…During the late 1980s, Denver and most of Colorado was greatly affected by an oil boom—gone bust. The architecture and interior design professions were hit in the associated economic fall-out, and so my husband and I found our newly-formed design business without much work. A friend had recommended Cary as a possible college instructor to the Director of the Interior Design department at the Colorado Institute of Art, now called the Art Institute of Colorado. Cary applied, interviewed, and was hired to teach part-time at my alma mater, and so began a long and beneficial relationship with what we fondly called CIA, and then a decade later, AIC.
Our little house in Montclair was just a 10-15 minute drive to the AIC campus at the south edge of downtown Denver. Initially teaching two days a week (two lab classes that were each four hours long each day) Cary’s new teaching position was the perfect part-time job for a self-employed architect, community volunteer, and homeschool dad. He could get his other office work done when not teaching, knock-off mid-afternoon to go and coach the kids’ soccer teams, and be home for two, if not three meals a day.
We gladly traded off a high income for more time with Cary. We lived modestly, worked together on projects when we could, and enjoyed a wonderful life as a family that wasn’t dependent on Dad being away at a demanding job 50-60 hours a week.
Cary truly enjoyed working at AIC, and made a number of friends with other teachers, staff, and his students. His students always gave him high marks in their instructor reviews, stating that he was the kindest teacher, then acknowledging that he was the most demanding and exacting. Though he was paid for only the hours he taught, he gave his students additional time during his scheduled hour lunch, and often came home late for dinner because a student needed more of his professional advice on a project, or needed a wise father’s counsel regarding their personal problems. He was always conscientious about making sure his faith never offended anyone, yet was always ready to pray with a student, or share how the Lord had helped him get through a similar situation….