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MEEKER I This past Sunday long time Meeker resident Lola Bradshaw celebrated her 80th birthday. Her room in the Walbridge Wing is decorated with pictures of the family she is so proud of. Her knowledge about each kid, grandkid and great-grandkid is impeccable.
Lola was born and raised in Gateway, Colo. Her parents were Weston and Nellie Massey and as she said, “My father was a staunch rancher.” She has two older sisters and two brothers who continue the ranching lifestyle.
After marrying her husband Charles in 1949, they moved from Gateway to help with the ranch her father bought from the Bells, of the Bar Bell ranch on the White River. Alfonso had purchased the Square S ranch and Lola’s sister cooked for the ranch in the early years. Charles and Lola actually bought the Ryne place just down from the old Rock School on Piceance Creek in 1951 and Charles worked on the ranch and then went to work for the oil company on Piceance Creek. He worked for the company for 10 years and also built fence, cut cedar posts and helped put in the first power line down on Piceance Creek.
Lola worked with him on some of his fencing jobs but was very busy raising a family. She and Charles had five children: Sharon (Glen Bershard) Bradshaw, Sheila (Frank) Stewart, Blaine (Sue) Bradshaw, Allen Bradshaw and Harlan (Charlie) Bradshaw. Charles and Lola moved to town in 1971 to make it easier for the children to go to school. Charles continued working for the oil company when they first moved to town and Lola worked several jobs along the way to help the family. She worked for the school lunch program, was a janitor for the school, cooked for Tommy’s Restaurant and cleaned for Northern Coal. She kept busy as did Charles as he continued to build a great deal of fence in the area.
It is said that Charles was an extremely hard worker and his efficiency was remarkable. His every step was deliberate and he never wasted any motion.
One legacy passed down to their children was their strong work ethic. Four of their children went on to college or trade school and the fifth went on to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Their daughter Sharon is a microbiologist with a master’s degree in business. Allen is an architect. Harlan works for a mine in Wyoming as well as running a ranch with his wife and their two boys, Weston and Justin. Sheila is the CPA and their children Jacob and Katie are both successful in the work force after their college educations. Katie recently obtained her master’s degree with her incredibly thorough study of how money is spent in our community. She worked with the Meeker Chamber of Commerce to create options for keeping our money local. Each of Lola’s six grandchildren are successful and she is equally proud of all of them along with her four great-grandchildren.
While her children were growing up Lola recalls attending endless wrestling matches, football games and anything else her children were involved in. She volunteered to take senior citizens to church on several occasions and is a long-time member of the VFW Lola and her husband lived in their house on Main Street for the majority of their time in town and she loved having family around to visit and share memories. When asked what has changed in Meeker, she said, “I guess the people,” and then added, “Everything changes constantly.” She is very in-tune to the political world and understands well the importance of small businesses in America. With a family so devoted to hard work there is no doubt she values the importance of employment and people working for a living.
Dedication to family is another trait handed down as last year her children all gathered to surprise her for her 80th birthday. They are people that appreciate the strength of family, and longevity of marriage as portrayed by their parents. It is heartwarming to hear her talk of her children, and know where and how each of them are doing. She is so proud of their accomplishments and rightfully so. It is uncommon to not only have five children, but have five children with successful careers who contribute to society and continue instilling the value of hard work in the next generation of Bradshaws.