Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Steve Grubis came to Alaska in the 1960s to teach on the Aleutian Islands. He has worked throughout Alaska in education. He then went on to live a subsistence-based lifestyle in a remote cabin in the Brooks Range. Steve met Kay when he hired her in 1983 to work on a project at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. At the time of his interview in 2003, Steve and Kay Grubis continued to live remotely and enjoy their wilderness lifestyle.