Honorary Volunteer: Janice Nicoletto
Janice Nicoletto, or Ellie Mae, as some might know her, has been involved with 4-H and the Moffat County Fair for longer than even she can remember. She comes from a pioneer family here in Moffat County. Her grandparents, Felix and Marie Villard, bought the first part of the family ranch on Black Mountain in 1928. After her grandfather passed away suddenly in 1929, Marie continued to expand the holdings. The ranch has been passed down in the family since that time as an operating sheep operation, which Janice’s brother, Albert still runs today. He is the third generation. Janice’s mother’s families are the Tuckers and Haugheys — familiar names in the county also. Her great grandparents and various other Haughey family members held offices in Moffat County government for many years. One of Janice’s aunts donated the land for the current Craig Cemetery. They had homesteads east of Craig as well as on Black Mountain. Her family still owns one of the homesteads on Black Mountain. Lucia Zora Alispaw, the first female circus elephant trainer, has written a book called Sawdust and Solitude, about homesteading on the Villard place in 1928. It would be a good read!
Janice was born and raised in Craig. She is the daughter of Clair (deceased) and Bonnie Villard. The family still utilizes the original Alispaw cabin. Janice and her husband, Jim, have four sons — Dale Lyons, Kyle Lyons (Kacey), Josh Nicoletto (Kim) and Jimmy Bryan. They have two daughters, Jamie Lyons (Matt Howell) and Melissa Forbes. Janice has six grand children — Trystan Lyons, Trevor Howell, Alana and Isabella Nicoletto, and Trevor and Felicity Forbes. She also has nieces and nephews, and too many cousins to mention, many who are active in 4-H.
Janice currently works at Tri-State Generation and Transmission in the clerical department. She has been with the company for 22 years. She is very involved in numerous organizations in the county. She is treasurer of the Moffat County Farm Bureau, secretary/treasurer of the Preserving the Last Frontier, treasurer of the Augusta Wallihan Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and treasurer of the Moffat County EMS Council. She is a certified CPR/First Aid Instructor with the American Heart Association, a Certified EMT Instructor and a Certified Colorado EMT. How is that for giving back to the community?
During her “idel” time, she loves horseback riding and hunting in Moffat County, as well as cross stitching and reading. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She is a buckle sponsor for the Moffat County Fair, as well as an award sponsor for the Carbon County, Wyoming Fair.
I did forget to mention, oh yes, that nick name. You all know Ellie Mae Clampett. Well, Janice fondly has been given that nick name in honor of her passion and love for critters. If you visit her homestead, you will soon see why!
Janice served on the Moffat County Fair Board for many, many years, and served in all the officer positions. She was a goat superintendent and rabbit club leader until just recently and is currently our rabbit superintendent. We always know her show will run without a hitch, because it is in good hands due to her experience and expertise. Janice is great to work with, just doing her job — efficiently and quietly, with no kudos expected. When telling her she had been selected as an Honorary Volunteer, her response was “Why me?” That’s just the way she is. She does not do it to get recognition or applause. She does it for the kids. Isn’t that what it is all about?
Her involvement in the Moffat County Fair began when she was a child. First she was in 4-H with her brothers and then her children were in 4-H and FFA as well. When her kids were in, she served in various leader and superintendent roles. Now, she continues the legacy of service. She always enjoys it and is looking forward to many more fairs to come.
Janice, it is with much gratitude, appreciation and respect that we recognize you as a 2014 Honorary Volunteer for the Moffat County Fair. You have been a pioneer in helping us build the 4-H program and the county fair. This recognition from the Moffat County Fair Board, is just a small thank you for the huge contribution you have made and continue to make to ensure our success. We thank you and look forward to working with you for many fairs to come!