I was born and raised in south Georgia, with a brief two years in Detroit middle schools, when my parents worked in the car industry. At 18 I married and we moved to Massachusetts two months later. That move was almost as traumatic as the move to Detroit. The cold weather, adjusting to military life, and pregnant.Almost immediately we went to California where my husband trained to fly KC135s, a jet airplane capable of refueling bomber aircraft in the air. At that time we toured many areas of California. My hobbies were gardening, skiing and learning First Aid. I knew nothing about medical emergencies and wanted to be prepared to deal with my children’s or anyone’s accidents. I lived in Massachusetts for 22 years raising 4 children and completed a B.S. Degree in Industrial Engineering at UMASS in Amherst at the age of 40. But that last year my oldest son, who was also an engineering student at U. of Florida, was killed in an unfortunate accident with his motorcycle. This was unbelievable. Fortunately, I was in private therapy and group therapy that enabled me to go through the stages of grieving for my son and divorce recovery.
Lockheed-Martin hired me as a Facility Engineer in Sunnyvale, CA. My career of 25 years involved many assignments including 3 years at the new missile production facility in Kings Bay, GA. Today it is gratifying to see three of my granddaughters work as engineers. They love their work and I am happy. I have always loved traveling during these years.My daughter worked for the airlines and I am grateful to her for making it possible to see many parts of the world, including Europe, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, and Panama.
After retiring the first time in 2000 I began gathering all the family history that I had collected for 25 years. At this time I attended all family reunions of those that I was related to in Gathering all data and entered into the Family Tree software. I decided that my books would contain stories from my interviews and copy pictures for all to have. For older pictures on walls, I would take a picture with my camera. This project has been most enjoyable. Today I still copy the originals for book requests.
Now that I am retired again, my life is Katie, my calico cat, and me. I see my two best friends every week. I also have been trying to play bridge, travel, and play the piano. God has been good to me. Selling my house in January– now I’m wondering what new adventure will be in my future.