Greg and Patty are career staff appointees working toward full-time status. They hope to relocate from La Conner, Washington to Kenai, Alaska by late summer of 2017.
Greg was born and raised on Lopez Island, a small, fairly remote island in the Pacific Northwest where airplane and boat travel are almost as common as car. Growing up, Greg spent much time hunting, fishing, and exploring. Weekend and summer jobs included electrical meter reading via boat on remote neighboring islands, employment by an aqua sea farm, and work for his uncle's construction company building homes and cabins throughout the San Juan Islands. After High School Greg trained as an automotive technician and went on to a twenty-eight year career parts professional for the Ford Motor Company in Washington State's Skagit Valley.
Greg’s parents raised him in the church; his dad a deacon and on the church board, his mom a teacher in Sunday school, youth group, and home Bible studies. In 2005 Greg spent a month in Israel with a group of pastors—a turning point in his faith when the Bible went from black-and-white to full living color. As he watched the group of pastors selflessly use every opportunity to minister God's love and compassion, Greg felt his life’s mission: "There is no Greater Calling than Service to Others". He soon became involved in Mexican and Philippino missions as a videographer through his church.
Patty was born in Southeast Texas after her parents immigrated from Europe. Her dad’s job moved them to the Sierra Nevada foothills in Northern California. When she was thirteen, her dad passed away after a relatively short battle with cancer, which proved a time of spiritual awakening for both Patty and her mom. Her mom decided they needed to find a church and fell back on her German roots with the Lutherans. Patty attended confirmation classes, came to a saving understanding of Jesus Christ, and was confirmed in the faith.
A passion for aviation came early in life. As a teenager, Patty knew she wanted to fly professionally and started toward that goal by soloing at sixteen and attaining every rating except an ATP by age twenty. During college, Patty flight-instructed and flew cargo to build time and pay bills, never losing sight of her goal. Two months after graduation a single seizure caused the loss of her medical and legal right to fly. However, God faithfully kept her close to aviation for the next thirty years. To refocus, Patty went back to school after relocating to Washington state in 1988 with her mom and husband. She attained an MBA and a Masters in Professional Accounting (Tax) from the University of Washington before starting a twenty-year Boeing career as a Financial Analyst.
In 2010, Patty's husband passed away after a year-long battle with cancer. Her strong network of faith and an incredibly strong, healthy mom at age ninety-one provided a huge comfort, and an enormous blessing.
Greg and Patty met in 2011 when Greg purchased a moped scooter from Patty at a community garage sale. The two quickly discovered many things in common, most notably, both dealt with challenges of caring for and dealing with elderly moms in their homes. They dated, and during the year of their engagement, Patty joined the church where Greg actively attended for many years. They married on the one-year anniversary of their chance “garage sale” meeting in June 2012. The new family was now complete with Greg’s two adult children and two granddaughters. Patty, herself childless, felt especially blessed. Greg’s son Brandon, twenty-eight and author of outdoor/hiking publications, currently works on his first book with longtime partner Rachel. Daughter Cassi, age twenty-six, and husband Martin work in the restaurant business and raise daughters Ellie and Annaliese, ages six and two. All live in northwest Washington.
Apparent to Greg and Patty, almost from the start of their relationship, God purposed a calling for their lives. Between their favorable gifting and passions for aviation, pastoral care, and mission service, it didn’t take long to find Arctic Barnabas and set their sights on serving with them one day. They feel incredibly blessed and honored to come on board with this amazing organization.