Don Gray

Profile Updated: December 1, 2018
Residing In: Fairbanks, AK USA
Spouse/Partner: M. Carolyn
Occupation: HS History Teacher 23 years; stock broker 12 yrs
Children: two grown daughters; Anne, Nov 1973, and Julia, May 1979.
Annie, a school music teacher in Anchorage, More…has twin sons, Cameron & Sawyer, born Ground Hog Day 2008.
Julia also a teacher, is currently teaching History at North Pole HS school in Fairbanks.
Military Service: U.S. Peace Corps 1966-68  
After Graduation:

Went to Stanford September 1962 and discovered a new world. Rowed crew frosh year, starboard oar. Went overseas for first time in summer 1964 to tutor Chinese doctors in English in crown colony of Hong Kong. Studied in Florence, Italy 6 months and learned Italian, for which I am ever thankful, (got to know my relatives there well over the years).

Graduated with Anthropology major in 1966, joined the Peace Corps and lived near Calcutta, West Bengal, India for two years, working with rice farmers. Also drilled water wells at schools during Bihar drought & famine. Peace Corps was a major life-changing experience.

Returned to Stanford for M.A. and teacher-credentialing program; met my wife, Carolyn, a classmate and former RPCV in Panama, and we married and flew to Fairbanks, Alaska to teach History at Lathrop High School for 23 years, (mostly World; some US; Geography & Government occasionally). Enjoyed working with high school students as a career and believe I was a good teacher. Was able to teach for a year in the north of England northeast of Manchester on a Fulbright Exchange. Our daughter, Annie, began school in our village at 4 1/2 and our second daughter was born there at the end of our stay. Learned a lot from the differences between Britain and America: "Two nations separated by a common language" as Mark Twain once said.

Teaching is hard but important work, too often ignored except in political discussions. Dick Roddewig, Ed Sugars and Hal Brown, among others, were all inspirational teachers for me at Woodland High. Am very grateful for the good teachers that my own children had in school. Am proud of how many of my former students "turned out well" and hope my efforts contributed.

Retired in 1993 for a few months, then began a second career as a stock broker for a national firm, training at the World Trade Center, south tower, in May 1994 and ended up working in finance for nearly a dozen years.
Although we've traveled quite a bit over the years and returned frequently to Woodland, we continue to live in Fairbanks in retirement because of the many people with whom we've shared our adult lives and our daughters who also live in Alaska. Alaska is a small town spread over a large space, with many opportunities for a variety of life experiences.

Will add more later; maybe a photo or two.
Hope this helps us catch up before we meet next September and that others of you add details on your last 50 years. There is plenty of space for 8000+ characters of writing. You can even add YouTube videos.
This IS your life...

*** **** ***

Historic Decision today, June 28, 2012: Chief Justice Roberts led a 5-4 decision that the President's Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 IS 100% LEGAL, except the penalty provision if states do not agree to increase Medicaid for the needy. There, the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) said that states could NOT be forced to do this by threatening them with removal of Medicare, ("Don't touch my Medicare"---something all us 65 and older receive from the Federal Government even if we never were in the out-of-the-home work force).
Unlike our other major National Government senior citizen benefit, Social Security, (which only those who contribute to SS can receive--I paid into SS when I was a stock broker and get it, although it is reduced by 40% because of the unfair 1986 changes by Congress; my wife, who only taught for 26 years and contributed 7 1/2% of gross teacher salary every year, does not receive any Social Security because Alaska teachers are not part of the SSI system. Our Teacher Retirement System was created in the 1940's before Statehood, when only private workers were able to join the Social Security system. Public employees were finally able to join the system in the 1950's, but Alaska didn't become a state until January 3rd, 1959--when we were still Freshman in Mr. Hal Brown's English class or Mr. Mosher's Algebra I class, (Jerry, he made math fun! You had a great teacher as a dad.). California and all the other states, except for Hawaii,were already states by 1912, 100 years ago. Did I mention I was a history teacher for 23 years?

*** **** ***
On May 13, 2012 the Chairman of the Alaska Democratic Party resigned to run for the Alaska Legislature and I got thrown into the briar patch of Politics, (some would say swamp/sewer/sausage factory), since I was the First Vice-Chair. Being in the "D" party, we have 10 V-C's in Alaska, 5 male, 5 female, one pair of V-C's each in five different regions. So I am Chair of the Alaska Democratic Party through the General Election next November until about February 1st, 2013. I mention this because I realize we are deeply divided over politics in America today and sometimes it seems to carry over into our class of 1962. Every just relax. Politics is like baseball: you win some, you lose some and there's always a new season next year. We have the best democracy (little d) in the world, imperfect as it may be, in my opinion, because although we bicker over this and that, in the end we come together and come together as Americans. We who grew up in California come from a state that escaped the tragedy of the War of Northern Aggression, a.k.a. the Civil War. That fact makes California special, and despite its any problems, California will survive when you guys stop fighting among yourselves. You can move to Alaska if you want, but I don't think you'll like our winters. :-)
June 2016 Another "short" court US Supreme Court decision.
Despite the Congress not wanting to even hear from the Republican nominee to the SCOTUS, the 8 member court decided 5-3 today that Texas could not set up extra requirements to prevent pregnant women in that state from having access to a legal abortion. Since it is the law of the land, Texas will have to drop their illegal laws (or secede from the Union, should they so choose).
Hope all are having a warm and pleasant summer 2016. Two years to our 55th WHS reunion!

