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Hitting the road

Susan Bowler retires from VNA to take trip

Susan Bowler is hitting the road. She’s retiring from the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association to visit a few places of her own.

“We’re going to hop right on the road,” she said. “I’m looking forward to meeting a lot of different people.”

After 11 years as the public health nurse manager, Bowler said she was ready to do some traveling with her husband in their 34-foot motor home.



She planned on waiting to retire until November 2006, but the couple received an offer they couldn’t refuse on their home on 40 acres.

Combined with the marriage of their youngest daughter in the past year, Bowler said she thought the time was right. Her husband has been retired from South Pacific as a locomotive engineer for a few years.



“People wait to retire, and they never get to live their dreams,” Bowler said.

The couple will spend Christmas with their children and then travel to Mexico. They plan to return in the spring for the birth of their grandchild and to pick up items they might need.

“Until we settle down and buy a place somewhere, we have stuff in storage,” she said.

Next summer, the Bowlers will head up to southern Oregon to see the red woods.

“That’s where we’d like to end up,” she said.

Bowler said leaving the VNA is difficult for her because she has enjoyed her position.

“I’m going to miss the people, staff, and I think I’m probably going to miss the business,” she said. “There’s some really great people here. We’re really supportive of each other.”

She was pleased she would be staying through the flu season, but when she realized there were no vaccines to give, she thought she might come back some winter to help with those.

But she won’t miss the ice and snow of winter.

“I don’t think we’ll ever come back during that,” she said.

Bowler’s last day on the job will be Dec. 17. The staff at the VNA is hosting a party for her on Dec. 16 and she’s attending the company holiday party on Dec. 18. Then, she’s taking off Dec. 19.

“It’s hard for me leaving, and it’s hard for the agency,” Bowler said.

But she’s confident she’s leaving her job in good hands.

Beth Watson will take over her responsibilities in Routt County with the health-care program, serving children with special needs. Jacque Malley will fill in for Bowler’s nursing duties in Moffat County. The VNA likely will hire someone to fulfill the administrative responsibilities.

“(The hardest part) is learning how we do things, the way we do things,” Bowler said.

The VNA is one of two unique agencies in Colorado: It’s a private, not-for-profit health organization. Founded in 1964, the agency receives federal state and local grants and donations.

Bowler is sad to leave her job, but she is even more melancholy to leave the people of Craig.

“I’m going to miss walking into the store and seeing my friends and my clients I’m on a first-name basis with,” she said. “You just don’t do that in a larger county.”


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