Vicki grew up in the Piney Woods of Northeast Texas. She was raised in the small town, and we mean small—450 people—of Avinger. She had a wonderful childhood. An accurate description for her and her brother is growing up like “Opie Taylor in Mayberry.” Her grandparents all lived in Avinger and a passel of other relatives were close at hand for love and support. She attended the First Baptist Church and along with her brother received yearly awards for attending Sunday School without missing a Sunday--for 5 years. As a teenager she turned into a rebel/hippie who questioned authority, questioned the church and questioned blindly going along with the crowd so she chose to follow a “different drummer.”
Vicki attended Avinger Elementary School and then went on to Junior High and High School in the neighboring town of Daingerfield where her mother taught school. Upon graduation from Daingerfield High School in 1974 she attended The University of Texas at Austin for one year. Next, she embarked on the great adventure of living in Honolulu, Hawaii for two years. Upon her return to Texas she resumed her college career at the University of Texas as a part-time student while working one, sometimes two, and once three part-time jobs. She graduated in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and a Minor in Geology. While attending UT she met and married her husband David, a professor in Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, in 1983.
After graduation from UT, Vicki worked for a year before their amazing daughter, Kate, was born in 1986. At that point she became a stay-at-home mom. Their incredible daughter, Emily, came along in 1990. In 1991, in addition to being a stay-at-home mom, she began her career as a “professional volunteer.” At the time, she described herself as a stay-at-home mom who was never at home. She volunteered in the preschool, elementary school, middle school and high school where her daughters attended. She was chairperson and member of numerous PTA committees. She was a soccer mom for 15 years, attending games through blistering heat and freezing cold to support her girls. She was also involved with Girl Scouts. She was a Troop Leader for 17 years, shepherding both Kate’s Troop 420 and Emily’s Troop 271 from Kindergarten through 12th grade. In addition, she held several leadership positions at the Girl Scout Service Unit level. During this time she also volunteered in the Children’s Ministry and Youth Ministry at Riverbend Church and was active in the adult Sunday School class she and David attended.
After their daughters were born, Vicki considered what she was meant to do as her life’s work but got no clear answers. She decided while she was waiting on a great revelation about her future path that she would bide her time and volunteer in support of children. After about 5 years of doing this she suddenly realized that she had her answer—“this is not what I am doing while I wait, this is IT—what I am supposed to do.”
Vicki, David, Kate and Emily joined the Journey adventure when it began in 2004. Vicki has remained at Journey since then, except for a brief hiatus to keep Emily with David Gentiles’ Youth Group at Riverbend Church. She has held several volunteer positions at Journey. She was Assistant Shepherd, Shepherd and Shepherd-At-Large for the Heart Team; she was co-chair and chair of the Heart Team; she was an office volunteer working under Stacie’s expert guidance for 1 ½ years; she coordinated the Children’s curriculum and volunteers for 2 years; and was a VBS worker for 2 years and VBS Director for 2 years.
In addition to being a mom and homemaker, Vicki has been employed in several positions since her college days. She was an Administrative Assistant at UT, she worked at a printing company and she scored standardized tests. While each of these jobs were fulfilling in some ways, Vicki feels she has found her place at Journey. She is able to use her gifts and talents to serve God and support a community she loves and believes in.
Vicki’s family is her greatest joy! She has an amazing, supportive husband and two loving, strong, incredible daughters. She feels very blessed with the life she has been given and is so grateful for it each and every day.