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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
               Monday, June 24 2002  

Where are they now?
Tom Wray


Tom Wray in 1957 high school photo, left, and today, center. His wife, the former Donna Madill,is shown at right.

Vintondale native Tom Wray was born March 31, 1939, to Catherine (Mahan) and Oscar "Pete" Wray. Tom has three siblings: sisters, Lavon Clyde, Davidsville; Beverly Swartz, Altoona, and brother William, Durham, Connecticut. Tom is a 1957 graduate of the former Nanty Glo-Vintondale High School and, according to his yearbook,Tom was an expert on Studebakers and girls, was active in the Rod and Gun Club, Varsity Club, and basketball. He wore the "Cutest crewcut".... and was fond of saying "What? Huh?"

Military service was next on Tom's agenda, enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1958, and was honorably discharged in 1961 with the rank of E-4. With a goal of higher education in his sights, Tom went on to attend Indiana University of Pennsylvania, earning both undergraduate (1965) and graduate (1968) degrees in business education. Then, putting his teaching credentials to good use, he taught in the Conemaugh Valley School District from 1964 to 1974, before going on to work in the mining industry until his 1996 retirement from Rochester and Pittsburgh Coal Company's Edith Mine in Elderton.

Married to Strongstown native Donna Madill since August 6, 1962, Tom and Donna are the parents of three children: Richard, 37; Melinda, 34, and William 31. They are the proud grandparents to six grandchildren: Ashley, Mathew, and Kristen, children of Richard, and Catherine, Paige, and Mark, children of Melinda. The Wrays, who live in Jackson Township, attend Pike Grace Brethern Church in Mundy's Corner, where Tom is a past Sunday school teacher and superintendant. Tom is also affiliated with the Bethel Baptist Church in Blacklick Township, which he has served as vice-president of the reunion committee for a time, but these days is content to just attend the reunion and enjoy the festivities and fellowship. Tom is also a member of Masonic Lodge 312, Ebensburg.

Retirement enables Tom to pursue his hobbies of fishing and traveling around the country to places like Florida, Colorado, New Jersey, and points in between. Like many people featured in Where Are They Now, Tom cites "the people" as one of his favorite memories of his Blacklick Valley childhood. "All the people were nice...we never had to worry about theft or safety; you could leave your doors unlocked. And as the years go by, it's nice to go to the Homecoming to renew old ties."

Tom is enthusiastic about his hopes for the future of the greater Blacklick Valley area. "I hope places like Vintondale start to grow again. This is a good area to live in. The cost of living is low compared to some places I've been. I hope for new industry to come to the area to provide some stable employment. This could be a beautiful place."

Anyone wishing to send greetings can find Tom at TDWray@netzero.com.

If you have a suggestion for a subject for Where Are They Now, please write Judy Rose at highlandrose43@yahoo.com.

You may be a redneck if... (2002 edition, series)

You think a subdivision is part of a math problem.
You've bathed with flea and tick soap.
You've been involved in a custody fight over a hunting dog.
Your kids take a siphon hose to show and tell.
You think a hot tub is a stolen indoor plumbing fixture.

— Sent by Mike Harrison

Thought for today

These are the times that try men's souls. Our Lord has made it plain not only that there shall be false spirits abroad, endangering our Christian lives, but that they may be identified and known for what they are! I have met Christians who have been led into emotional experiences that were beyond their power to comprehend, and they have inquired eagerly whether or not their experience was of God. The first test must be: "What has this done to my relationship with and my attitude toward the Lord Jesus Christ?" Do I love God more? Is Jesus Christ still to me the center of all true doctirne? Do I still agree that anything that makes Him less than God has declared Him to be must be rejected? Again: "How does it affect my attitude toward the Holy Scriptures?" Did this new view of truth spring out of the Word of God itself or was it the result of some stimulus that lay outside the Bible? Be assured that anything that comes to us from the God of the Word will deepen our love for the Word of God!

— A. W. Tozer, sent by Judy Martin

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