Longtime Whitefish residents Scotty and Gayle MacLaren will reign as Whitefish Winter Carnival King Ullr LXI and Queen of the Snow. They were crowned during a coronation ceremony Saturday evening in downtown Whitefish.
Scotty, a New Jersey native, was raised in Spokane, Washington. He earned his Bachelor of Art degree from The Colorado College. He met Gayle Lawrence while at Colorado College and they married shortly after graduation. Scotty enlisted in the Navy in May of 1972 and was commissioned an Ensign after completing Naval Aviation Officer Candidate training. During a 21-year Naval career he flew more than 1,000 flight hours as a Radar Intercept Officer in F-4 Phantom and F-14 Tomcat aircraft. He attended the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. While there he earned an MA from Salve Regina College.
Scotty retired from the Navy as a lieutenant commander and began a short-lived second career with Horizon Airlines. He worked all facets of ground operations at SEATAC and then transferred to Whitefish to supervise Horizon operations at Glacier Park International Airport. In Feb 1996 he started work at Semitool as a trainer/technical writer. He remained a technical writer after Applied Materials purchased Semitool until his second retirement in November 2012.
Scotty helped lay sod for the first two soccer fields at the Smith Field Sports Complex. Scotty became a FIFA/USSF certified soccer referee in 1997 and a MHSA/MOA certified high school soccer official in 1999. He has recertified every year since. He serves as the secretary/treasurer of the MHSA Region 1 soccer referee pool. He officiates high school and recreational soccer during the fall and select youth soccer during the spring.
He has been a Whitefish Theatre Co. volunteer since 1998 when the O’Shaughnessy Center first opened. He taught himself to program and operate the theater lighting and sound systems. He creates and maintains the WTC and O’Shaughnessy Center websites and creates a video promoting each season. He helped the Project Whitefish Kids board develop its first website. Scotty designed the Whitefish Bulldog license plate for the Whitefish School District Education Foundation. Scotty and Gayle raised two children in Whitefish, Duncan and Abigail.
A native of Sterling, Illinois, Gayle left the corn fields for the mountains and lakes of the West. After summers in Wisconsin with the lakes and trees and ski trips and college in Colorado, Montana was the perfect combination. She and Scotty met at Colorado College and embarked on a tour of the world. Twenty-five years ago they settled in Whitefish and found “home.”
Since moving to Whitefish Gayle has been involved with the Whitefish Theatre Co., the last five years as executive director. She is a former Whitefish School Board member, a member of the founding board of Project Whitefish Kids, a current member of the Whitefish Education Foundation Board of Directors and is also the Whitefish representative on the Flathead Electric Round Up For Safety Board. For the past 16 years she has chaired the successful fundraiser, Project Whitefish, a joint fundraiser for WTC and Project Whitefish Kids.
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