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‘I live for it’: 80-year-old Craig woman continues to show horses at Moffat County Fair

For 80-year-old Doris Van Dorn Zimmerman, the challenge or raising horses and then showing them at the Moffat County Fair continues to bring her back to the arena all these years later.

Growing up, Zimmerman quickly found a love for horses, according to her sister, Janet Gerber. That love has lasted throughout her life, leading to her creating a 4-H group called Happy Hunters to raise English and Western horses.

Following a number of years out of the arena during the Moffat County Fair due to health-related issues, Zimmerman made her grand entrance back into the arena last week at the 2020 Moffat County Fair, showing a young filly in the Western open show.

As she made her way back into the arena to show off her young filly – which she plans to sell in two years and donate all the money from the sale to Bear River Young Life in Baggs, WY – her family looked on, getting emotional at the site of Zimmerman back doing what she loves.

“It just made my heart happy; she loves it so much,” Gerber said.
She hasn’t been able to do it for a lot of years, but just seeing her out there, it made me so happy. It was a real thrill for me to get to help her prepare for the show with my daughter this year.”

In years past, Zimmerman had helped Gerber’s daughter prepare her horses for shows, which is something Zimmerman has experience with dating back to when she was 45 years old.

All these years later, it’s the horses that continue to push Zimmerman back into her comfort zone.

“They’re fun animals, they love you back, they’re beautiful animals and they’re a real challenge,” Zimmerman said.

Doris Van Dorn Zimmerman, 80, shows off her young filly, Strawberry Moon, during the Western Horse show at the Moffat County Fair.
Courtesy Photo

“When I get a horse like the little filly I have right now – she’s beautiful – I like people to get to see them,” Zimmerman added. “I like to see how the horse does, and I like to put myself up against other people. I just love the fair; I live for it. Just being in that atmosphere with my niece, nephew, and sisters and friends…that was so special to me.”

Zimmerman says she plans on showing her filly for the next two years before selling it. The proceeds from the sale of the horse will be donated to Bear River Young Life in Baggs, which has a family tie to Zimmerman.

“My son Jim, and his wife, helped start the Young Life program up there in Wyoming,” Zimmerman said. “Those kids don’t have anything to start with up there. There are so many kids that don’t get to go to camps and things like that, so if I can help out in any way, I’d like to help them.”

‘It’s home’: Linnea Reece reflects on 45 years of nursing at Memorial Regional Health

Aside from a two-month hiatus to work in Las Vegas, Linnea Reece has called Moffat County and Memorial Regional Health home for the past 45 years.

Born and raised in Dickinson, N.D., Reece moved to Moffat County some 45 years ago to follow her family after graduation from high school. While family has come and gone from the Yampa Valley, Reece has remained in the northwest corner of Colorado ever since, helping nurse people back to good health.

That break in Vegas reiterated just how much she loved Moffat County.

“I did some travel work where I’d head into Wyoming on the weekends as a traveling nurse, but nothing where I really left,” Reece said. “And then, I worked for 5 years here and thought I should do something else, so I did leave for two months and went to Las Vegas.

“I went down there for a little bit and got home sick,” Reece said, laughing. “So I came back to the same job, same pay as the day supervisor, and I’ve been here ever since. I just love this place; it’s my home.”

If you’ve had to spend some time at the hospital on the hill, chances are you’ve had Reece nursing you back to health. For Reece, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Joshua Carney / Craig Press

Nursing has been a passion of hers dating back to her childhood, which has led to a long, fulfilling career serving the Moffat County community.

“I’ve been a nurse all of my life, even when I was a kid I would take care of the dogs, other kids…I’ve always been a nurse,” Reece said. “I had a doctors pack with a syringe and a stethascope when I was kid; it’s just always been part of my life.”

The joy that comes with seeing people happy and healthy really drew in Reece at a young age, sending her down a path that became her life’s work.

“I just always liked taking care of things,” Reece said. “Animals, people….if anyone was sick at home I’d get them ice packs and water. That passion didn’t come from anyone but me.

