Spotlight: Board Member Don Gurnard
Editors Note: This Spotlight is part of the partnership with partnership with the students of CMST210 Interpersonal Communication Winter 2022 class taught by Dr. Karen Alman. To reinforce what was taught in the classroom, students conducted interviews and submitted the final article.
A Man Who Never Stopped Working, Enjoying, and Exploring
The 1900’s was a century were a lot happened both good and bad. But some of the good events were people interacted with each other in person, great music, people were hardworking, there was a lot of dancing, and many other joyful practices. My interviewee, Donald Gurnard, a sixty-five-year-old, born during the mid-1900’s shared with me what his life and experiences were like throughout his early years. He lived his childhood and adolescence during the years when there was a lot of problems in the world. The world and country were going through a difficult crisis, but he managed to live his life in a joyful manner, worked hard, and explored life and to this day continues to do so.
Donald was born in Seattle but moved back to Wenatchee when he was about one and a half to two years old, due to his parents’ jobs being shut down. Growing up he jumped from house to house. Throughout his life, he lived “up and down Fifth Street for sixty-some years” which he said was his “whole map.” He went to school during the sixties and seventies and eventually graduated High School in 1975. During these years he also worked. Most of his family owned orchards and fields which meant he had to work them. He didn’t always enjoy it but when he did it was because he would get out of school. He learned his hard work ethic from the wheat and orchard work. Donald made great memories during his early work experiences. He has a memory from a day after wheat work when he was sixteen years old. All the uncles took the kids that worked to a tavern for a cold beer after a long day of work, which the kids considered a perk. But during these times, Donald always had a slight worry in the back of his head.
He remembers seeing news about Vietnam every day, thinking that his number, 1H007, could be picked be drafted to war. Later that year, in 1975, the war started to die down, which meant he wouldn’t get drafted. With everything going on in the background, Donald still found time to have fun, and enjoy his youth. He, like many other young adult males, let his hair grow in mullet style, he rode motorcycles, and enjoyed listening to the good music of The Beatles, Elvis, Led Zeppelin, and many more.
Donald enjoyed having fun but also decided to go back to school at Wenatchee Valley College. He later decided that he didn’t want to continue because he didn’t see it fit to do so, as he was making more money than policemen and teachers being a clerk and management at Safeway. And coincidently, it was at Safeway where he met the woman who would become his future wife. Donald and Debbie met on shift as night stockers, got to know each other, and four years later they decided to get married and created a family with Debbie’s two kids: Jeff and Shannon. Eventually, Donald left Safeway and started his journey working in many different fields of work.
Donald worked for a beer and wine company after Safeway. He bought, sold, and traded beer and wine for the company throughout Central Washington for a couple of years. Later, he and a friend started a Security business together. He got his armed license three days before the Oklahoma Booming which increased their business. Their business was always busy, “there was always something going on. Especially being the owners, it was twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.” They were getting hired to provide security for dams, businesses, and even personnel. After ten long years, full of work, his partner and he decided to sell. Which led to him a new area of work. Getting his appraiser's investment license.
Donald read, studied, and worked immensely hard for seven to eight months and passed a six-hour test. He has worked with his appraiser’s investment license for a couple of years now and to this day works with his license. He is a very hard worker and a hard player. Donald has always been a hard worker and will continue to be a hard worker, who is self-taught for all his work opportunities.
Donald and his wife, Debbie, have now been married for forty-one years, have a big family, and have their home in East Wenatchee. His two kids grew up and now have kids of their own. Donald and Debbie are grandparents to five beautiful grandchildren and great grandparents to two great-grandchildren. Their kids still live in Washington; Jeff lives in Wenatchee and Shannon lives in Everett. Although they don’t all live near each other they still spend time together celebrating holidays and birthdays. Donald loves and is very involved with his family and is as involved in the community. He has participated in the Apple Blossom, Lions Club, and was a city Councilman for twelve years from 1999 to 2011.
Donald loves his life, the experiences and wouldn’t change a thing about it. He is happy with how his life has unfolded thus far, and will continue to enjoy life, explore life, and work hard.
By Dayanna Mendoza- WVC Student