Don's Latest Interactions

Hide Comments
Don Gray updated profile. View.
Dec 04, 2019 at 12:49 PM
Don Gray has a birthday today.
Nov 30, 2019 at 1:35 AM
Don Gray posted a message. New comment added.
Sep 12, 2019 at 12:28 PM

Posted on: Sep 08, 2019 at 3:54 PM

Hi Josefa---I'm a bit confused by all these birthday greetings being sent to you this week and yet your birthday on the Profile above says that your birthday is November 18, 1944. Also the Class of Woodland 1962 went bing recently and it says you updated your profile September 6, 2019 (two days ago). Sooooo, is your birthday IN SEPTEMBER OR NOVEMBER? Just curious. {{ Happy Birthday! if it really is September 18 1944 }} .

BTW, the next time you and Roger go to visit his brother's family in Palmer, please remind him that JOYCE Alameda, MARY Eve, JULIE Eis and TOM Richard have all visited Fairbanks and gotten together with Carolyn and me. And this weekend BILL Carlson and his wife Susan started their Alaska trip in Fairbanks. All four of us got together to see some of the sights of Fairbanks before they left for Denali Park this morning. Bill and Susan live in Tempe, AZ and lead education groups for a couple of weeks every June to beautiful and interesting places in Mexico where they can learn practical Spanish. Their enterprise, Los Alumnos, has a website and email for contacting them. .
Say---Why not try visiting Alaska in winter; nothing like seeing the Aurora/Northern Lights above while soaking in the hot water lake at Chena Hot Springs!
Best wishes, Don

Don Gray posted a message. New comment added.
Nov 02, 2019 at 5:32 AM

Posted on: Aug 24, 2019 at 2:00 PM

Congratulations Julie & Paul! Looks like it was a great family holiday as well as your 50th.
Didn't realize how close our dates were. Last night we celebrated our 49th Anniversary here is Fairbanks. May see you soon. will e-mail.

Don & Carolyn

Don Gray posted a message.
Aug 06, 2019 at 10:06 AM

Hi Howard, and welcome back to the WHS Class of ‘66.
I can’t recall if we had any classes together nearly 60 years ago, but your name sounds vaguely familiar. Explore this website and you may rediscover old friends.

Don Gray posted a message.
Apr 19, 2019 at 7:37 AM

Sorry you didn’t get to Fairbanks. Come again to Alaska and we’ll have you over for dinner. Don at Bill Carlson is coming in September this year.
P.s. the tall guy is the idiot new governor. My Carolyn is watching the swans arriving for summertime last week in Fairbanks.

Don Gray posted a message. New comment added.
Mar 27, 2019 at 7:49 AM

Posted on: Mar 27, 2019 at 7:34 AM

Have a wonderful 74th! Hope your daughters are close enough to help you celebrate together.
You WERE missed at the last reunion but not to worry—another is on the horizon...and what rule says we all can’t get together as friends on our journey.
Again—have a most HAPPY BIRTHDAY ???? MELINDA!
P.S. Here’s a surprise: we’re getting light snow flakes after earlier raindrops. Mother Earth never ceases to amaze us. Best Wishes

Don Gray added a photo to profile gallery. New comment added.
Sep 08, 2019 at 5:25 PM

Posted on: Dec 01, 2018 at 2:20 PM

Don Gray added a photo to profile gallery.
Dec 01, 2018 at 2:20 PM
Don Gray added a photo to profile gallery. New comment added.
Sep 08, 2019 at 3:59 PM

Posted on: Dec 01, 2018 at 2:17 PM

Don Gray has a birthday today.
Nov 30, 2018 at 1:33 AM
Nov 29, 2018 at 9:07 AM

Happy Birthday to you Don. Glad you and I are still on this side of the, if we can only make it through the next year. Hope your friend Carol got home ok and that she is feeling much better. The smoke from the CAMP FIRE is gone now and we can breath much better. Some of my neighbors evacuated and are back now. I was packed and ready to evacuate with my "GOD" kit (Gett'n Outta Dodge) was in the back of my pickup. Gotta a call from Don Murdoch say'n he and Claude Malcolm were ready to come up and help me evacuate. Nice of those guys to think of me!! A very dear friend from Fairbanks, AK called me....and expressed his concern (I believe he went to Plainfied too) Again, I'm thinking of you and your special day Don. Gene D.

Don Gray posted a message.
Nov 21, 2018 at 12:26 AM

LHappy 74th, Josefa! Good to see you last year at the 55th reunion, BEFORE the big Clear Lake fires of 2017 and then Guinda/Capay to Napa/Berryessa Fire and the Redding Fire and now the “Camp” Fire that burned down Paradise. Hope the smoke down south near Malibu missed you.