“It’s seeing people progress and getting better,” Reece added. “A lot of times, people aren’t smiling because it’s tough here and they lose control…Getting them better and getting them back home though, they’re very appreciative. I just want to go take care of people so that they can get better and go home to their family.”

Through 45 years as a nurse, rules of practice and procedure change with time, which has kept Reece on her toes. In years past, Reece would be tasked with lugging around a paper chart for each patient. Now, technology has made things easier for Reece and her fellow nurses.

Changes with the building and the structure of MRH have occurred over the years as well. Reece has had a front row seat to all of it.

“Oh, some of the changes have been wonderful,” Reece said. “I’ve watched this place grow from the small little hospital we had grow into what it is now. It was a big building to us at the time, but now this is just wonderful.”

Reece added that she and Marie Kettle, two long-time employees of MRH, had the chance to accept patients into the new building once it was complete.

“Thinking about that just brings tears to my eyes,” Reece said.

While MRH has had a tough go of things in recent years, the long-time nurse says she’s beyond proud to call MRH home and serve the community the only way she knows how.

“This place his home for me. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else,” Reece said. “I’ve been treated so well here and made so many friends and memories. …I just love being a nurse and working and living here.”

The Family Ford: Kaleb Bugay keeps the legacy of his family-owned ’59 Ford F100 alive

Kaleb Bugay has several vivid memories of spending time as a toddler in his great grandfather’s shop.

“I remember getting a bag of Funyuns and sharing them with him,” he said. “And he was always working on someone else’s car with his white Ford truck sitting in the corner.”

When Bugay’s great grandfather, Charlie Bugay, passed away in 2005 and the ’59 Ford F100 was passed down. Kaleb said his grandfather, Dennis, started to work to restore the truck to its original look.

“My great grandpa had put a hole in the side of it for his fishing poles and he always had a camper top on it,” he said. “The paint was original and peeling and rusting.”

As a teenager Kaleb would join his grandpa for a couple hours at a time of restoring the truck. Family and friends put in work to restore the engine and other issues and they had the paint professionally redone.

When the truck was restored close to its original glory, Kaleb entered it into it’s first Bear River Young Life Car Show in 2016. He plans to enter it again in this Saturday’s show in downtown Craig.

“I think my great grandpa would be sad if when we inherited it we just let it sit on the side of a barn or in a garage,” he said. “Having it out and restored is one of the last things we can do to honor his memory.”

Charlie lived in Hayden and Kaleb said at least a couple of times each local car show someone from the town will say, “I used to see a truck like that driving around Hayden.” Kaleb will ask them for some other details and typically it turns out they were talking about the same truck.

“I’ve really enjoyed getting to hear stories about my great grandpa and his life with the truck in Hayden,” Kaleb said. “It might not win any awards, but there is more joy to it than just a trophy because it connects me to my family and brings back memories for others.”

The BRYL Car Show starts on Friday night with pre-registration for vehicle owners at Yampa Valley Bank from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Following registration owners can participate in a poker drive throughout town and anybody else can see them cruising on Victory Way. On Saturday registration starts at 8 a.m. on the 500 block of Yampa Ave. and the show runs from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.  

Jim Dodd named Volunteer of the Year by Moffat County United Way, City of Craig, and Moffat County

Every day, generous-hearted individuals are making a difference in our community.  These very special volunteers are in our schools, our hospitals, our public facilities, and our non-profit organizations. They give not only their time and finances, but more importantly, their compassion for the well-being and happiness of others.

We are fortunate to live in such a giving community.  Each year, Moffat County United Way, the City of Craig, and Moffat County honor a special volunteer for their efforts over the previous years.  This year, it is our honor to recognize Jim Dodd as the Volunteer of the Year.

Jim is an incredible volunteer, helping at the Boys & Girls Club, Bear River Young Life, and The Journey at First Baptist Church.  Through his actions, it is clear how much he cares about our community. 

“Each organization Jim touches benefits from his support, and the organizations become stronger, more sustainable and safer because of his efforts.  Jim invests his time, talent and treasure to make Craig a better community,” says Dana Duran, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club.

Jim offers a variety of skills to support local organizations.  For many years, he has helped both the Boys & Girls Club and The Journey in maintaining their facilities, which is a huge undertaking.  He also assists with several study and fellowship groups at the church as well.

Pastor Len Browning explained, “Jim lives out his faith by caring deeply for others – especially youth in our community; he wants the next generation to thrive.”  Jim was an integral part of developing the Craig branch of the Boys & Girls Club years ago.  At Bear River Young Life, Jim develops and tracks mailing and donor lists and also manages the organization’s financial accounts.  Our community is fortunate to have such a multi-talented and dedicated volunteer.

Volunteers like Jim Dodd are special because they recognize that giving is an investment and not an expense.  The time, attention, care, and concern that they invest in other people regularly returns an increasing dividend that multiplies as it helps.

Lives are changed, relationships are nurtured, and hope is sown…all through the simple, unconditional investment of volunteers. Moffat County United Way, the City of Craig, and Moffat County are proud to recognize Jim for his continued selflessness and commitment to volunteerism in our community. 

Dodd accepted his Volunteer of the Year Award Friday, June 5 at the Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Colorado in a surprise gathering. Dodd said to those in attendance that he couldn’t do it without his wife, Ann, who assists him in his volunteer work throughout the year.

“It’s truly a team effort,” Dodd said.

Craig Press Editor Joshua Carney contributed to this report.

Local law enforcement chips in to make 12-year-old Craig girl’s birthday ‘extra special’

Having a birthday fall in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic can be a real bummer, especially for children that have big birthday party plans.

Craig 12-year-old Riley Jenkins experienced that first-hand on Thursday as the stay-at-home and social distancing orders canceled her planned sleepover and bowling outing with friends.

Fortunately for Jenkins, the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, Craig Police Department, and Colorado State Patrol, as well as a number of kind, considerate county residents, made her 12th birthday one to remember.

Around 1 p.m. on Thursday, a parade of roughly 10 law enforcement vehicles rolled past Jenkins’ house with sirens blaring as officers waved out the window to Jenkins, who stood on her porch with a smile on her face, waving back.

“I called the Sheriff’s Office in the morning and explained the situation to them,” Jenkins’ mother, Jessie, said. “She had this big sleepover and bowling trip planned, but we obviously couldn’t do that, so we were trying to come up with a way to make her birthday fun and make her extra special.”

Prior to officers parading past mid-day, the Jenkins family had a big sign attached to the front porch asking passing motorists to honk for Riley’s birthday.

Courtesy Photo / Jessie Jenkins

According to Jessie, hundreds obliged the Jenkins family.

“We’re just so grateful for not only the officers, but the community members that drove by and honked,” Jessie said. “We couldn’t have made Riley’s day so special without them; we’re just so grateful.”

Here’s to hoping Riley’s 13th birthday occurs under much better circumstances and is just as memorable as her 12th.

Former Craig resident, WWII veteran Edward “Sam” Lippard dies in Delta County at 102

A Texan by birth, a Coloradoan through adventure, and a decorated World War II veteran through sheer courage and determination, former Craig resident and business owner Edward “Sam” Lippard, 102, passed away peacefully on April 3 at his home in Delta.

Courtesy Photo

A family man through and through, Lippard spent his final days with family by his side. Lippard will be buried in a private graveside service on Monday, April 13 in Craig in a plot next to his first wife, Dora Maxine Doak, who preceded him in death.

Born in Pearsall, TX on May 5, 1917, Lippard – the fifth of eight children – grew up in the Texas Panhandle but heard the mountains of Colorado – namely Moffat County – calling late in his teenage years, moving to Moffat County in the mid-1930s. A few years later, Lippard married Dora on June 1, 1940 in Vernal, Utah.

Once settled in Moffat County though, World War II came calling for Lippard, who joined the United States Army and landed on the beaches of Normandy on June 7, 1944, one day after the historic invasion into Europe by the Allied forces.

From there, Private First Class Lippard fought street to street through the likes of France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and on into Germany, playing a part in helping the Allied forces defeat the Nazis in the European theater, all the while carrying on the Lippard name in the service as one of four brothers serving in WWII. Two of Lippard’s brothers were U.S. Marines.

