Community mourns the loss of Jim Dodd, renowned volunteer and board member
The Craig community is mourning the shocking passing of renowned volunteer and board member Jim Dodd, who died Sunday at 66.
Dodd — recently named Volunteer of the Year by Moffat County United Way, City of Craig, and Moffat County — leaves a lasting legacy in Moffat County thanks to his tireless commitment to the Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Colorado, Bear River Young Life, and The Journey at First Baptist Church.
During his time in Moffat County, Dodd was a founding board member of the Boys and Girls Club in the early 2000s, helping transform the old Armory and youth detention center into the club’s home in the summer of 2004 with the help of his wife, Ann.
“The club is only here in Moffat County and exists because of Jim,” said Dana Duran, the club’s executive director. “Jim brought so much to the Boys and Girls Club. He was an engineer by trade, so he was quick to help fix something with the club. He was just here on Saturday helping with the sink, flag, etc. He was a handyman, a friend, a critical thinker, and a role model for our staff.”
“He got real involved with that and was always there from the get-go with the Boys and Girls Club,” said Dave DeRose a former board member with Dodd. “He’d be out there at the club doing all sorts of things, fixing door locks and fire alarm systems. He always took it upon himself as a hands-on, handy sort of guy.”
While traveling around the world for various business trips with his mine consulting firm, Dodd would proudly wear his Boys and Girls Club tie, Duran said.
“Jim just loved the Boys and Girls Club,” Duran said. “He would wear that tie all over and was so proud of it. He was an ambassador for not only the Boys and Girls Club but for Craig.”
With his engineering background, Dodd was quick to help not only at the Boys and Girls Club, but all over town. When The Journey at First Baptist Church constructed an addition to the church, Dodd volunteered to help the church out, consulting in a way.
“Jim was our owner’s representative for the addition to a church that we did,” Pastor Len Browning said. “He was the liaison for the construction company. His capability and attention to detail was incredible. He was like that with anything he got involved in.”
“Because he was an engineer, I saw him a lot of times take his engineering degree and help people with it. That’s just who he was,” DeRose said. “Whether it be the building of The Journey, or at the Boys and Girls Club, he just had a great ability to take prints and make things work with space we had.”
While Dodd was quite involved in the community with a number of organizations, he liked to remain in the shadows working quietly and away from the limelight.
“Jim didn’t expect any accolades or ask for any accolades,” DeRose said.
“Jim was such an unsung hero,” Duran added. “He was happy to be behind the scenes, making sure everything hummed and worked smoothly from organization and mechanical pieces. He didn’t want the limelight.
“He never wanted any credit but he put in hours and hours volunteering,” said David Pressgrove, Area Director for Bear River Young Life.
Pressgrove worked closely with Dodd for 16 years, most of which saw Dodd serve as the financial director for Young Life.
“I first met Jim in 2004,” Pressgrove said. “He got involved with Young Life when I first came into the position. I remember we had a meeting at Village Inn with a handful of people back then and he said he wanted to be the behind the scenes guy and help us with financial stuff.
“From then on, he went above and beyond anything we could have asked for. One aspect of what he did in Young Life was he scanned every check, put a donor number on every check, and kept track of everything. He never did the bare minimum. He always put a lot of quality and a lot of excellence into what he did.”
Along with serving as the financial director for Young Life, Dodd was heavily involved in the organization’s car show every summer. Dodd kept a detailed database of every old car and car club in the surrounding five states, allowing the organization to have a massive reach in building each year’s car show.
In hopes of showing some appreciation to Jim and his wife, Larry Kunkle came up with the Volunteer of the Decade award, which was presented to the Dodds following the 2020 car show on Yampa Avenue.
“Jim and Ann had done so much over the history of the show,” Pressgrove said. “We made sure to honor them both.”
“I was really tickled to see the car show give Jim a special trophy this year,” DeRose added. “They created that trophy just for Jim and Ann. A lot of times a guy will put his whole heart and soul on the line and nobody recognizes the work he’s put in. Jim was a guy that he didn’t do it for the publicity; he didn’t care about that. But there’s a saying I heard from an older gentleman once and it’s, ‘Every old dog deserves a pat on the head once in a while.’ It was great to see the show acknowledge Jim for all the hard work he and Ann have put in over the years.”
With Dodd gone, a massive hole has opened up in the community, Duran said. While there’s no replacing a man like Jim Dodd, Duran hopes that his selflessness and work ethic rubbed off on others in the community and encourages them to step up and make an impact like Jim did all these years.
“Our community will only operate at its very greatest potential when we’re all working together,” Duran said. As far as the club goes, Duran said they’ll honor Jim the best way they can by, “staying open and encouraging kids to come through our doors and grow.”
“He was a significant volunteer for this community,” said Kristen Vigil, Moffat County United Way Executive Director. “Those types of volunteers – people like Jim – are hard to come by. He was very dedicated and committed to this community, making sure it was thriving and the youth in the community were going to get the best support possible.”
Although Dodd is gone, his impact will continue in Moffat County through the Boys and Girls Club, Bear River Young Life, and The Journey at First Baptist Church, where Dodd’s memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday.
Knowing his impact was large in the community and that his legacy lives on through the various organizations he was involved in brings some peace to his daughter, Katherine Dodd, who said her dad would want to see all the organizations continue to thrive.
“I know my dad he would want the Boys and Girls Club and Young Life to thrive and continue to be an asset to the community,” she said. “Anytime he talked about them, his face would light up. He was so passionate about what he did, and he taught me a lot about dedication and seeing things through.
“Some of us are surprised at the outpouring we’ve seen from the community,” Dodd added. “We’re all very grateful for everybody that’s reached out and offered their condolences and making sure we have everything we need. We have not felt alone during this time and that’s been wonderful.”
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On May 17, Moffat County High School acknowledges some of its best and brightest student-athletes for the Class of 2021 with the Lewis “Dude” Dent Memorial Award ceremony.