Sandra Shuler -- Biography (Part 2)
Sandra met Garland Bray in the fall of 1953, in a chemistry class during her Junior year at college. They became friends, and often talked to each other outside the Math building where they both had classes. They even ate a quick lunch together in the cafeteria occasionally, before Sandra had to hurry off to band practice. But they didn't date for almost a year after they first met.
When Garland finally called her for a date in the summer of 1954, she was completely astonished to find out that his name was "Garland" and not "Eldon". The mix-up was because students in class were always referred to by their last names only -- she knew only that his last name was "Bray". She had been interested in him enough to try to find out more about him, but didn't want to come right out and ask him. She knew that he had been active in Lambda Delta Sigma (the LDS fraternity), so she tried looking him up in the directory. The only "Bray" listed at that time was "Eldon". So for several months he had been imprinted in her mind as "Eldon".
On their first date, they went dancing out at the old Saltair pavilion. (This was the last year that this resort was open -- it was condemned and closed the following year, and burned down a few years after that. Later, a "new" Saltair was built a few miles to the south.)
Garland and Sandra dated often after that, and found that they had a lot in common. Both of them enjoyed outdoor activities such as camping, hunting, and hiking. In December 1954, they became engaged to be married. They decided to wait until the next summer for the wedding, after Sandra's graduation in the spring.
Sandra graduated from the "U" with High Honors in the spring of 1955, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences, with an emphasis in Genetics. She worked during her senior year at the Laboratory of Human Genetics on the U of U campus, and continued working there for about a year after graduation, as a research assistant.
Garland still had a couple of years of school to go, so they moved to a small house in South Salt Lake. While they lived here, their first two children were born:
BONA BRAY -- (born in August, 1956, two days before their first wedding anniversary) KAREN BRAY -- (born in February, 1958)
During this time, Garland returned to the Univerity of Utah to complete his Bachelor's Degree. He taught trigonometry at the university. For practice, he gave each lesson to Sandra the night before he had to present it to his class. This had the added advantage that Sandra was then able to help him correct the assignments which the students turned in. Before that time, Sandra had never liked math very much. But Garland was able to make the subject interesting and understandable to her. She later on took some classes in Analytic Geometry, Solid Geometry, and Calculus "just for fun". This beginning probably also started her on the way to becoming a computer programmer.
When Garland got his degree (June, 1957), he went to work for Sperry Utah Engineering Lab, which had just opened a new facility in Salt Lake. After working there for about a year, he was given an assignment as liaiason man with the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) in Pasadena, California. JPL and Sperry worked closely together on many government projects. So in the summer of 1958, the family moved to Glendale, California. Here their third daughter was born:
ALLENE BRAY -- (born in June, 1959)
In November of that year, after living in California for almost a year and a half, they moved back to Utah and bought a home at 5530 West Kathleen Avenue (3895 South) in Hunter (now part of West Valley City), Utah. This is where they mostly raised their family, and still live today. When they moved here to the subdivision called Amanda Acres, most of Hunter and Granger was still open farmland. They were in the Hunter Ward, which was then a part of the Jordan North Stake. There are now at least six Hunter stakes, in the area which used to all be one. Most of the area has now been developed into housing areas or shopping malls -- there is very little farmland remaining.
In the fall of 1960, Garland went to Greenland to work (for RCA Service Company). While he was gone, their fourth child (and first son) was born:
LAWRENCE LAMAR ("Larry") BRAY -- (born in December, 1960).
Garland was able to come home for a visit soon after the baby was born, but then he had to go back to Greenland for a while, to complete the total of 18 months time on site for which he had contracted. On another of his visits home, Sandra flew back to New York to meet him. This was like their honeymoon, since they didn't get one when they were first married. They bought a car in New Jersey and drove to Niagara Falls, then home across parts of Canada and the U.S. (We had this blue Rambler station wagon for many years; it was our family car).
The fifth and youngest child of Garland and Sandra was born when his older brother Larry was just past two years old.
MICHAEL DAVID BRAY -- (born in December, 1962)
The five kids were very close in age, with about 18 months between each of them on average, and all five within 6 years and 4 months. We had a fun time growing up on Kathleen Avenue. There were also many close neighbors with children around the same age. Especially in the summers, we were out all the time playing ball games in the street and in our yards, or building huts, forming clubs, playing "school", and putting on plays. We had lots of pets -- dogs and cats, as well as creatures like ferrets, snakes, mice, turtles, hamsters, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, etc.
Throughout her life, Sandra has loved nature and the out-of-doors. She has been very active in several nature-oriented groups, including the Utah Nature Study Society,
the Great Salt Lake Audubon Society, and the Utah Native Plant Society.
Since retiring, she has combined her interest in nature and photography with her knowledge of computers, by developing a website: