As part of a week-long series alongside Valentine’s Day, we’re featuring stories about UF couples, past and present, called “Findlay Faithfuls.” Did you meet the love of your life on campus? We want to hear about it! Share your story via Facebook or Twitter using #IHeartUFindlay #FindlayFaithfuls.
There’s University of Findlay family, and then there’s University of Findlay family.
Among the most flattering descriptions, and the one heard most regularly, is that students choose UF for its “family” feeling.
Then, there is the literal kind of UF family; the one, such as in the case of the Schecks, or, in the example of the Taber family. These are a part of the Oiler legacy, where couples have met while at UF and then went on to have children who also met their significant other at UF. They are both family and family at UF.
Chris Taber’s parents, Dave and Jill (Cobb) Taber, had met at then-Findlay College and graduated in 1966, and Chris grew up in Findlay, so it seemed to be a natural progression to become an Oiler himself.
Taber started at UF and, as college students often do, supplemented his studies taking a job at a local restaurant. It was there that he began to notice a blond-haired girl to whom he took a liking, and who, as it was, had a feeling about him as well. “I introduced myself to him there,” Kathy (Miller) Taber said. “I really liked his personality. He was always singing with the restaurant’s piped in music.”
Kathy had come to UF by way of Charleston, WV before getting accepted into UF’s well-known and well-respected Pre-Vet Program. The pair, they soon found, had more in common than just their chosen University. “We were just friends at first due to the fact we were both dating other people,” Chris explained. “But when we talked, it was like we had been friends forever.”
The couple finally made the leap from friends to more-than-friends when Kathy asked Chris for a first official date to dinner at Oler’s – a Findlay staple known for its quirky interior and Mexican fare – and then to the movies. Dating at UF going forward, they said, consisted of trips up Interstate 75 to Bowling Green, Ohio, going to Findlay establishments, and attending fraternity events at UF. Chris explained that he is equally as proud of his Greek affiliation as he is of his UF one, and for very similar reasons. “The UF legacy is big for me, but so is the fact that I was able to pledge and join Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity, which my father is a founding member of.”
After dating for just nine months, Chris knew it was time to make it official and asked Kathy for her hand in marriage. They were married on October 14th, 2000 at the College First Church of God by some of Chris’s other “family,” fraternity brother and UF alumnus, Pastor Will Miller. Ever the industrious students, the couple timed the wedding perfectly to transpire during UF’s fall break so that they could honeymoon and be back in time for classes.
Kathy graduated on Mother’s Day with a B.A. in Biology and Pre-Vet Studies, and Chris followed a few years later with a B.S. in Operations and Logistics and Human Resources with Kathy in attendance. “It was a huge relief,” Chris confessed. “It took me a long time to get my B.S. I was going part time, working full time, and, at that time, had two small children; so graduation day was very special. My parents threw a party at their home for me attended by friends, family, and fraternity brothers.”
Chris and Kathy said that they will always be proud of their UF past and present, since they have such a rich history, and, since they reside in Findlay with their three daughters, like to get back on campus regularly. “We look forward to and attend most Homecoming events, and I have worked with some other UF alumni during my career,” Chris said. “We would often tell stories of our days as undergraduate Oilers.”
The couple said that their love has remained “simple and true,” even through tough times like layoffs and health issues. “During these times we held onto each other tight, supporting each other, and encouraging each other,” Chris said. He is now the Senior Manager of Materials Control and Logistics at the Marion Whirlpool plant, and Kathy, who after UF, went on to get an additional degree at Owens Community College, became a Certified Surgical Technologist. She spent almost 18 years in the operating room at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Toledo, Blanchard Valley Hospital in Findlay, and Wood County Hospital in Bowling Green before deciding to follow her heart and passion and become a professional baker. “Kathy is definitely the rock of the family and she keeps me on course,” Chris explained. “Her encouragement and support over the years was the key factor to my success. My success, in turn, gave her the opportunity to leave the OR and pursue her passion.” Kathy recently acted on her dream of being a professional baker, which, she said, gives her the flexibility she needs to raise her “three wonderful girls.”
Families, both biological and created by friendships, meaningful lives, and productive careers. Bonds born from and by University of Findlay. These are Findlay Faithfuls, and for all of them, we are Oiler Proud.