I am a Reno native, attended Reno School, graduated from Reno High School, then the University of Nevada, Reno ('59BS, "74 M.Ed) after first attending University of Pacific for two years. In 1994, I retired from teaching after 34 years at Roger Corbett Elementary School. My companion, Ron Turek, and I keep busy with travel and golf. In addition there are home and community activities. FUMC has been my church home since 1942, the year my mother, Martha Jones, began playing the organ. I am one of the Hosanna Arch children. I served on Trustees and have been a member of the Foundation since 1997 when the second reorganization took place. My vision for the Foundation is that it will provide a strong base for the church building and help with programs.
Ralph Drake, born in Toledo, OH, is a graduate of George Williams College (B.S.) & Miami University, Oxford, Oh (M.Ed). He has lived in Reno for 28 years. Ralph was a YMCA Director 1961-95, serving in six cities: Dayton, OH, Wilmington, DL, New York City, Akron, OH, Detroit and retired in Reno. He Joined First Church in 1986 and has served for 14 years on the Foundation Board.
He enjoys racquetball and reading, and has been married to Barbara for 51 years. When asked what about First Church he'd like to see passed on to others, he said the sharing of resources for local, national & international 'good'; a welcoming place for worship; and volunteerism. At Ralph's retirement party, his high school mentor remarked that "Ralph couldn't hold a job."
Jim Ellis was elected to the Foundation board last year. He has been a member of FUMC for more than 25 years, and has served on a number of church boards and commissions. A native of Goldsboro, N. C. , Jim has lived in Reno since 1985 and is an emeritus professor of journalism at the University of Nevada. from which he retired in 2001 after 16 years as a member of the faculty of the Reynolds School of Journalism. He previously taught for two years at the University of Southwestern Lou-isiana but spent most of his professional career as a corporate public relations manager and is a member of the Nevada Public Relations Hall of Fame and the College of Fellows of the Public Relations Society of America. He has also been a newspaper and magazine reporter, editor and correspondent. Jim attended Duke University and subsequently received undergraduate and graduate degrees from East Carolina University. He is an Army veteran. Jim is married to the former Margaret Martin McCoy, a retired registered nurse and a native of Anderson, S. C. Each has three children from previous marriages and seven grandchildren.
Patti Hampton was born and raised in Denison, Texas. She attended the University of Texas at Austin and UNR. She has been both a resident of Reno and a member of First Church for 47 years. She was a teacher before retiring and enjoys travel, reading, walking and spending time with friends.
Patti has been on the Foundation Board "since Jacquie Meadows got it going again." She would like to see our church "continue to have a presence in the downtown area that exhibits a loving, caring and generous spirit to all."
I'm an "Army Brat" born in LA while my Dad was "guarding the coast" during WW2. Moved a lot, 12 schools by the end of high school, Germany, Japan and France, Georgia, Kansas, Washington. I do very well on geography quizzes. I went to college in Florida until I married "into the Navy" and we continued to move until my husband went to work with Western Airlines then Delta, which took us to Seattle, LA and we moved to Reno in 1977. I can't believe we've stayed here 36 years. I joined Weight Watchers in 1979 and have worked for them in one way or another since. I've always thought it was a cross between teaching and preaching and a natural fit for me.
I joined First Church in 1979. My children liked the balcony and I felt at home with the congregation. I taught Sunday School for many years. It was routine to come to church with a brown paper bag full of the snack or craft we would do that morning and disappear down into the basement. Both of my now grown children, Karen and Mike, were confirmed at First church. Throughout the years I've served on many committees, commissions, councils of the church. It's part of being a church member to give of time and talents. After my children were grown I started going to the "early" service. While I miss the music, we have a more contemplative, intimate service with communion and connection.
It's also part of being a church member to give of your resources. When the Foundation was restarted in the 1990's I was asked to be a part of that and have continued to this year. We have exciting, enthusiastic new board members who will take the work forward of providing a financial underpinning for the church beyond our yearly giving.
My hope is First Church will remain a place of refuge and restoration for those who are looking for that experience in their lives that goes beyond defining. I hope we can continue to express the diversity and openness to all people that is the gift from God.
I'm an Easterner – born and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch country, the daughter of farmers and local/state politicians. When a local physician offered to help me find the money to go to college, I agreed to attend Kent State University in Ohio, where I earned my undergraduate degree in homemaking, and later Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre where I earned a Master's Degree. Always interested in English and journalism, I've taught at the high school, community college, and university level off and on over my professional life, currently as an adjunct at TMCC and UNR. My professional life has also included some 30 years' work in educational television at PBS stations, from 1994 – 2011 at KNPB Channel 5 in Reno, where I served as Vice President for Programming, Promotion, Education, and Outreach. Thanks to my KNPB colleague Ron Smith, I came to FUMC through the choir door about 10 years ago. About 3 years ago at Homecoming, I inquired about the FUMC Foundation, and soon found myself on its board.
Singing is my recreation and my lifeline, currently with Bella Voce women's ensemble, the Reno Philharmonic Chorus, and, of course, the FUMC chancel choir. My earliest memory of singing in church was when I was about 4 years old, and I've been doing it ever since.
FUMC is my church home; I love its social mission and its passion for reconciliation and acceptance. I love its downtown location and attitude. I hope these attributes are protected and preserved by and for future generations of FUMC members.
I was born in Corpus Christi, Texas and grew up in San Diego, Monterey and Santa Rosa, California. I have a degree in Commercial Outdoor Recreation from Sacramento State and have lived in Reno for 24 years. I've been a member of Reno FUMC for the last 20 years, but have only served on the Foundation Board for the past year.
