Please give a very warm welcome to Dave and Jan Perry, who are transferring their membership from First United Methodist Church of Lafayette, to Heart of Longmont. We are so excited and blessed to have you!
Dave and Jan met in the 9th grade when Dave’s family moved to Des Moines, Ia. They write:
We were in the same Junior High and the same Baptist church. We really became good friends serving through a great church youth group. We both went to the Baptist college associated with our denomination, now Bethel University, just north of St. Paul, MN. Dave worked his way through college as a flight instructor for the King’s Wings flying club he started. We courted in the club plane and later enjoyed family trips in various light airplanes for the next 50 years.
We were married between college and grad school June 17, 1967. Jan worked as a legal assistant
while Dave was a math teaching assistant while he pursued a PhD in dynamical systems at the University of MN. In late 1969 we learned “we” were pregnant. That made the decision to accept an offer from Bethel to join the Bethel math faculty easy. Melissa was born June 29, 1970 and Dave met his first Bethel freshman calculus class that September.
The years 1970 – 1981 were both intense and wonderfully rewarding. Dave was very busy teaching, writing his thesis, writing matching grant proposals to fund an Academic Computer Center, and a new Computer Science major. Mark was born 3 years after Missy and Stephen 3 years after Mark.
The pay at a small Christian college was less than his brother’s pay as a pastor. So Dave was also consulting for 3M’s Data Storage Products Division lab. Jan was busy with church, our 3 kids, and she again worked while the kids were in college. 3M offered Dave a Research Specialist job in 1981 and the dean encouraged him to take the offer. Dave’s matching grants were “warping” the dean’s spending priorities. Ten years after Dave left Bethel, Mark graduated with a BSCS degree from Bethel.
The years 1981 – 1993 were again both intense and rewarding. Dave was soon promoted to Senior Research Specialist which allowed him to publish. He really enjoyed the collaboration with the other 3M scientist. Dave was asked to become a New Product Lab Manager involved in co-developments with various Japanese and European technology companies. He traveled a lot (37 times to Japan).
One of these co-developments is what led to our moving to Colorado and in some ways to our move to a UMC church. Dave volunteered to organize a Boulder drive startup to design a recording drive for the new recording media his 3M lab was developing. The startup investors were in Singapore; more travel. Dave was head of engineering for this startup and after the first product was released, the investors hired a CEO that was an alcoholic. Dave soon discovered the CEO had sold all the future intellectual property rights of the startup to a Japanese company. They did not get along. So Dave accepted the Executive Director of Advanced Concepts role at the Longmont Seagate site. Dave retired after 11 years at Seagate in January 2009.
We were disappointed with how conservative all the Baptist churches were that we tried in Colorado. After 3 tries, still no women in ministry. We sampled other non Baptist churches but kept coming back to that friendly Lafayette UMC pastored by Jenny A. which we joined in 2011. Her adult SS class introduced us to books by Brian McClaren, Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossen, etc. We felt at home.
We had known Marty Allison and began attending Heart of Longmont last year. We have been part of two of the adult Sunday School classes and have been very welcomed. Jan has been to several Women’s circle meetings and Dave has been in the choir and Soul Singers and have found the people there great.