Kate Gray, Director
Kate Gray was born and raised in Texas, where she lived until 1998 when she moved to Washington State. Ms. Gray has worked in non-profits most of her life. After holding the position of Executive Director of Assisted Living Communities, she joined Franke Tobey Jones as the Senior Center Director in 2010,
Ms. Gray graduated from Evergreen State College with a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology and business. Through an internship, Kate was employed by Assured Home Health and Hospice where she was the Bereavement Counselor and Program Development Director. During her tenure in this position, she was awarded the National Hospice Award for Outstanding Program Development. Later she was appointed to the National Hospice Standards Committee. Eventually, Ms. Gray took an Executive Director position at Evergreen Court in Bellevue, WA. She was hired by Emeritus and eventually managed both Evergreen Lodge and Kirkland Lodge, both are assisted living communities.
Ms. Gray loves Franke Tobey Jones and its mission, and enjoys working with the seniors at Pt. Defiance~Ruston Senior Center. When asked why she does what she does, she stated “It’s in honor of my parents. I took care of them in their latter years and I just love working with seniors. I learn so much from them!” While working at the Senior Center, Ms. Gray went on to pursue a Master’s Degree in Public Health Preparedness and Biosecurity for Agriculture. She states that “while those subjects may seem unrelated to my current position, I have often utilized my Public Health Preparedness training at the Senior Center.”
Kate was married for almost 18 years. Her pride and joy is her daughter, Kristen, who lives in Seattle. Kate’s second joy is her recently acquired baby, Hershey, a Miniature Australian Labradoodle. Hershey has quickly become the well known ambassador of the Senior Center, greeting everyone with a friendly wagging tail. When Hershey is not in the building, everyone wants to know her whereabouts. When Ms. Gray is not working, she enjoys reading, playing with Hershey and reveling in the beauty of Washington State.
Kate invites you to check out the Point Defiance~Ruston Senior Center and join any of the many activities offered every week. (The calendar is located on the “Newsletter and Calendar” page.
Ron Yaden, Assistant
Ron Yaden, much like Kate, was born in Texas where his dad was stationed in the Navy. At a young age Ron’s family moved to Washington (his mother’s home state). The family soon settled in Rainier where he attended school. After high school Ron went to work for the State and attended Business College in accounting. He also took an interest in computers. In the early 60s he took a job in Tacoma and started his career in computer design/programming.
In 1967 Ron met his future wife Helen (who at first did not hit it off well). They were married in February of 1968 and were married until Helen’s death in 2012. Helen and Ron had three children (Bridget, Mike, and Ryan), four grandchildren, one great granddaughter, and a second great grandchild arriving in December 2023.
After working in the private sector for a few years, Ron started work with the City of Tacoma in 1974. At the City Ron developed many computer systems and was responsible for the implementation of personal computers and other new technology. Ron retired from the city at the end of 1997. After retirement he started computer consulting and did that for several years, working with several government agencies in Washington, Oregon, and California.
Prior to retirement Ron had started volunteering with the AARP TaxAide program and has continued for over 25 years. A few years ago, he started volunteering with the AARP Safe Driver Program and conducts classes several times a year. After his wife died, Ron started doing volunteer work at the Senior Center. This work included training technology classes, developing the database that is used to track participant information, and starting several games.
In 2021 the Assistant position was vacant, and Ron applied for the position.