Carl has spent much of his life living by the motto, “We are all just stewards of the land. At the end of our lives, we can’t take any of this with us. The only thing we can do is take care of the land and make it a good place for the next generation.”
He has lived by this motto ever since. Growing up on and off the ranch gave Carl a passion and love for the land. Upon graduating high school and spending time in college, Carl entered the military. During his time in the Army, he became one of the original ‘U.S. Army Dog Training Europe, 24th Division U.S. M.P.’s, and became instrumental in supplying dogs to Vietnam and various other operations around the world. After his honorable discharge, he returned to the land he loved and in 1972 married Mary Simpson. The two spent the ensuing years ranching and training, raising, and selling dogs in America and Germany. After many successful years and 3 children, the two built a prosperous life on the ranch and created Island Guest Ranch.
Mary was a woman of vivacious nature and extraordinary spirit who lived life to the absolute fullest. She exuded a kindness and warmth that was infectious to all those around her and a love of people that would serve her well in her life’s pursuit. She was a woman who would not be daunted from goals or life changing illnesses and after graduating from university, Mary never looked back. The following years brought careers in Education on multiple levels, from guidance counseling to teaching on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico. She headed to California and became one of the first Snow White’s at Disneyland, which led to a career in PR for Walt Disney. Much Later, after beginning work promoting tourism for the Australian Tourism Commission, Mary met and married the love of her life, Carl. She and Carl trained dogs in and out of Germany and would invite many of their European friends back to Oklahoma for a visit. After many suggestions that their hospitality was beyond par, Mary and Carl decided to take this love of people and the land and turn it into a thriving business, thus Island Guest Ranch was born. Sadly Mary passed away in 2010, but her love of people and the atmosphere she created at the ranch still thrives today.