Shower the People
Jan 06, 2021
Rick Grether
Shower the People


          Operations Manager for Shower the People


I was born and raised just east of Stockton, California in 1946 and attended Linden High School, graduating in 1964.  That summer my father offered to pay for my Private Pilot's license, and I continued building flight licenses from then on, including Instructor Ratings, which I used during my college years.  


I started college at San Diego State in 1964, but my education was interrupted by the Vietnam War.  As I assumed I would be drafted, I enlisted for a six year commitment with the National Guard, and thus avoided a tour of duty over seas.  


Graduating from San Diego State in 1970, I partnered with another pilot friend and started Spirit of Palo Alto Aviation, a flight school and air charter service in the San Francisco Bay area.  In 1979 I was hired as a pilot by United Airlines and worked there until retiring (age 60 required) in 2006.  The following year, 2007, I was hired by Boeing as a B777 and B787 flight instructor, retiring from that in 2015.


My wife Claire (married in 1976) and I raised 4 children in San Luis Obispo, and were involved in all the usual child activities; baseball, soccer, 4H, church mission trips, etc.


In September of 2017 I was introduced to Becky Jorgensen of Showers of Hope, who needed a driver with a large truck that could pull her mobile showers trailer.  That lasted until February of 2018 when I met Gwen Watkins who wanted to start Shower The People, a nonprofit, all volunteer organization showering the homeless.  And now I'll live happily ever after as Operations Manager for that organization!