10/01/2012 - By Gayle Irwin
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Throughout the course of their 42-year marriage, Ron and Gale Alexander have shared a love not only for each other and family, but also for God, for music, and for travel, among many other beautiful things.
Their enjoyment of international things has taken them to Europe, primarily Germany and Austria, and has also provided opportunity to assist international students and families. They directed the International Student Activities at Casper College and now that they are retired, they meet with international families in the community, sharing meals and conversation.
"We enjoy doing that – we bring the world here," Gale said.
The couple moved to Casper in 1979 when Ron came to work with the Southern Baptist Church as youth director. Gale started working at Casper College the following year, at first in the English department then as the forensics director. In 1981 Ron took a role at the college as an extra voice instructor and eventually worked fulltime there as well. They retired simultaneously in 2005 and the traveling throughout America and beyond kicked into high gear.
"We traveled a lot those first few years," Ron said. "Then we started having grandkids."
Both of their children, who attended Casper schools, now live in other states: their son in Texas and their daughter in Virginia. Although they visit on occasion, Ron and Gale also travel at times back there. Last year, the families gathered in Florida to enjoy Disney World and other theme parks. Later this year, Gale, Ron and his mother, Mary, will travel south to spend several months this winter at Mary's home in Louisiana. Mary has been staying with them for about a year.
"It's a blessing to have her with us," Gale said.
Even though they may spend several winter months away, Casper is their home.
"It's where our friends are," Gale stated.
The couple honeymooned in Wyoming in 1970 after marrying in Texas. They knew they wanted to return.
"Ron and I decided we wanted to some day move to Wyoming after coming to the state on our honeymoon. Eight years later, it happened," Gale said.
The Wyoming landscape is something else they enjoy. For example, they have camped in a tepee along the Powder River near Kaycee, and they have a cabin on Casper Mountain.
"We've slept many nights along the river and fished in it," Ron said.
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They also canoe and Ron is an avid hunter. He hunts antelope, elk, turkey and pheasant, but it's not just about the hunting, he said.
"I have people I go with – it's as much about the fellowship as it is about the hunting," Ron said.
Gale's enjoyments include taking OLLI classes at Casper College and assisting with senior adult ministries at their church, Boyd Avenue Baptist. Additionally, she serves on the Foundation Board of Meals on Wheels. And, this summer, she produced a play at Stage III Theatre.
"I always have a project going," Gale stated.
The play was a success, and Gale and her colleagues have been approached to take the play to other places around the country, a feat she is considering.
The couple's enjoyment of theatre and music translated last year into being cast in the college production of the musical Titanic.
"I've always wanted to sing and dance on stage," Gale said.
They also plan to sing in their church's Christmas cantata before leaving for the winter.
Sharing life together is part of the couple's marital strength. They helped bring the World Changers group to Casper many years ago. Gale estimates about 500 Casper houses have been rehabilitated through this group, and it all came about when their daughter wanted to travel to another state to help the group as part of a missions trip. After that experience, Gale said she told her family, "'I think we ought to bring this to our town…'It was a successful and satisfying endeavor."
The couple looks ahead to more possible adventures, such as possibly visiting Belgium, England, Scotland and Ireland.
"I love going places and doing things," Gale said. "We've been blessed with good health."
"That's what's made all of it possible," Ron echoed. "And, we aren't done yet!"