Thanks to his service, Lippard was awarded three medals before being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1946, returning home to Craig, where he made a career for himself as a plumber.

Following his return to the area in 1946, Lippard found work with ML Shepherd and Sons Inc. There, Lippard earned his journeyman plumber’s license in five years (which was how long a journeyman’s license takes in the plumbing business), and then earned his master’s license with ML Shepherd and Sons Inc.

“He was a good worker and a very nice man,” Al Shepherd, who was a young kid at the time Lippard first started, said. “He was just a very likeable person and went about his business quietly; he did his job the way he was supposed to.”

After obtaining his master plumber’s license, Lippard branched off on his own and opened Lippard Plumbing in Craig, located where the current unemployment office in Craig is at 480 Barclay Street. Around the same time, Lippard and his wife briefly had a plumbing business in Meeker, and also owned the Ripple Creek Lodge on the White River from 1959 until selling in 1971.

Barclay Street brings back a funny memory of Lippard for Al Shepherd.

“I remember he had this little Ford van in the early 60s,” Shepherd chuckled. “He was parked at the top of Barclay Street and the wind was blowing hard up there; so hard, it rocked his van back and forth and kicked it out of gear. That van went rolling down the hill so fast, hit a tree and demolished the van. I’ll always remember that, especially when I’m on that street.”

Later in life, Lippard packed up and moved he and his wife to Cedaredge in 1976, closing Lippard Plumbing in Craig.

That move allowed Lippard to be closer to family, which played an important role in his life following the war.

“I remember one day having a conversation with my great grandfather, and he said that when he was in the war, he missed a lot of time with his family,” Great Granddaughter Cassie Meyer – a Craig resident, said. “He made it a point to spend as much time as possible with his family after returning home.”

Shortly before shipping off to Europe in 1943, Lippard’s wife, Dora, gave birth to their daughter, Carla, in July 1941, and son, Garry, in 1942.

Cedaredge became home for a long time for the Lippard family, where many holidays, birthdays, and family get-togethers were celebrated.

“Growing up, he was very, very involved with his grand kids and great grand kids,” Meyer said. “We’d spend a lot of time in Cedaredge with my family; spent a lot of holidays and stuff down there. He used to let me sit with him on the lawn mower, and we’d ride around. They would also come up to Craig for a lot of holidays as well. He was just really, really involved in family things.”

Following the death of Maxine in 1993, Lippard packed up and moved to Delta County, later marrying his second wife, Lula, in 1995. Lula preceded Sam in death in June 2019.

While in Delta, Lippard was very involved in the local V.F.W., and was a member of the First Baptist Church in Delta.

Living a quiet life with family around, Lippard’s family held a big 90th birthday celebration for him at his church.

“It was pretty amazing, actually,” Meyer said of the 90th birthday celebration in 2007. “We arranged it down in Delta. I wouldn’t say it was a complete surprise to him because I’m pretty sure he knew we were having a party for him, but he was surprised at home many people showed up to celebrate his birthday.”

Meyer said that the reception hall in the church was filled to capacity, and that it was touching to see the amount of people who made it a point to come out and visit him and celebrate his birthday.

Lippard’s 100th birthday was much quieter, according to Meyer, as he celebrated it at the nursing home where his wife, Lula, stayed.

Just a month shy of his 103rd birthday, Lippard passed away peacefully and will return to his first wife’s side in the Craig Cemetery Monday afternoon.

Lippard will take a piece of history with him to his grave. Buried with him will be an American flag that was presented to him for his 92nd birthday from his cousin. According to family members, that flag was flown at the White House specifically for Lippard.

Local veterans are currently planning a funeral procession through town for the decorated WWII veteran. Lippard’s obituary can be found on www.taylorfuneralservice.com.

20 under 40: Cammy Winder provides guidance, strength for young gymnasts

When Cammy Winder first got into the business of coaching kids’ gymnastics, she never envisioned she’d stick around as long as she has. Due to her persistence, along with the success of the program, Winder’s Rising Star Youth Training Center has become an athletic staple in Craig.

