Richard and Linda Cripe have turned their hearts to their ancestors. At the same time, they have found common interest in family research to be a good way to cement their relationship while he is away from home serving in Greenland with the U.S. Air Force.
The Cripes, members of the Ralston-La Vista Ward of Nebraska, had been married for only three years when the Air Force assignment came. They worried about how the separation would affect their lives.In February 1987, about five months before Richard was to leave, the couple went to the Atlanta Temple for their endownments and to be sealed as a family with their 2-year-old daughter, Karah.
After they left the temple, Richard, who is the first in his family to join the Church, felt strongly that he should do temple work for his father, who had recently died of cancer.
Linda remembered: "We started to search for information so I could have the work sent in while he was away. This was only the beginning. Our interest took us to his family's home in Wisconsin. We searched through old cedar chests where we found a wealth of information. We traveled to Illinois and hiked through woods and crossed streams to an old family graveyard overgrown with weeds. We visited many funeral homes and graveyards."
The Cripes contacted Richard's family members and were overwhelmed with the information they received.
After Richard left for Greenland, Linda began earnestly researching her own family's genealogy, enlisting her 80-year-old grandmother in the effort.
The Cripes invested in a computer for Richard to use in a computer club at the base, little realizing it would become a tool for family research. Linda sends names to Salt Lake City for temple work, and to Richard in Greenland for computer cataloging using the Personal Ancestral File, the Church's genealogy software.
Information on some 3,000 ancestors has been submitted for temple work by the Cripes.
"We have grown closer as we share this sacred search," Linda said, "and my beautiful grandmother has work that keeps her active and prosperous in her golden years. There is nothing to make a family closer than doing the Lord's sacred work together."