Homeward Bound - Page 4

From Eichler to Mackay to six more Eichlers—the house-hopping odyssey of the Walling family
  Homeward Bound
Recent photo of the Wallings' Eichler townhouse at Santa Clara's Pomeroy West, a stay that lasted a year, in 1966.

The youngest daughter, Robin, did accompany her parents. Later, Jim and Bettie moved back to California temporarily, living in yet another Palo Alto Eichler (circa 1983), before returning to Hawaii for good.

"Bettie always dreamed of coming to Hawaii," husband Jim wrote years later in his memoirs. "She loved Hawaii—and loved me."

From 1968, following their brief stay in the Sunnyvale Eichler, until their deaths over a decade ago, Jim and Bettie continued their house-hopping together, moving an estimated 30 additional times, mostly around the Hawaiian Islands.

  Homeward Bound
Bettie and Jim celebrate their golden wedding anniversary (1944-1994) on the big island of Hawaii.

Beverly, now retired from a career counseling injured workers and veterans, lives today in a traditional home in Grass Valley. As a grownup she lived in many houses, "but always with a reason," she says. When she and her husband raised their son, she made sure he stayed in a single school district from first grade through high school graduation.

Only one sister out of the four emerged from the Eichler odyssey an unabashed lover of mid-century modern, Kathie Walling Fry.

"I take after my mother in my love of modern design," says Kathie, who lives in San Clemente today. "People always tell me I'm the sister who looks most like her too.

"I also still love Eichler homes, and if they didn't cost $2 million-plus, I would be living in one now."

Homeward Bound
The last time all four of the Walling sisters met up with each other was for this family reunion in 2014: (L-R) Robin, Savannah, Kathie (Fry), and Beverly (Powell).


Photography: David Toerge; and courtesy Walling family