“Cammy has grown her gymnastics gym Rising Star from just a couple of kids to now proving a safe and fun place for families. From gymnastics and ninja classes to birthday parties Cammy tries to have something for everyone,” said Jodie Fallis, who nominated Winder for “20 Under 40.” “In addition to her business, Cammy works for the movie theater here in town. She is happy to volunteer for any of her kids’ classrooms or other activities. She always has a smile on her face and finds solutions when faced with challenges. Cammy is a great example of a successful and positive leader for our kids in this community.”

Invested in children and hoping to make a difference with the youths in the area is what continues to drive Winder, while also focusing on family made Winder an easy choice for the Craig Press section.

In your chosen career field, how has the job evolved since you first began?

Honestly I didn’t expect to have the gym open this long. I was just looking for something fun for kids to do here and couldn’t see Craig losing another place for little kids. I started thinking I was just going to have a fun gymnastics place and it has now become not only a fun place to be but I have 4 traveling competitive teams. We have started making a name for ourselves at competitions because our girls represent our community everywhere we travel with kindness and enthusiasm. Our girls are very supportive of not only their teammates but also the other girls they compete against.  

How do you feel your line of work is different from someone in a similar job a generation before you?

In my line of work it is vastly different than it was 10 years ago based on the ever-changing curriculum and standards for gymnastics. In addition to our gymnastics training we have added a Ninja Program for boys and girls. 

What kind of challenges do you feel like you and your coworkers will face in the next decade?

Our biggest challenge will be maintaining an affordable program while continuing to keep our high standards of education.

What is the most rewarding part of your job on a day to day basis?

Oh, 100% the kids are my reward! I love talking to them and listening to them. I love helping my team girls reach their goals at a meet or conquer their fears. Last year I was able to take myself and 8 of my employees to a national gymnastics training in Kansas City Missouri and there we were able to meet multiple Olympic gymnasts including Lauri Hernandez and Simone Biles. One of my most rewarding memories was taking our qualifying girls to regionals in Galveston Texas and our team was recognized by a group of parents on the shuttle bus from the airport. It was noted that our team we so much like a family and they could see the love the girls and coaches had for each other.

If you hadn’t gone down your particular career path, what else would you have liked to do with your life?

I would have loved to go to school for cosmetology. I love doing hair and makeup! Luckily in gymnastics we have to have competition hair and I get to help the girl get their hair braided and beautiful before every competition! 

What types of jobs would you avoid at all costs?

I am a people person so I would avoid any job that I would have to do alone. 

How do you feel your work-life balance differs from those of your parents/grandparents?

My work-life is centered around my children and family. My children are with me at work almost everyday! I do not work a regular 8-5 job. Sometimes I work a 14-hour day. But my husband and I juggle it very well and we are all along for the ride!  

How do you feel everyday life is better or worse in 2020 with certain technology shifts?

I have a love-hate relationship with technology! I love it because it helps me to do my job and communicate easier. I love that I can become a member of a coaches only gymnastics group and ask specific questions about a skill and get real answers back within minutes! I hate it for the social media part of it. People can be so rude behind a keyboard and they will type such hurtful things so easily without even thinking about the effect it would have on someone if they had to say it to their face. I have a lot of teens in my program and I never know the battles they could be fighting any given day with someone that just cannot be nice! It is heartbreaking. 

What kind of strengths or weaknesses do you believe your generation brings to your career field?

The strength is definitely that we are able to better educate ourselves quickly. If we have a problem or a question we can quickly resolve or answer it with the help of social media special interest groups. We have used technology to market our businesses and put ourselves out there to be easily found by consumers.  

How do you feel your generation fits into Moffat County’s future?

I believe my generation is a generation of goal seekers. I have seen so many of my colleagues set out to make this community a better place to live and be successful at it! I think our community is in good hands and we will continue to build this community and make it a place to root our families.

