Douglas W. Houser

Profile Updated: September 21, 2021
Douglas W. Houser
Residing In: Lavallette, NJ USA
Spouse/Partner: Barbara passed away in 2012
Military Service: Army  
Occupation: Retired Teacher
Children, grandkids? GREAT GRANDKIDS? Age and names: Adam born 1989, Jonathan born 1994.
Yes! Attending Reunion
Current interests, hobbies, passions:

Spending time with my kids; one at home right now, one just married, 4 hours away. Helping start new churches. Leading worship. Writing songs. Writing stories. Long distance running . . . still. Conservative politics and American History. Researching forensic science techniques and applications.

2021 Update HERE...we want to know your update BEFORE the Reunion

Oldest son just married, got to help officiate, wonderful time. Have just finished my first book, trying to do all the things the editor told me to fix! On the leadership team at my church; started and run the Royal Rangers program (like scouts), preaching occasionally, with a music back-up team sometimes; teaching in-depth Bible studies (22 weeks in the book of Matthew, what a blast). Still running, hiking, biking.

Whatcha been up to since Mead 1970?

In August of 1970, I had a supernatural encounter with Jesus (what other kind of encounter with Him could there be?) which radically changed my life . . and character, I can confidently say. I started Whitworth College in the fall majoring in Music and pre-ministry. I also took such useful classes as clothing construction (what self-respecting mountain man would be unable to make his own clothes?) and Electronics (a musician should be able to repair his won amp, I figured . . )
I soon discovered to my horror that this was for physics majors; dropping it left me below full time status, so I lost my student deferment and was drafted into the Army in August of 1972. They made me a medic, and sent me to an isolated missile base in South Korea on the Yellow Sea. The North Koreans only tried to kill us once while I was there. I was in Ft. Riley Kansas for a few months after that. But I liked medicine, so I returned to Whitworth and majored in Biology.
Instead of applying to med school when I graduated, I joined a Christian rock Band, in which Diane (Moore) was a member. We traveled around the Northwest for a year. Then most of us went back east to New Jersey, where we started a church which is till in Kearny, NJ - the West Hudson Christian Center (our lead guitar player was a pastor with the Assemblies of God) and did about 75 concerts a year. We recorded a couple of albums, which have become collector's items. I was there about 12 years, as the minister of music and worship leader; also started a Christian School, and was the principal for a couple of years. There I met an Italian Jersey girl, former cheerleader and softball star, Phys Ed. grad of Seton Hall; she used to hang out at the Stone Pony when Springsteen played there. She miraculously survived stage 4 cancer, and several recurring bouts since we've been together. God used the doctors on some of them; others were out and out miracles. We're still battling the after-effects of massive doses of radiation from the first bout. But, we have two fabulous guys, Adam, 20, and Jonathan, 15. We live on the Jesey shore, on a very large sand bar, half a mile from the Atlantic. Six foot waves for the last three days, all you Beach Boys fans. I have still not learned to surf. (with a board, anyway.) I started teaching Biology about 13 years ago, in public school. Started in Kearny HS, which had a front row seat to the Manhattan skyline, and 9/11. I had tired of the 3 to 4 hour commute to and from the shore everyday by then, and had secured a job in Brick Memorial HS. We sat and watched the towers come down, with some of my student's parents in them. A few years ago, one of my most promising students was murdered by a crack head and buried in a shallow grave in the woods. She aspiried to be a forensic scientist. So I told her parents I would start a Forensic Science class in her memory at the high school. This we were able to do, and after our second year, have had several hundred students complete the course; many have gone on to college forensics programs. I also work with an "in-house" at risk program in our high school for students so far behind they will probably drop out. This first year, we graduated 8. It has been good to be able to share with you all this way, since I rarely make it out to the beautiful Northwest. Take care and God bless.
Now it is 2014. As you all know, about a year and a half ago after we got chased off our sandbar out in the Atlantic Ocean by super storm Sandy (most of my friends are not back in their homes yet) we bounced around from relatives to hotels to friends' (furnished) basements, and finally found a bungalow to rent close to work & etc., I woke up to find my wife a little out of it and her breathing labored. So I determined to take her over to the hospital. I called in sick, went in the other room to change my clothes, and when I came back, she was gone. since that time, I continue teaching, keeping the summers hectic stressful and almost remunerative by running Forensic Science/ CSI camps for kids. I started a band this summer; just one gig so far; with the only the vocal core and me, but I liked the sound. If we record anything, I'll post it. Started preaching again too, fair warning. Adam is chief of staff for a NJ State senator and is illustrating children's books on the side. Jon finished first year at community college, and we found him a vocal teacher from Juilliard, so he sings twice as better'n I do. (He's my lead singer, 'til he gets tired of hanging out with old foggies . . fogies? either is appropriate, I guess). Most of my official vacations are hanging out with him at national fine arts competitions. Obviously proud of both. I miss Spokane and you'all, or as they say in North Jersey, yous.

A Memorable Mead Moment

Feeling very embarrassed for my friend Diane Moore as she stood up to sing a song at some senior class ceremony . . . why do girls always feel compelled to do stuff like this . . and then being blown away as she opened her mouth. You may remember the song, from Oliver, Who Will Buy These Beautiful Roses, or whatever it's called. What a voice!
I remember running the sand hills, and breathing the fresh mountain air behind Kaiser Aluminum plant while running cross country. I have since determined, that the reason I was able to do this at a 5:12 mile pace, while I struggle to get below 8 minutes now, is that I weighed 155 pounds then.
I remember creating some fabulous mansion in Mr. Stueve's architectual drawing. I still intend to build it and live in it some day.

I remember cutting class and hanging out in the dark room, jamming on my flute with Jimi Hendrix (on a record . . ) Didn't know Mrs. Brookhart's whole class was listening in the next room, and she gave them a creative writing assignment as they listened.
Remember jumping out the second story window when the teacher's back was turned. . several times. Probably Mrs. Brookhart, again.
I used to hide out in the band room, in the tuba closet. On a hunch, Diane opened the door and found me there once.
I am not sure why they let me graduate. As Karma or fate or something would have it, I am now a high school teacher.

Do you still hang out with any classmates?

Not aware of any in New Jersey . .

What teacher made the greatest impression on you and why?

Mrs. Brookhart. Encouraged my writing.

What have you always wanted to do that you haven't done yet?

2021 Update: tried it with gift certificate from sons several years ago. Wave heights, about 1 foot. Not very successful. Think I will stick to endeavors on frozen water in the future, have had good experience with that.

What would we be surprised to know about you?

Forensic Scientist, working with Law Enforcement of many varieties.

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Douglas W. Houser has left an In Memory comment for Gregry R. Knudtson.
Aug 13, 2014 at 5:32 AM