Unlikely couple defies the odds over the years
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 9:00 PM
This week's subject had two no-no's for a wife - no one from Arkansas ( basic training there) and no one from his rival high school, Muncie Central. He had gone to Isaac C. Elston in Michigan City. Well, things change. While at Ball State in a science class, even though he had dated a girl for almost a decade, he noticed this cute little red head sitting far away. "Everything about June was perfect in every way." Thus, it didn't matter an iota that she was born in Arkansas and graduated from that other school.
Now, how did Tom and June Gourley get to Crawfordsville? Charlie Arvin had gone to Ball State to view choices, and since the Gourleys lived right on 32, Charlie stopped in to see if Tom would be interested in a principalship. They had to say no. June noted God works in mysterious ways, as June's father passed away two weeks later, so with her mother's blessings, they were able to come to Crawfordsville. Dr. Merrill Dailey talked the whole time to their three-year-old son and that impressed them. When they met his wife, Jo Dailey, they felt like they were home. That was for the 1967-68 school year. Tom had made a commitment to be a waterfront director at a camp, though, and made it to C'ville just in time to begin the job.
Two of their four children, Ray and Cathren came along to C'ville, while Dean and Graham (Jed) were born here. They have spent 41 years in their lovely home where I visited with them on East Main.
Son Ray is in New Jersey working at the Philadelphia School of Psychoanalyst. He has one son. Cathren has lived in Australia and Thailand (Youth for Christ) with husband, Scott, who now sets-up churches just north of Detroit. Three boys and a girl round-out this family. Dean and wife Carrie are in Thorntown with three girls who attend Western Boone. Dean is a bank manager. Jed and Renee' are currently at the Mission House. Having spent 21 years as missionaries in the Ukraine they plan to return to Eastern Europe. They have two boys and three girls. All four of the children are CHS grads but only one B.S. Cardinal.
Tom served as principal at Mills and Nicholson for 24 years. A past student said, "I have such fond memories of Mr. Gourley. We had lost a ball on the roof and he, with his suit and tie, went up and got it." The highlights of his years there were taking the children to the National History, Aquarium and Science and Industry Museums. Working with the HS Sunshine girls collecting canned goods was another highlight
June spent most of her teaching time at Wilson and Hose in first grade. Shetaught her children to spell supercalifragilistic and if accomplished, they got cake and ice cream.
John Kelso said, "I remember Mrs. G. standing on her head!" A fun teacher, there were lots of arts and crafts used to accentuate lessons. Camille Davis commented that, "Tom was the kindest and most caring man she worked for in 40 years of teaching," and Sue Hesser noted that Tom and June, "were real gifts to education."
Tom, an avid Just-Say-No principal, went from that program to distributing drugs in the Wal-Mart pharmacy in his retirement. Got a giggle out of that! June's cohorts were a tad jealous as Tom would bring her warm lunches. He had been a cook in the service (Korean conflict), fixed breakfast every morning while June got the kids ready for school, then took his shower and rushed to work.
Having spent four years in Tennessee where June did a program in tap dancing she got into Grape-vine dancing with the church back up here, as well as doing beautiful paintings I got to see. They liked Tennessee and there was so much to get involved in, but now, "back home again in Indiana," June says, "C'ville just calls to you!" She has been quite active in the Art League and with the Art Gallery.
Tom enjoys reading, swimming, working outside and his long-standing work on the Mental Health Board. He also drives for Horner's. Both love seeing their grands' involvements and June is looking forward to being in the Moms of Missionaries. Thanks, Tom and June for letting me highlight you this week in ATC!