same conclusion, we do not proceed until we come to a mutual decision. The issue of who wears the pants, that has never come up ? which always amazes my old girlfriends.”

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