Moffat County Paralegal Sue Bengston, 46, sits with her two dogs, Bartilby and Copper, on Sunday at her home in Craig. Bengston has lived in the Yampa Valley with her husband, Michael, for 20 years and has worked as the county’s paralegal for seven years.

Photo by Brian Smith

Moffat County Paralegal Sue Bengston, 46, sits with her two dogs, Bartilby and Copper, on Sunday at her home in Craig. Bengston has lived in the Yampa Valley with her husband, Michael, for 20 years and has worked as the county’s paralegal for seven years.

My life, my words: Sue Bengston: Going wherever I’m needed

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Moffat County Paralegal Sue Bengston, 46, stands in her home Sunday. Outside of the office, Bengston said she loves to make woodcrafts, calling it her “way of shutting out the world, so to speak.” Bengston and her husband also enjoy a number of outdoor activities, including snowshoeing, hiking sailing, diving and rafting.

Name: Sue Bengston

Age: 46

Occupation: Paralegal for Moffat County

“I was born and raised in Milwaukee. So I’m a cheesehead and a Brewers fan, even though I like the Rockies much better.

“I bleed yellow and green.

“(My husband Michael and I) were high school sweethearts so we have been together for 30 years, but we’ll be married in September for 24 years.

“He’s the only guy in town with (dread locks).

“We’ve lived in the Yampa Valley for 20 years.

“I had come out when I was pregnant with our first one and fell in love with Steamboat (Springs) not realizing how much it was going to cost to live there.

“We have two daughters — Myiah, 19, and Loren, 21.

“I started working as a paralegal about seven years ago.

“I assist (Moffat County Attorney) Jeremy (Snow) in everything and anything he needs. We do (delinquency and neglect cases) work, child support work, civil procedure work. If he asks me to draft something, I draft pleadings.

“Wherever I am needed is where I go.

“Paralegal work with the county is completely different than private practice. Private practice is meeting with the clients and getting information from the clients.

“I have a tendency to always look on the bright side of things.

“I’m kind of a crafter. I think 90 percent of what is in here I have made.

“I do wood and fabric crafts. My first degree is in art and design, so that is one way of keeping up with the art and that type of my life. I have been an artist forever.

“I cut my own wood. Pretty much every tool down in the garage is mine.

“I guess the whole thing is from start to finish. I like the way everything starts to evolve. You look at a page in a book and think, ‘I’d really like to do that.’

“It is my way of shutting out the world, so to speak. I love crafting and the best part is when someone comes to your booth and buys something you have created. There is no better feeling than knowing that someone likes your product enough to display it in their home or give it as a gift to a friend.

“It is quite the opposite from (being a paralegal). But, I will tell you that if I had known anything about law when I was a kid and went to school, I probably would have gone to law school. I really, really like it.

“I like helping people. I like watching how things progress and I particularly like the way everybody interprets (law) differently.

“We are dive masters and river rafters. We’ve been down the Grand Canyon and the Middle Fork of the Salmon, the Yampa and the Gates of Lodore. Last year, we did Hells Canyon in Idaho. I love it.

“We snowshoe, we hike, we sail.

“My husband and I actually sailed Lake Michigan with his father. His father had a 30-foot Pearson Flyer racing boat, and we raced the Queen’s Cup. His dad did that several years in a row — I actually did it twice. It was a great time.

“I love animals. Growing up we always had German Shepherds and Mike and I have had several throughout our marriage. They are very calming to have around — unconditional love.

“There are always bad things that happen, but you have to look at why did it happen. ... You go through everything in your life for a reason whether it is to help your kids, whether it is to help your grandkids, whether it is to help another person. That’s what it is all about.

“It takes too much energy to be negative all the time.”

— Interview and photo by Brian Smith

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