Our 2017 Valentine’s Day couple, Gayle and Gary Ray, were just honored by the Nathan Yip Foundation at their 15th annual Chinese New Year Celebration for the Ray’s volunteerism and generosity throughout the Colorado community. One of our previous Have You Mets – and Valentine’s Day couples, Linda and Jimmy Yip (founders of the Nathan Yip Foundation in memory of their son Nathan) said, “The naming of our long-time Foundation supporters Gayle and Gary Ray as honorary chairs for this year’s event is very special. Gayle and Gary were our friends when our son, Nathan, died and have since been ardent supporters and volunteers for every event and activity we do.”
The Ray’s have been married for 33 years, and Gary (aka Captain Gary) was in the U.S. Airforce for 7 years as a pilot and instructor, and he later became a pilot with United Airlines. Gary was a past president with Littleton Rotary and is still actively involved with the organization. Gary also enjoys volunteering as an ambassador at DIA. Gary has a funny, but dry wit and possesses a heart of gold!
Gayle enjoys her involvement with the Castle Pines Garden Club. She is on the board of the Asian Performing Arts of Colorado, and she has served on the board of the Denver Center Alliance, Colorado Uplift, and Families First. She is a supporter of “Womanade” of Castle Rock, Global Down Syndrome Foundation, Cancer League of Colorado, and Opera Colorado. For years, Gayle, with her warm personality – and that gorgeous smile, has brightened many other charitable events throughout the community.
Gayle and Gary Ray have done their share of world traveling, and they both agree one of the most fascinating places they visited was Papua New Guinea in the southwestern Pacific because of its unique history and interesting culture. They love traveling with the Yips to China and are moved and inspired by all the remarkable work the Nathan Yip Foundation has done to build schools and give aid to less fortunate children throughout the world – and now in Colorado’s rural areas.
Gayle and Gary Ray are excited to be living each day to the fullest, and they have learned to value the importance of “just being happy and staying healthy!”
When you first met, what was the first thing you noticed about one another? Gary: How cute Gayle was! Gayle: I thought he was really cute…. He was dressed like a preppy – and we both went to “Big 8” schools.
As a couple, what has been your main priorities in life? Gayle: Our love of travel. With Gary being a United Airlines pilot, we had many options at our fingertips…. and of course our kids. Our kids all knew each other even before Gary and I knew each other. They all went to the same grade school, junior high and high school, and they all were going into college at the same time.
What are some of your favorite charitable events? The Nathan Yip Foundation’s “New Year Celebration”, “Saturday Night Alive” for the Denver Center of Performing Arts, and “Be Beautiful – Be Yourself” for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.
What’s the most different thing about the two of you? Gary: Gayle likes to stay longer at places than I do…. Always the last ones to leave!
Tell us about a Ray Family Tradition? With 3 of our kids in California, probably when we get together there for special occasions. We love the good weather in California!
I ask all my couples this: What do you think is the secret to “wedded bliss”? Gary: Gayle is a great person, and it’s so nice to be with her when we are out and about. Gayle: Gary is really good about blowing things off once he expresses himself and gets anything negative off his chest; he moves on and doesn’t hold grudges.
Going anywhere special for Valentine’s Day? Our friend, Meghan Picerno, is an opera singer, and she is doing a Valentine’s Day concert in the “Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room” in New York – performing songs from Sondheim to Gershwin to Rodgers and Hammerstein. I’m trying to talk Gary into going.
What are some of your favorite restaurants? Via Baci Italian Bistro, Mount Fuji, Fresh Fish Company…. And yes, Red Lobster!
What have your experiences taught you about life? Both Gayle and Gary: Do what you need to do to stay healthy.... Today is Gary’s 81st birthday!
What are you most looking forward to in the future? Both: Going on our next cruise. Cruise lines give huge discounts to airlines, and retired airlines, employees.
How do you want to be remembered? Gary: As a good husband, a good father and a good grandfather. Gayle: Being a kind person and fun to be with!