The Gannaway brothers, Tim and Jim, are known in Warrenton, OR for their jewelry. They are able to turn stones, opals, sapphires, and diamonds into masterpieces. Since 1973, the twins have owned Gannaway Brothers Jewelers. But what some do not know about the brothers is that they almost became abortion survivors.

They were born in April 1951 in a Catholic hospital in St. Paul Minnesota. Their mother Jan almost had an abortion, but soon decided against it. “I never went through with the abortion because I wanted babies,” she said. 

Afterwards, Tim and Jim were born prematurely, with Tim weighing two pounds and 14 ounces; Jim weighing three pounds. As a result the twins remained in incubators from April 30 – July 6. Jan finally picked them up when Jim made it to five pounds.

Growing up was hard for the brothers. As a result of their extended stay– the twins garnered poor eyesight, lung problems, and pneumonia. “I had to feed them 24 hours a day,” Jan said.

After high school, Tim still had trouble reading in school, only reading at a “sixth grade level with 20% comprehension,” he said. After 12 years in Catholic school, the brothers went their separate ways, before seeing each other after one year. Jim attended the University of Minnesota and Tim went to Bemidji State College.

In college, Tim majored in Chemistry “because it was easier than having to read” he said. After enrolling in a jewelry making course, he developed a passion for the craft. Jim also took on an interest, deciding to form a jewelry business with his brother. After the Capital Scare, they could not afford the expensive equipment. They had to solder, form, and bend every component of each piece of jewelry by hand.

Shortly after the 1973 oil embargo hit, they owed over $12,000 to suppliers and had no way to pay it back. Jim found a farming job in Wisconsin and Tim moved to Astoria, OR in response to an ad for a jeweler that his parents, Bob and Jan Gannaway, who was living in Portland, saw in The Oregonian. Jim and his family shortly followed. The brothers worked on shrimp boats to pay back the sums. By 1979 the debt was paid off and the jewelry store was making quite a bit of profit.

Today, Jim and Tim not only successfully run their jewelry store, but alongside their mother — continue to be advocates for pro life.

Jan believes in alternatives to abortion, while simultaneously being empathetic toward women contemplating abortion.

(To women thinking about abortion) “I would have to go with what I think and say you’re making a mistake,” Jan said. “You’re not looking at the whole picture. I understand these thoughts, ‘Now what am I going to do? What am I going to say? What am I gonna do with a baby?’ Yeah, all of that to me is solvable. It can be solved as time goes on. So, no it’s not necessary to ever abort.”

“With a woman, that’s your body and your body changes,” Jan said. “You are changing with it. And the horror of that could be beyond your wildest dream. You don’t even conceive that.”

Tim and Jim offered advice for spouses forcing their loved ones to get abortions.

“Who are we to decide what life is going to be for this child?” Tim asked. “I would also ask, ‘Would you be interested in considering another view?’ And if they said they would, I would explain to them the differences in human morality versus absolute morality. But if they said ‘no,’ there’s nothing to talk about. The best thing to do is try and understand the person you are talking to. If someone is open, show them what a child would look like in the physical world.”

“Life doesn’t come from a mother, it comes from God,” Jim said. “And the new life you created in your own image and likeness.”


Chiara Elena will plan to graduate in May 2019 with a B.S. in English: Journalism and minors in writing and biblical studies. She has written for Corban University's "Hilltop News" and the Odyssey Online. When she is not writing articles, she adores writing short stories and poetry. She is also working on a novel right now. When not writing, she enjoys reading, hiking, swimming, walks on the beach, adventuring, making music, giving back to special needs children and those experiencing homelessness, and spending time with family and friends.