I was born in Dayton, Ohio and I went to Van Cleve and Charles L. Loos elementary schools. Midway through 6th grade, we moved to Beavercreek, a suburb east of Dayton. Following high school graduation in 1966, I attended Wright State University for 3 semesters. I then went to work as an inspector on a brake assembly line at Delco Moraine in Dayton for about 6 months. During that time, I enlisted in the Navy on the 120-day Delay Program.
July 24, 1968: Arrived RTC Great Lakes, Company 440, Color Company; Company Clerk, Honorman.
October '68: Avionics "A" School, NAS Millington, TN
April '69: VA-122, training squadron with the new A-7E light attack aircraft, NAS Lemoore, CA
July '70: Sea duty orders to VA-195, also at NAS Lemoore
November '70: Deployed from San Diego on U.S.S. Kittyhawk, first WestPac cruise. Noteable port calls were Oahu, Hawaii, Hong Kong and Sasebo, Japan. The rest were at Cubi Point in Subic Bay, PI. My best friends, AZ2 Tom Clarke & YN Harry Hedlund
February '72: Deployed on second cruise. Best friends, AT3 Jack Severson & AT3 Chris Peterson
June '72: Left squadron, flew from Clark Air Force Base, PI to San Francisco.
July 12, 1972: Honorably discharged at NAS Lemoore
On August 12, 1972, Diana Hoff and I were married in a backyard wedding at her parents' home in Visalia, CA. Following a very brief honeymoon at the Hotel Del Coronado, our first home was in San Diego. My first job was with National Cash Register (NCR) in Rancho Bernardo. I was a electronics technician in EDP Maintenance. We loved the beaches and weather in San Diego but we didn't like the traffic congestion.
In December 1973, we returned to Diana's hometown of Visalia. While there, I was a copy machine technician, escrow officer at a title company, and then I went into real estate sales. After 3 difficult years during the recession of the early '80s, I was very thankful to be hired by the Tulare County Assessor's Office as a Real Property Appraiser.
The appraiser position was in the Porterville office, which is about a 30 minute commute from Visalia. So, in March 1984, we moved to Porterville. As some of you know, the Central San Joaquin Valley is known for very hot summers and foggy, damp winters. So, after researching and a vacation to the Four Corners area, we decided to move to Durango, CO.
The first thing I did in Durango was to enroll at Fort Lewis College to complete my degree. After taking classes year round for 2 years, I graduated with my BA degree in Business Management in December 1991. I worked briefly as a research assistant for my economics professor until I was hired as a loan review officer for a local bank. After 2 1/2 years at the bank, I decided to return to something I enjoyed much more, real estate appraising.
In 2004, my wife and I had the opportunity to buy my grandparent's home in Madison, IN. It was a historical home built in the 1850s and it overlooked the Ohio River. I really loved it. However, after a couple of humid summers and cold, gloomy winters, my wife was ready to return to California. In addition, her parents were in their 80s so she wanted to be close to them again. My dad passed away in 2006, so I was thankful I got to spend his last 2 years near him. My mother passed away in 1995, she was only 72.
From August 2010 to April 2017, we lived in Visalia for 6 years and Fresno 1 year. I took an early retirement when we left Indiana, which I regret. I also regret that I didn't stay in the Navy for at least 20 years. My wife continued to work as an RN. Her father passed away in January 2016. We lived in Prescott, AZ for almost 2 years before moving to our present home in Sierra Vista, AZ. My wife's mother lives in a assisted living facility near us. She will be 95 in July.
We were unable to have children. Instead, we have always owned dogs, mostly Australian Shepherds. We currently have 2 dogs we rescued; a female, red-tricolor Aussie and a male Aussie/cattle dog mix from the Navajo Indian Reservation.