Rena Gooding's


I graduated with a BS degree from Illinois State University in Normal, IL with a Mathematics Education. I taught a semester at Champaign Junior High in Illinois while Mike finished his degree. We then moved to Carol Stream IL.  There was an abundance of teachers at that time, so I substituted at local school districts until I took a job at Hope Publishing Company. That job set my career in a totally different direction. The office was small enough that I quickly learned the office paper flow. It was a fun job because it was the United Methodist Publishing company for hymnals and sheet music. We had composers visit and play their new songs. I really enjoyed it there and loved the detail work.  

When we moved to Minneapolis, I got a job learning to program small business computers. One of my first computers was the Apple Lisa. Having the office experience helped me so much with program design. That started my programming career.  

In Massachusetts I programmed from home using Assembly language on a game with Mike called ‘Monkey See, Monkey Spell’. We sold the game to local computer store.

When we moved to Missouri, I got a part time job when the kids were in High School working at Computer Sales Industries. I started in the legal department in their large file room. When a position opened in their programming department, I moved to full time. I worked there two years, until Mike moved to California. I stayed behind while Amanda finished her high school year, then joined him. That was the most difficult part of my life and sent my life in a different direction than I ever thought was imaginable. I never wanted to move to California.  

When we moved to California, my first job was at Asyst Technologies programming an application that ran on a Sun Unix computer. After two years, the commute was getting long so I changed companies and went with Pacific States Industries, doing Oracle database programming on an HP computer. I went back to night school and got a profession certificate in Information Technology Management from California State University Santa Cruz. I became the Information Technology manager and application programmer and supported 9 locations which included 3 retail locations, manufacturing locations and shipping. I was there 18 years full time and contracted from home for an additional year. Then I retired.  

Now I have time to enjoy wood carving and volunteering. I had a once-a-week Lego group at the local library. Then for health reasons had to stop that. I also enjoy gardening, bird watching and love going out to dinner.

Our children are grown now. Our son, Tom and daughter-in-law Jenny have two daughters and our daughter Amanda and son-in-law, Doug have a son and daughter.    

That is where I’m at now. Long road getting here, with bumps in the way. But life was never promised to be a smooth ride.