Gail and Gordon Howie play music together (Courtesy Photo/BC Gazette)
“I was born in Petoskey on Camp Daggett road,” Howie began.
Gail began school in Horton Bay, raised in the country, but when the country schools consolidated in 1961, it became necessary for her to change schools in order to continue her education.
“We walked over 2 miles to school in Horton Bay until 1961,” said Howie.
“When I moved to Boyne City Schools, there were more kids in my class than in my old school had altogether – talk about a culture shock!”
After graduating from Boyne City High School in 1968, Howie attended college in Petoskey, participating in North Central Michigan College’s secretarial program.
“Going to school to be a secretary allowed me to begin working for Bell Telephone in Traverse City as an operator,” said Howie.
After this brief stint, Howie moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where she worked as a secretary at a local insurance agency, and eventually moved to Grand Rapids.
The move back to Michigan gave Howie the chance to reconnect with someone from her past.
“I actually dated him when I was a senior in high school, and later met him when he was on leave from the US Navy,” began Howie.
The “he” she refers to is Gordon Howie, whom she married in 1971.
“We got married in Horton Bay, but were living in Grand Rapids where I was working a the secretary for a surgeon,” she added.
“(Gordon) was actually from Boyne City and graduated in 1965. He moved to Grand Rapids with his sister to go to college,” she continued.
Gail and Gordon lived in Grand Rapids for several years, and then moved back to Boyne where they continued toward their goals.
“I worked as a bookkeeper for Sears in Boyne City, and Gordon went back to college to become a teacher,” she said.
The process continued with Gordon going to Mount Pleasant to finish his degree at Central Michigan University, while Gail moved her secretarial work to the university to work.
Gordon finished his student teaching in Boyne City, and they eventually moved back home, finding another addition to their lives.
“He was teaching in pellston before he got the job teaching in Boyne City, but I wasn’t working for a while because we had Seth, our first son,” said Gail
Gail got back into the work world later, joining the team at Charlevoix Area Hospital as a transcriptionist until her second son Neil was born.
“After that, I worked at Boyne City Nursery Center for a while teaching preschool, and moved over to Boyne City Elementary School as a special education para-professional,” she said.
“That’s when I retired and life really got busy,” she added.
The Howies find themselves busier than ever now.
“My husband volunteers playing music with the senior centers and such, so I follow him when he does that,” said Howie
“I have a group of friends and we have spinning wheels and love to do spinning demonstrations,” she added.
Gail also enjoys knitting, crocheting, and quilting.
“I like to read, I read a lot – maybe too much,” she added, laughing.
Gail and Gordon enjoy being active in the community, with Gordon playing banjo and Gail spinning and continuing her demonstrations.
They have three grandchildren – Lucas, Aubrey, and Emma with another grandchild expected in September.