Leland & LaVern Gappmayer Endowed Scholarship
In March 1999 the Leland and LaVern Gappmayer established the Leland & LaVern Gappmayer Endowed Scholarship Fund to support Utah Valley University students who exemplify academic achievement.
A house becomes a home when there is love inside, and there is plenty of love abounding in the Gappmayer home. The entrance to the home is filled with family pictures, inviting all who enter to meet “our family.” The spacious home is perfect for accommodating gatherings of the growing families of eight married children, forty grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. It includes an enormous game room to entice grandchildren to visit grandma and grandpa.
Leland and LaVern delight in sharing the accomplishments of their grandchildren, as evidenced by the numerous pictures, paintings, and sketches framed and displayed on the walls. LaVern always wanted to live in a forest, so Leland designed and built a large and beautiful yard, completed by cascading waters flowing into two fish ponds.
Leland and LaVern first met in 1943 as students in the old Lincoln High School in Orem, Utah, and they became high school sweethearts. In the spring of 1946, Leland joined the U.S. Navy and served for two years. The couple was married on August 11, 1947, while Leland was home on leave.
After he returned home from active duty, Leland went back to work for US Steel, Geneva, as an apprentice bricklayer. Taking advantage of the veteran’s education program he went to Central Utah Vocational School and received a two-year degree in general education. He became a general contractor, returned to Geneva Steel, and continued to build homes as a contractor. For a period of time, he enjoyed teaching classes at Utah Technical College. Once retired he spent his time gardening, reading, and writing poetry.
Over the years the family has overcome many trials, including the death of a newborn baby son, David, and in 1971 and an auto accident that left LaVern paralyzed. The Gappmayers’ hope their legacy of hard work and of meeting life’s challenges will always be a kindly reminder to those who are the recipients of their scholarship.