Michigan is where Gerald Fort was born, raised and got married. In 1972, he and wife Connie moved to Rockwood, then considered a middle class area that was a decent place to raise a family. Sons Bob, Mike and daughter Carrie were excited when their parents decided to build a log home in the country. Finding some very private acreage in Corbett, the family and friends set about building a beautiful and spacious log home in 1989. Next year in 2013, Jerry and Connie will celebrate 50 years of marriage. Daughter Carrie and her daughter currently live with them, and son Mike and his family live just "up the hill." Son Bob is currently living in South Carolina. Over the years, the Fort family have taken in various foster children as well as exchange students from both Germany and Switzerland. Having a large garden has always been an important part of family life for the Fort's. Over the years they have raised various fruits and vegetables, but the most successful crops have been blueberries and squash. The "Wood Rats" have always been their biggest challenge, as the deer come out of their woods and like to eat just about anything the family has growing! Jerry retired in 1995 from Boeing after spending 23 years as a machinist. Retirement has been a rewarding lifestyle change- Jerry volunteers at the Corbett Grange with the Helping Hands food program, helps with Connie at a homeless shelter in Gresham, and likes to elk hunt once a year with his son Mike and friend Toby. Faith has always been an important part of the Fort family, and they have attended East Hill Church for 30 years. One of the most important things Jerry has appreciated about living in Corbett has been the friendly neighbors he has known for years. He jokes that anyone mean gets shot!
When Joy Friedel was working in IT at ADP in Portland, she was in charge of "swapping out" the older computers for the newer ones for the over 300 employees. When it came time to swap out software engineer Mark Friedel's computer, her heart melted when she saw his smile. Several lunch dates later, they were planning a future together. All this despite the fact she installed Mark's computer incorrectly because she was so smitten! Both having lived in the country as children, their dream was to raise a family in the same environment. Getting married and moving into Mark's Gresham home, they looked for their "final home" in Corbett. Today they are raising two year old daughter Evelyn and looking forward to the arrival of their second child in March 2013. The home and property Joy and Mark settled on in Corbett is heavily wooded and yet Joy says is mostly usable acreage, with a path through it all and a spectacular tree house for their children to enjoy. A large and spacious kitchen is also a bonus for Joy, who loves to cook and eat healthy. Having entered numerous road races, including several marathons and half marathons, she actually joined her college's cross country team at the age of 28! Having a degree in business, she actually considered becoming a nutritionist at one point. Now a stay at home mom, she is eager to connect with other young moms in the Corbett community. She looks forward to the day she is able to volunteer in her kid's classrooms at Corbett Schools, but also is looking to start a new career in a few years as well. With the varied job/career experiences and education she has picked up over the years, the field will be wide open for her to choose from. The most important thing she will consider? Helping others.
Virginia is where he was born, but literally ALL over the world is where he has lived and grown up. Being an Air Force brat, Brian Croak says that after only two months in Corbett, it is honestly the BEST place he has ever lived....and he has much to choose from! Moving to Corbett with wife Kirsten and their two middle school aged daughters, the entire family has begun to settle into their small farm and a country lifestyle. Moving from the Mt. Tabor area, Brian is ecstatic with the huge potential that their property holds. There are numerous "projects" that are already on his list! Brian and Kirsten started Croak Creation Landscaping seven years ago after being in the business 21 years prior to that. They do everything imaginable OUTSIDE of the home- build fences, decks, outbuildings, do demolition, clean-up, lighting, masonry work, boulder work, plant design and consultation and so much more! Having serviced several clients from their Mt. Tabor neighborhood for years, Brian is looking forward to getting to know the Corbett Community and building business in this area. Having a passion for hard work and great results, Brian says he stands behind all of his work- making sure his clients are satisfied. Both Brian and Kirsten have a strong desire to be a supportive and helpful part of the community. Already they have been attending community events and volunteering for different groups. Brian wanted his daughters to have the best education possible and realized that Corbett offers that and yet....SO much more!