Meet Craig Vincent,

a native Californian who was born in San Luis Obispo, raised in Benicia and San Jose, then found a home in Stockton.  Craig’s home life is busy with 16 cats, 5 birds, a dog named “Scooter” and a partner named Joey!

After graduating from high school in San Jose Craig joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany for a few years.  After returning to the states and being discharged from the Army Craig worked as a Firefighter and earned his BA degree in Sales and Marketing.  Currently he is a pilot and owns an aviation related business.  If you want to buy a plane contact Craig at The Plane Exchange.

Craig’s hobbies include singing, Barbershop Harmony, travel, singing, and traveling to sing.  Craig is a long time member of the Barbershop Harmony Society and the quartet “Fat City Four.”  This fabulous quartet has recently entertained the Tracy residents of Astoria House, and the Lodi residents of Chancellor Place.  During the summer of 2014 they sang the National Anthem for the Stockton Ports at the Banner island Ballpark and performed musical theater in “Bye Bye Birdie” for the Linden Community Theater.

It is no wonder that Craig thinks he is looking forward to retirement.  He may want to continue his world travels having already seen Mexico, Hawaii, Guam, Germany, France and Kenya.  Most likely he will continue to sing and entertain many grateful audiences.

Something you may not know about Craig is that he survived a plane crash!  He also worked as a Hollywood actor for 2 years.  Sure glad he settled in Stockton.

 

Getting to Know You:

Meet Mary Klevan a long time member of the First Congregational Church of Stockton.  Mary was born in Genoa, Italy but moved to the United States and was raised in Monterey California.  She graduated from High School and took several Junior College classes over the years.  Mary is a true Household Engineer taking care of husband Stan and raising 2 daughters and 1 son.  She can now boast of 6 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great- grandchild!

Mary has traveled extensively including all of the East Coast, Florida, Texas, Canada, Oregon, and many countries of Europe.  These days Mary enjoys watching TV, going on walks, and having dinner out with family or friends.  Mary enjoys the game of golf when she is feeling fit and energetic. Usually you will find her attending Women’s Fellowship meetings and helping with the Holiday-A-Faire.

Mary is open to whatever comes up as long as it seems interesting.  Keeping her body strong is Mary’s goal.  She wants to be ready for the next big adventure!

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Susie Freas…who has only lived in Stockton since 1987.  Susie is originally from Springfield, MA

but spent 15 years living in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida raising her young family.  She is the mother of 2 sons, Jeremy and Adam.  Adam is married and has twin sons, while Jeremy is “dad” to Jon who we see often at church.

Susie spent her professional life as a Montessori teacher.  She began her training in Florida and continued in the Bay Area.  Susie earned her BA degree and Teaching Credential at CSU Stanislaus, and then a MA at CSU Sacramento.  She started her Montessori teaching in a private school and remained there for 15 years.  Susie then moved to Stockton Unified School District where she has been teaching for the past 14 years.  She is still very much interested in education and especially the future of California schools and her young Grandsons.

Music and travel are the things Susie likes to do for fun.  Her trips have included Israel, Mexico, and the Caribbean. She also enjoys spending time with family and friends.  Susie loves to be with nature and that is the inspiration for her water colors and photography.

Something you don’t know about Susie is that she loves Jazz.  You might find her in a club listening to music on a Saturday night.

Tony Waltman, born in Garden Grove, CA and raised in the small town of  Pedley in Riverside County.   He is now living in Stockton with Hector and Tipper.  Since Tony became a member of   FCCS he has worked tirelessly around the building and has lead many different committees.  Most recently he led the Mystery Dinner Theater, chaired the Growth and Missions Committee, and organized the Stained Glass group.  Tony’s next big challenge is going to be Event Coordinator for FCCS.

When Tony was “younger” he raced bicycles for Chevrolet and the LA Sheriff’s Department. One of his responsibilities as a bicycle racer was to travel to numerous schools, tradeshows, and events promoting the S.A.N.E. Program. Like D.A.R.E. the “Substance Abuse and Narcotics Education” program was designed to educate 4th – 8th graders in decision making, coping skills, and that “SANE Kids say NO to Drugs”.

Tony was selected to continue his bicycle training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO.  He then moved on to the more competitive indoor Velodrome Bicycle Racing.  This is a more intense bicycle racing style which takes place in a specially built stadium.  The track is oval with steeply banked sides and 180 degree curves at each end.

A few short years later a serious crash, just before a national competition sidelined Tony.  He recovered from the crash but never regained the edge for racing that he had before.

Among the many jobs Tony has done at FCCS the Mystery Dinner Theater remains his favorite.  We were not surprised to see Tony take on the persona of “Arnold Bonebreaker” in the play a few years ago.  Last February he stepped off the stage to become the play director.  After many years running restaurants, resorts, and customer service we are eager to see what Tony will do next!

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I am Diane Fender a long time member of FCCS.

I officially joined with my husband George Bruce in 1976 when Jennifer was a baby.  I grew up in this church and remember Sunday school classes, Junior Choir, and Friday night Youth Group.  Junior Choir practice was at 4:15p.m. on Friday afternoon and Youth group met at 5:15p.m.  Our parents would take turns preparing dinner for the group before our meeting and social time in the basement.  Our youth group helped to clean out the basement and repaint the walls for meeting space.  While attending Stagg High and Delta Jr. College I was also the Sunday school teacher.  I attended UCS Stanislaus, where I earned my teaching credential and then attended UOP for a MA in Educational Administration.

Bruce and I were married in the Madison Street Church and were eager to return to it when we moved our new family back to Stockton.  As young adults we started the “Tweens” group of active adults.  The Tweens held an annual Rummage Sale in the church parking lot, purchased the green Christmas garland and wreaths, and held numerous pot-luck dinners.   Bruce died on March 7, 1985 and I turned my focus to career and raising my daughter, Jennifer.

Newly retired from education I am now finding lots of time to do all those projects that had to be put off.  I enjoy being a Grandma to Kathryn, reading, knitting, planning events and completing projects at church.  I am staying open to new opportunities.

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