Birth: Irelyn Rose Meek-Lueck

Jeremy Lueck and Brandi Meek of Craig are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Irelyn Rose Meek-Lueck on February 13,  2020.  Little Irelyn was 3 pounds, 1 ounce at birth and 17 inches long.  She was born at University of Colorado Hospital at Anchutz where she will remain until she can come home.  Irelyn will be welcomed home by her two brothers, Tucker and Carter.  Irelyn is also welcomed by a brother Ryan of Fort Collins, grandparents Kevin and Neva Meek of Craig, Debra Lueck of Montrose, Paul Lueck of Seibert, Aunts and Uncles Sara and Seth Musgrave of Craig, Rebecca and Kenny Lewis of Craig, Kaci and Casey Meek-Martin of Castle Rock, Tracy and Chris Spencer of Craig as well as numerous cousins. 

Together: Trust, respect carry Camps to success as business partners amid 30 years of marriage

Northwest Colorado has always been home to Dale and Andrea Camp. It’s where they grew up and went to school, where they first met and started dating in 1985, and where they’ve kept their roots and raised a family.

Together, the Camps have accomplished quite a lot in Moffat County. Where they’re leaving the biggest impact though is within the economy, investing in local businesses while also trying to make a difference at the local government as well.

Things sure have changed locally for the Camps over years. Agriculture has dwindled, as has the mom and pop shops that were once a staple of the community. In are the days of Amazon delivering in two days, and families going to the grocery store to stock up on food, rather than growing and raising food yourself.

Through a pride in local business and a burning desire to see Craig and Moffat County as a whole thrive through impending tough economic times, the Camps are pushing all their chips in locally.

The couple recently invested in the West Theatre with Victor and Amy Updike, rebooting a long-standing community staple, while Andrea also serves on city council and works full-time as a real estate agent at Country Living, LLC.

“Craig is very blessed to have her in that role, because she cares so much,” Dale said. “Not only does she care about me and our family, she cares about the community, and everyone moving into the community

The couple met back in 1985 in high school and went into an on-and-off relationship until 1987, relying on long-distance phone calls to stay connected from Craig to Hayden. Later, they were married in 1990 and are closing in on 30 years as a married couple, a milestone they’ll hit in July.

The key, to both a successful marriage and a successful business partnership, is honesty, trust and respect.

“Respect is one of the biggest ones,” Andrea said. “We enjoy doing the same things and enjoy spending time together…it’s important to find those. Plus, we enjoy working together, whether that’s on the movie theater or on other projects we’ve worked on in the past at our house or in the community. We enjoy spending time together; that’s never really changed.”

Fortunately for the Camps, the venture into the movie theater business wasn’t their first foray into business as a couple. The pair owned and operated carpet-cleaning company Great Divide Cleaning Service for 18 years. That experience, and the potential to give back to the community and create a positive environment led to the movie theater investment.

“We didn’t want to see another empty building, especially along the main street here in town,” Andrea said. “We’re fortunate we were able to find a partner in Amy and Victor, and we’re grateful we’re able to give back to the community in some way.”

The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive for the couple, but they say they’re just getting started.

“Everybody is just thankful,” Dale said. “They’re thankful we’re keeping it in town. But this is just the beginning too; we’ve got a long ways to go yet. Showing a lot of pride locally was important; it makes you feel really good.”

On the surface, it appears that the Camps are so busy that they might not have time for each other. Through the years though they’ve found that work-life balance families strive for. At this point in their career, Valentine’s Day could seem like just another day in the year, but the Camps are going to take the time to spend it together.

Of course, they’ll do it locally.

“We’re going to head over to the fundraiser dinner at the golf course,” Andrea said. “We’re going to head over and support that and take pride in a local business.”

The Camps added that they’ll celebrate 30 years together with a trip either this summer or fall, and will likely wide up somewhere in the Carolinas.

Birth: Aleksander Coulter Daniel Borisov

Brianne Coulter and Pavel Borisov of Meeker are pleased to announce the birth of their son Aleksander Coulter Daniel Borisov, born on 12-5-2019 at 2:53 p.m. at Memorial Regional Health. The baby weighed 8 pounds, 5 ounces and was 19.75  inches long. The baby’s maternal grandparents are Lanny and Danette Coulter of Meeker. The paternal grandparents are Rozalia and the late Pavel Borisov from Aurora. The baby was welcomed home by big brother Maksim.