Hope you had a fine gathering for your birthday Sunday. We’re 360 miles south in Anchorage getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with our eldest daughter, son-in-law,and twin grandsons, who are half way through /5th grade. Time to do something different, like blindfolding Roger and carrying him off to Alaska. Summer or winter it’s a good place to visit. You’d be surprised . Talk to JOYCE Alameda or MARY Eve. They’ve both come to our house for dinner. We have Safeway grocery stores here just like California.

Don Gray posted a message. New comment added.
Nov 09, 2018 at 9:54 AM

Posted on: Nov 09, 2018 at 9:49 AM

Happy Belated BIRTHDAY, Bill!
Missed seeing you at the last (55th class of 1962) reunion inn 2017. I didn’t go to the Decade of the 1960’s this year.
Hope all is well in your life.
Why not add a bit to your page here. Your classmates and friends would like that.
Cheers, Don G.

Nov 08, 2018 at 7:18 PM

Great talking to you today. Keep on truckin’!
Below are our 5th grader grandsons, wife Carolyn, my “I Voted” sticker and a selfie taken at Fairbanks annual International Friendship Day at Pioneer Park civic center in October.

Don Gray posted a message. New comment added.
Sep 22, 2019 at 10:58 AM

Posted on: Oct 15, 2018 at 2:54 PM

Great to see you last week in Guinda at Tony's. Really enjoyed the opportunity to relax and chat with you and the others. Keep in touch and consider visiting Fairbanks, Alaska.
You will find many surprising similarities with Maine. Best wishes, Don G.
907-457-5737. *** Sorry we didn't take a group photo. I had an iPhone but forgot to take any pics.
p.s. Thanks Tony and Christine for getting us together. D

Don Gray added a comment on Profile.
Sep 07, 2018 at 11:19 AM
Jul 06, 2018 at 12:47 PM

Gene---missed you at the 55th reunion last September but saw you on Ed Acevedo's profile change page this morning. Hope all is well with you. Heard about your golf exploits with Mosher, Murdoch, Gary Heinz, etc.
BTW, Happy Belated 74th Birthday. You are very good at keeping up on everyones B-day. Congrats on that. Hope that Oroville is escaping all the Northern California heat. Tony Demaria has been very close to burning up with the huge County Fire (a.k.a. "Guinda Fire"). See his comments on his Profile in this WHS1962 listing. Stay well and stay happy, Gene. Best wishes! Don

Don Gray posted a message.
Jul 06, 2018 at 12:29 PM

Happy Birthday #74. Sorry not to see you at the 55th Reunion last September but can imagine you were in New Hampshire with grandchildren. Given the drought and fires in Northern Cal, why not come north to cool off a bit. Your brother Malcolm and Linda are still here, as are Carolyn and myself/ We'd all love to see you and Betsey again after too many years. (contact info remains the same: 907-457-5737
Tony Demaria has been suffering "interesting" times with the "County Fire" a.k.a. the "Guinda Fire". Check out his comments on his WHS1962 Profile update.
Cheers, Don

Don Gray posted a message. New comment added.
Jul 06, 2018 at 4:07 PM

Posted on: Jul 06, 2018 at 12:05 PM

Just saw your WHS Class of 1962 update and wanted to applaud your "relax and smell the flowers" advice. We all need to follow that. You're looking good and healthy, so keep it up.
We were at Woodland High together and maybe at Holy Rosary kindergarten (Sister Mary Charles & Sister Mary ___?//they played "good cop-badcop). Maybe little league?
Missed seeing you at the 55th reunion last September but maybe we can all spend part of our "relax"" time on communicating with each other, among other things.
Enjoyed your pumpkin story. Jerry Pujol was there at the reunion. Hope he sees your profile and recalls the event. BTW, Happy Belated Birthday. Never realized we are only 5 days apart in B-days. Good luck and careful of the summer heat. Don
p.p.s. If you come to Fairbanks AK pls get in touch:
p.s. Tony Demaria is in the heart of the County Fire (a.k.a. the Guinda fire) in the Copay Valley and posted a couple items about the Cal-Fire crews fighting it on the ground and in the air at his place in Guinda.

Hide Comments
Posted: Dec 01, 2018 at 2:20 PM
Posted: Dec 01, 2018 at 2:20 PM
Posted: Dec 01, 2018 at 2:17 PM
Posted: Jun 27, 2016 at 5:29 PM
Sawyer, grandson at age 8 (born Ground Hog Day 2008), playing chess with Grandpa Don as his brother, Cameron (left) gives advice.
Posted: Jun 27, 2016 at 5:28 PM
Cameron, grandson at age 8 (born Ground Hog Day 2008)
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 10:23 PM
The Birthday Trio: Tony D., Bill T., and Don G. at 67
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 10:23 PM
With my brother, Malcolm, and the twins, Cameron & Sawyer, last summer 2011 in Fairbanks
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Don, Carolyn and younger dtr. Julia (32)
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Carolyn & I beneath George Washington's Sword at the White House--Feb 2011
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Auntie Jo, my last aunt, before she passed away in 2010