Hometown Hero: Elaine DeuPree provides warm welcome with beloved wooden bear statue
For this week’s Hometown Hero, the Craig Press is pleased to honor Elaine DeuPree and Happy the Bear.
In 2002, Elaine and her husband, Loyd, commissioned a wooden bear sculpture for their yard carved from a decades-old blue spruce.
For the past 17 years, the resulting animal has greeted drivers and pedestrians along Craig’s Sixth Street.
Happy stands in a friendly waving position but also has a paw at the ready to be equipped with additional accessories, whether it’s an American flag or a bouquet of flowers.
During holidays, it’s not unusual for passersby to see his owner’s sense of spirit, with a jack-o’-lantern costume for Halloween or a Santa Claus outfit at Christmas.
Lois Stoffle nominated DeuPree and Happy for the honor.
“That bear causes everyone who passes her home to smile and get an uplift to their day as they cruise on by,” Stoffle said. “This work in progress that Elaine has created has been ongoing for many years and is truly appreciated and looked forward to by many folks.”
Merriam-Webster defines a “hero” as a person admired for achievements and noble qualities. Who’s your hometown hero? A local first responder? Your neighbor? A co-worker? A friend? Help the Craig Press honor the unselfish service of our Hometown Heroes each Wednesday by submitting the name of your hero and a short statement explaining why he or she should be honored. Send your story firstname.lastname@example.org.