Jan and I met during our college days at Oregon State and the University of Oregon through a common friend. We were married in Springfield, Oregon 2/1/1969 and have been blessed with three daughters, two of whom live in the Chicago area and the other in South Bend, Indiana, where our family moved to join my family’s business (Gates Automotive) in 1981. I served, along with my brother, overseeing our five dealership locations in South Bend, Mishawaka, Granger, and now Elkhart, Indiana, until I retired in 2010. My son in law who is married to our oldest daughter and two of my brother’s sons represent the fourth generation of our family in the business today.
We are also blessed with twelve grandchildren, the oldest of which is twenty seven and the youngest is a one year old. During our time in college, Jan and I each individually made the life changing discovery of knowing God personally by committing our lives to Him. Our family, including our daughters, their husbands, and children are actively growing in their faith through involvement in a local church fellowship. We recognize and are thankful for God’s hand of blessing and mercy upon our lives each day.
Our first boat was a 14 foot Glastron with 55 horse power Johnson outboard motor purchased in the early 1970’s. Most of our boating has been done in Michigan on inland lakes and Lake Michigan. We have greatly enjoyed boating here Florida. Our first Florida boat was a 27 foot Grady-White. We look forward to future cruises with the club and getting better acquainted with other members.