Currently, I'm the Executive Director for Job Corps. My wife Jackie and I have two children, Kyle and Katie. I love fishing, camping, reading, cooking and golf. I also have a motorcycle and love backpacking and making music with friends.
I would love to see our church further develop an open and accepting commitment to caring for others and pass this open attitude on to future generations of FUMC members.
Finally, you can see that I'm follically challenged, but I'm also color blind!
Ron Smith was born in Salinas, CA, but raised in San Francisco, graduating from Mission High School, and earning two degrees at San Francisco State. He has lived in Reno for 52 years, retiring as vice president for development & marketing at KNPB Public Television. Ron joined Reno First United Methodist Church in 1981, sings in the choir, served as chairman of the Administrative Board for eight years, and now serves on the Foundation Board of Trustees since 2012.
The Foundation is working to insure that the future of First Church will include a strong financial foundation through bequests from members' wills and trusts. Reno First Church is an important part of my life and a wonderful shared experience with my wife of 31 years, Pat.
I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. My parents named me Jenni-Sue, but then called me Susie. Therefore I have been known as Sue throughout my life. I have a younger sister. My father was an exploration geologist, so we moved quite a bit, but most of my childhood was in Reno, because we always moved back here. When we were here, we always attended First United Methodist Church.
I graduated from UNR, with a degree in Social Services. I currently work as a commercial real estate broker and own my own company, Argent Commercial Real Estate. I served a term on the Reno City Council from 1987-1991.
My husband, Jim, and I were married at FUMC in 1975. While we lived in Reno, we went to church here, but Jim attended law school in Sacramento, then we moved to Las Vegas. When we returned to Reno we attended St. Paul's Methodist Church, where we were very active. We then went to South Reno Methodist Church, until we moved back to FUMC when we discovered that Ju-dith was the new minister. We have found that we enjoy the music program at FUMC and the wonderful people who attend this church. My oldest daughter and her husband were married at FUMC eight years ago. We have three children, 2 daughters and a son. My daughter Rebecca attends FUMC with her husband and their 3 sons Johnny, Austin and Benjamin.
Jim and I are very active in the Historic Reno Preservation Society, and so of course we love the building that houses FUMC. It is expen-sive to maintain an old building, but very worthwhile. We would like to be sure that the building, which is recognized throughout our community as a treasure, continues to be maintained. Hopefully our work through the Foundation will be able to accomplish this and many other things.
I have many hobbies, including gardening, reading, camping, hiking and kayaking. We also love to gather with family and friends and cooking. Our kids and grandkids bring us tons of joy. Our lives are very blessed.
Nicole Widdis-Hernandez, born and raised in Reno, received her undergraduate degree at UNR and attended law school at the William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV. She is an attorney for the Family Division of the Second Judicial District Court and, along with husband Carlos, has been a member of First Church for almost 3 years. She and Carlos were married here. 2012 is Nicole's first year on the Foundation Board.
In addition to enjoying cooking, reading and spin class, she describes herself as a political junkie. Perhaps most importantly, though, Nicole is the new mother of Fia. She hopes for Fia and her peers to "have access to wonderful children's programs allowing them to grow in the Spirit and care for others."
"I hope that the Foundation can ensure resources are available for programs for the Church, especially for the youth and children. This is particularly important to me because I spent much of my youth participating in various youth programs, including mission trips and local outreach."
I was the first Chinese girl born in Boulder City, Nevada and the oldest of four. In the spring of 1967, my dad was transferred to the US Bureau of Mines in Reno. The first church we attended was Reno FUMC; while we were eating lunch, Dr. Orman Roberts, who was the pastor, came over to welcome us to Reno. I graduated from Reno High, UNR and University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.
I have an accounting degree and have been a Nevada lawyer since 1982. Currently I am the supervising attorney for the Carson City Legal Section of the Nevada Division of Industrial Relations. We regulate workers' compensation matters, prosecute OSHA violations, and oversee Mine Safety and Training.
I was confirmed at Reno FUMC in 1968 and have been active ever since! I've been on the FUMC Foundation Board since 2008 (Morton,
my dad, was on the Foundation in the 90s). I became president in 2012.
One of my hobbies is making cards using rubber stamps and ink; my favorite stamp company is A|Muse Studio. Jay teases and says I only have to make another 8,000 cards to 'break even,' but I figure if I charge $50/hour for my time, my breakeven point is a lot quicker! Since Alycia's attending Willamette University, she gets a lot of expensive "snail mail" cards!
I also enjoy cooking for others, which is probably why I coordinate the Casserole Brigade and Drop in the Bucket. I like "doing" and have been on five mission trips to New Orleans, North Carolina, and Montague, California. I've also headed up four "mini-mission" teams to Fernley and North San Juan, California. When I was the MYF leader in the 1980's, I chaperoned youth on three Sierra Service Project missions on California Indian reservations.
I usually have at least one pro bono case going at any one time. Since Jay and I don't watch TV, we are voracious readers and hope to travel to many of the places about which we have read. FUMC's credo found in Micah 6:8 (seeking kindness, doing justice, and walking humbly with God) just about sums up my feelings about what I hope First Church passes along to future generations. My dream is for the Foundation to be able to raise a million dollars in the next 2 ½ years. Just think . . . if the economy improves so that the Foundation earned a 2% APR return on investment, a million dollar corpus would produce $20,000 in interest. . . . To paraphrase Dr. Seuss, "Oh the places we'll go!"