Tell us a little bit about what you’re doing now. Where you live, etc.
I live in El Paso, Texas with my wife, Teresa De Leon. We have been married for 32 years. I am a high school social studies teacher at Canutillo High School and have been at the same school for 22 years. I have two kids who are now grown up and both are teachers. Rosio is 30 years old and Gary II is 29 years old.
Gary and his wife Teresa.
So, being teacher, in one capacity, or another for 32 years, have you seen a notable shift in the generations of students?
Kids are kids. Hair styles and clothing change. Toys are different. Our kids are pretty good at Canutillo. Might be different in inner cities. Our kids are raised on old traditional values.
What did you do right after you left UWP? (work, military, travel?)
Finished my degree at UW-Milwaukee, then taught in Houston. I started teaching in Houston, Texas in 1986 then moved back to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1991 and taught adult education until 1996. When my wife’s mother passed away, we moved to El Paso to take care of her father and I worked at Canutillo.
What do you remember most vividly about your time as a TKE?
Many great times, hard to pinpoint to one thing. The Keg Roll for St. Jude's was a lot of work but very rewarding. We set up the Keg Roll from Iowa City and went to Madison, Wisconsin. We linked two Big Ten schools and had other TKE chapters involved.
What was your best day in TKE?
Coming back for a reunion during spring break from UW Milwaukee. The fraters made a big banner for me. We had a huge party and I had a great Homecoming. Many good memories.
I see on Facebook that you're interested in genealogy. How did that interest start? And what is it about the Onate Expedition in particular?
My interest in genealogy began with a promise to my grandma. She asked me to write the family's history back in 1986. I didn't start the research until 2012, after she died. Learning about my family's history has become an obsession. It's really interesting. I started a facebook page on the Onate Expediton. Don Juan Onate traveled with colonists from Santa Barbara, Mexico to New Mexico. At least eight of the original colonists are my ancestors. They made the trip in 1598. We are proud of our heritage and the website was designed for those who love history and those who have family members who were on the expedition. Onate is controversial. When the Spanish fought the Indians, the punishment the Spaniards gave to the Indians was brutal. We acknowledge that but also understand the efforts of our ancestors brought us to a better life today.