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Personal Background

My wife Ruthann and I were both born in Bluffton, Indiana, a small town (about 6,000 when we were growing up there) south of Ft. Wayne. We both spent all our school years there until moving on to college. I am the youngest of six children (4 boys and 2 girls). Our family was one where money was not in abundance, but love was. Ruthann and I spent the first 34 years of our marriage in Michigan. Ruthann is retired from the Michigan Mental Health system and I retired from the Michigan Public Schools system as a director of special education. For five years after my "retirement" I was the executive director of the Michigan Federated Chapters of the Council for Exceptional Children. In December of 2001 we purchased The Washington Street Inn Bed and Breakfast in Bluffton and returned to our roots.


After high school I moved to Riverside, California to start college at Riverside City College (R.C.C.). This was possible only because my sister Libby was a single school teacher in Riverside at that point in time and was gracious (perhaps silly) enough to allow me to move in with her. Having never really been away from Bluffton for any period of time before, I soon found out that there was life beyond small town living. My main problem was that school interfered with my pleasures. Consequently I did very poorly and dropped out twice over a period of three years. In between the times I attended R.C.C. I returned to Indiana and worked in a variety of jobs that helped me understand that eventually I might actually want a college education.

After dropping out the second time I returned to Indiana and joined the Air Force, which was one of my better decisions. I was in the Air Force for four years, three of which were spent in what was then West Berlin, Germany.

From May of 1965 until May of 1968 I served in the 6912th Security Squadron as a radio intercept analyst. This was the time of the "Cold War" and an exciting time to be 100 miles behind the "Iron Curtain". While stationed in Berlin I became close friends with a young man from Berlin and we have maintained our friendship for close to 40 years now. Ruthann and I look forward to returning to Berlin in 2006.

After leaving the Air Force (1968) I returned to Indiana and Ruthann and I were married. We moved to Marquette, Michigan on the shores of Lake Superior in the upper peninsula of Michigan. While living in Marquette Ruthann and I started our family. Kristen Marie was born on May 20, 1969. She is now married to Rob Biggs and is a certified public accountant but has chosen to be a "stay at home mom." She maintains an office at home and continues to do private accounting work for a few clients. Rob is the Senior Vice-President for Independent Bank in Lake Orion, Michigan

Katie - 7 yrs. old - second grade

Lauren - 5 yrs. old - Kdg

John - 3 yrs. old

Kendall - 1 yr. old

The Biggs Family - July, 2004

On November 14, 1972 our son Kevin was born. In January of 2003 Kevin graduated from a marine mechanics program in Orlando, Florida. He is now working at a small family marina in Tampa, Florida. Although he hasn't become accustomed to the hot summers yet, he has definitely become accustomed to not having to deal with ice, snow, and cold weather!


In addition to our own two children we have had two exchange daughters from other parts of the world. Ute (from Germany) was our first exchange student in 1978-1979. Ute is now married and the mother of two children. For more information on Ute and her family you can visit:http://people.freenet.de/ehr

We had the pleasure of visiting Ute, Ingo, Lars, and Svenja in September of 2001. The pictures below were taken then.

Ingo, Lars, Ruthann, Ute, Svenja - dinner in a restaurant in Mulheim, Germany

Ingo with Lars and Svenja

Ute and Ingo at home in Mulheim, Germany


In the1979-1980 school year our exchange daughter was Veronica (Vica) Zambrano, from Quito, Ecuador. Vica is also married now and has three children.

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