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David Gardner dave gardner
Dave and wife Susanne



For the 50th Reunion

May 15, 2011

Dear LRCHS Classmates of 1961,

I am looking forward to our 50th reunion. We have lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma since 1985. I haven't been able to attend most of the reunions so I will update what has gone on since our years in Little Rock. Following my graduation from LRCHS I attended the University of Arkansas and received a degree in Electrical Engineering in June 1966. That same day, I received notice from the draft board to take a physical exam for the Army. I passed the exam
but I was able to enter the Air Force Officer Training School before I was drafted. From there I went to Vance AFB in Enid, OK for a year of pilot training.
I met my wife Susanne in May 1967 in Enid and we were married the following November a month prior to my graduation. Following pilot training I was stationed in California where I learned to fly the KC-135 (tanker) first as a co-pilot and later as an aircraft commander.
We were stationed at Little Rock AFB, and later at Grand Forks, AFB. Our daughter, Amy was born while we were in Grand Forks. I had numerous assignments to S.E. Asia refueling fighters and bombers conducting missions in Vietnam.
After my five year military obligation, I left the Air Force and applied with several of the airlines, but they were not hiring at the time. I went to work for Procter and Gamble in Cheboygan, Michigan. After two cold snowy winters we moved to Memphis, TN in 1974. There I sold electrical products, probably the only work I did that was related to my engineering degree. Our son Jason was born while we were in Memphis. In 1979 my wife's uncle convinced me to work for him in the insurance business in Oklahoma City. After three years as an agent, I became a Regional Manager first in Little Rock and then in 1985 we were transferred to Tulsa. I retired as a regional Manager in 2000 but I have maintained my insurance license. I have never
regretted early retirement. Like most of you we have lots of hobbies, church activities, and grand-kid
things to do that keep us busy. Our son and his wife have two daughters, Gabriela age nine and Isadora
age five. They have lived in Brazil the last six years as missionary's. Susanne & I have been to Brazil three time to visit them and they have returned to the U.S.A. for short visits. Happily, they will be arriving June 1st for a year long furlough. They will stay with us for two months and then they will live in Fayetteville during the school year while our son works there. Our daughter and her husband live in Dallas. They have a five year old daughter, Hadley and a three year old son, Trevor. They surprised us this week with the announcement that Amy is pregnant with twins due in December. It will be a busy time for all of us.
I have two main hobbies. I started riding bicycles in 1989 and have been on lots of local rides and
many cross-country rides both supported and self-contained. Also, in 1998 a friend asked me to
help him in his home wine making. We now have four wooden barrels and one stainless vessel. We
get our grapes from northern California and make three varieties of red and one white. It has been
a lot of fun and we have several friends that help us and we share wine with them.

We hope to see you at the reunion.

Dave Gardner

Picture of Dave's daughter Amy and her family

Picture of Dave's son Jason and his family