Terry and Brenda Gillett
Terry & Brenda Gillett, between them, have 5 children, 12 grandchildren, and one great-grandson. Their children, grandchildren, and great-grandson are the focus of their days. Terry joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1977. One month later he and Brenda were married and then later they were sealed in the Idaho Falls Temple.
Terry & Brenda moved to Arizona in 1986 from Pocatello, Idaho. Terry & Brenda had both worked at a semiconductor company in Pocatello for nearly 15 years and moved to Arizona to work in the semiconductor industry for an industry leading company. Terry retired from the corporate employment in 2001 and has worked as a consultant following his corporate retirement. Terry and his partner in the consulting efforts teamed up to write a book (Harvesting The Blackberry) about their experiences surrounding the early versions of the Blackberry Smartphone. Brenda began staying home to be a full time mom following the arrival of their second child.
Terry & Brenda reside in Gilbert, Az where they are close to their children and their families. Terry says: We describe ourselves as “sunbirds,” vs. “snowbirds” because when the sun really comes out in Arizona we migrate north to Montana to enjoy the cooler climes in the Ponderosa forests. We love it when our family comes in the summers to visit in Big Sky country.
Brenda has served multiple times in Primary organization, including in the Stake Primary Presidency as a Counselor. She also served as Secretary and then as Counselor in the Ward Relief Society Presidency. She loves the children of the Primary and enjoys her opportunities to be with them. Terry has served in a YSA Bishopric, Ward Executive Secretary, Young Men’s and Elders Presidencies and as High Priest Group Leader and as Secretary of the High Priests. Terry & Brenda served more than six years in the YSA Ward and have nothing but good memories of those days. The Gillett’s are looking forward to working with the BYU-Idaho students as they seek out Internships and their career launching employment.
Phoenix, AZ (housing only)
Merrilee was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. She is a BYU graduate with a degree in Physical Education. Merrilee married Kelvin Kupfer and has happily supported his active duty and reserve military career while living in South Dakota, New York, Montana, and Arizona. Kelvin retired from the Air Force as a Lt Col. and is currently teaching at Chandler-Gilbert Community College helping new students become computer literate.
They have 5 married children who still call for advice and 9 grandchildren who think she is a cool Grammy.
Merrilee is a recently retired kindergarten teacher. She currently directs the school chorus and substitute teaches at the school from which she just retired (which mostly takes care of the withdrawal symptoms). She taught swim lessons in the AZ summer heat for 15 years in her own backyard pool, servicing 100 children each session.
Merrilee is currently serving as Ward YW president. Her favorite callings have been (possibly listed in the order of enjoyment): stake camp director, primary president, nursery leader, Stake YW president, RS counselor and secretary, early morning seminary teacher, and most everything else as she can be talked into serving anywhere.
Merilee can be found biking early in the morning (only if the temperature is under 85), teaching private swim lessons (not taking any new students, sorry), indexing, laughing with a neighbor and trying to figure out what life holds until the Millennium.
My goal is to help you, the Arizona bound interns and student teachers, find comfortable, affordable housing for the short time you are here. Finding a great place to live should not be your worry as you continue your career path. There are apartment possibilities, but there are also homes with mentoring adults waiting for you with a private room, laundry facilities, hot meals, low rent, and a loving environment. My hope is that we can find a perfect match so you will come and see, come and serve, and come and stay in Arizona after your education is complete. AND the Young Single Adult wards and stakes are huge, fun, and strong down here.