Michael Howell Gray











2014 Christmas Letter Click for PDF

“In the end, it's not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away” - shing xiong 

My early years after graduating included a curtailed educational attempt at the University of Idaho, working a couple of years in Boise, then moving to Seattle in 1969 after completing my training in the Army Reserves.  Seattle has been my home base and since 1969.  I have thoroughly enjoyed participating in the areas’ many recreational activities, including skiing (taught skiing for 7 years on weekends), competitive and cruising sailing on three of my own boats (and dozens of other’s boats), SCUBA diving and many social, and sports and entertainment events over the years. I went back to school shortly after moving to Seattle and received my Bachelors’ Degree (Psychology) from the University of Washington, working the following two years as a crisis intervention counselor until entering graduate school and receiving my Masters’ Degree.  

After completing my Masters’ Degree, I worked in social service and education (agency director and community college instructor) until 1978, at which time I made choice to change careers and enter the business world. Over the previous years I had developed a keen interest in telecommunications and computing technology, thus I set marketing and sales in this business sector as my new career objective. I became a sales and business development professional and was engaged in that career from 1979 until 2011, holding positions with two major telecommunications carriers and several software companies.

I met the love of my life, JoAnne Mitchell (a native Seattleite), while sailing with a friend in the San Juan Islands (Washington State) in 1978. We were married 1981 and we will be celebrating our 34th anniversary this February.

We are most fortunate to have enjoyed the many activities of the Pacific Northwest and to have experienced vacation and business rewards travel throughout our careers. Between 1981 and 1998 we visited Thailand, Hong Kong, the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii and many other locations.  However, our real travel adventures began in 1998, at which time we chose to put our careers on hold, sell our home and set sail from Seattle aboard our 42 foot sailboat “Destiny” bound for the South Pacific and beyond.

Fortunately, our careers and business relationships enabled us to take two lengthy breaks from sailing to work (1998 -2002 and 2006 to 2009) and attend to family matters, leaving “Destiny” in New Zealand.  Since my retirement in 2011, we built our home on Guemes Island (Washington State).  Upon the homes’ completion in 2013, we returned to New Zealand to join up with “Destiny” for more sailing adventures.  We have spent the past 18 months aboard “Destiny” sailing in New Zealand, as well as an extended time cruising the Island Nations of Fiji and Vanuatu. We have based “Destiny” in New Zealand since arriving there in late 2001 and will continue to do so as long as possible. Our plan for the future is to spend the Southern Hemisphere warm weather months (January through April) in New Zealand and the rest of the year at our waterfront home on Guemes Island.

We are thankful for our blessings of good health and loving friends and family.

                “Destiny is a not a matter of chance;
                It is a matter of choice,
                It is not something to be waited for;
                It is something to be achieved….Williams Jenning Bryan

                See you at the reunion!





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