Hometown Hero: Shirley Stehle shows love for Moffat County in published poem | CraigDailyPress.com

Hometown Hero: Shirley Stehle shows love for Moffat County in published poem

Noelle Leavitt Riley

Shirley Stehle, of Craig, is this week's Hometown Hero. She holds a picture of her and her husband, Jack Stehle, on their wedding day in 1944. He passed away in 1988.

Shirley Stehle, 86, of Craig, knows what it means to be a Moffat County resident. She's lived in the county for more than 60 years and recently had a poem published in a book that perfectly captures what life is like in the high plains of Northwest Colorado.

Stehle is the Craig Daily Press' Hometown Hero this week because of her giving spirit, her triumph in fighting breast cancer and her ever so dedicated love for Moffat County.

"The real heroes are Dr. Stan Pense and Dr. Malaika Thompson, radiologists. They are so kind and thorough in their work," Stehl said about the medical professionals who helped her battle breast cancer last year. "I don't feel like I'm a hero. They're the heroes. They saved my life."

She now takes a chemo pill once a day — a routine Stehle must do for five years — in order to keep the cancer in remission.

Her life in Moffat County has been full of joy and hard work. She married her Navy sweetheart, Jack Stehle, in 1945. The couple grew up near each other in Northwest Colorado.

After they married, they spent a short period of time in San Francisco prior to moving back to Moffat County where they ran a ranch together for 43 years just south of Cedar Mountain.

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They raised 200 sheep and had three children: Jim, John and Jacquelline.

"We just loved ranch life," Stehle said. "I loved the sheep and everything about the ranch."

Jim is now an 18-wheeler truck driver in the summer and spends the fall and winter in Moffat County as an outfitter. John recently retired from Colowyo Coal Mine where he was a heavy equipment operator, and Jacquelline is about to retire after many years as a dispatcher for the Colorado State Patrol.

Stehle's children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren bring her joy and comfort.

Her husband passed away in 1988, and she ran the ranch for several years after his death with the help of ranch hands and her sons.

About a year ago, she moved into Sunset Meadows where she loves to write poetry and spend time with her friends.

She also stays busy as a member of the Friendship Methodist Church, is a photographer and a card writer for the Last Frontier history group in Craig.

Her pride sits with a poem that was published on page 114 in a 2013 book called "In My Lifetime" by Eber &Wein publishing company. Her poem gracefully describes Moffat County.

Noelle Leavitt Riley can be reached at 970-875-1790 or nriley@CraigDailyPress.com.

Why I love Living in Moffat County

We came to Moffat county in 1936

The schools were great

The teachers greater!

This all holds true

In this land of the blue-skies.

Farming was good;

So my dad said;

“Early to bed, early to rise

And we’ll all come up with the prize.”

Sheep and cattle were in the country

And sure enough, they made a bounty.

Coal was next to come into place

But oil is now giving it a race.

Craig’s Power Plant is a great feat,

And it is firing with a lot of heat.

A new hospital and college campus are our pride

As well as motels, far and wide.

Craig is small but oh, so mighty and very tidy!

No tornadoes, volcanoes (as yet) —

Just rain and blizzards to keep us wet.

Spring is always welcome after the long winter snow.

Elkhead Dam is a good place to fish, and if you wish,

Water skiing can be your dish.

For hunting: deer, elk and antelope are found, and all abound.

Skiing, skating — all winter sports are in the works!

Shirley M. Stehle

Craig, CO