Cook, Rogers honored at Oldtimers

MEEKER | Leota Cook and Marge Rogers were this year’s recipients of the Spirit of the Pioneers award at the 106th annual Oldtimers’ Reunion Dinner and Dance. The award, in its second year, honors those “hardy and determined individuals and families who exemplify special and long-term servant leadership representative of the early day pioneers who traveled in challenging, trying, adversity to ultimately settle in the White River Valley. Homestead, ranches, businesses and professional services were established by those courageous men, women and children who settled into this wonderful country and contributed to the creation of our community.”
Leota Cook came to Meeker with her husband, Jim, in 1964 when they purchased the Meeker Herald. The Cook family published a quality weekly newspaper for 28 years. “Behind the scene was Leota, steadfast, positive, thorough, kind and caring … which are attributes essential to success in business, life and to the enrichment of our community.”
Marge Rogers is a fourth generation descendant of two pioneer families. Her great-grandfather, John Hay, came to the White River Valley in 1880. Great-grandfather Alfred Rees came to Meeker in 1902. Rogers taught school in Meeker for more than 30 years, and following her retirement, originated the 40 Rural Schools research project.
This year’s “President family,” the Stewarts, will turn over the reins of leadership of the Rio Blanco County Pioneers Association to current vice-presidents Sam and Ginny Love. Voni Stewart said the entire Stewart clan organized the annual dinner and dance.
“We sure couldn’t have done it without each and every one of them. They ‘willingly’ jumped in and contributed whenever and wherever they were needed.”