Nicksons appreciate family-friendly town

RANGELY I “We wanted to get away from the big city and find a safer place to raise our children,” Kay Nickson said, explaining how she and her husband Richard came to Rangely. The two have been in town since 1960 and certainly have never shied away from work.
Richard, who just turned 80 on Sept. 16, married his wife on Dec. 8, 1959, and the two were living in California when they decided they did not want to remain there to start their family. Just as so many people have complimented the small town for its benefit to children, they knew about Rangely because of Richard’s sister, who was living in town at the time.
Richard found work in the oil field, as did so many others. When he first moved to town he got on with RETA pump service as an oil field representative, he also worked for Chevron oil. He was still working hard in 1997 when he suffered a heart attack and retired.
Kay began working for Anchor Café where she was hired on as a dishwasher. Her accountability proved very beneficial for the café and she was rewarded with a promotion to waitress, then cook, and then moved into management. She worked for the café for 11 years before becoming a butcher at Nichols Market for a couple years. She then acquired a job with the town of Rangely as their animal control officer and animal shelter manager in 1980. She decided to take advantage of the police academy program at CNCC in 1990. She wasgraduated from the program and became a police officer for the town as well as maintaining her previous two titles. She enjoyed the job and did it effectively for nine years before retiring in 1999.
She and her husband were both retired at that time and became “snowbirds,” going to Arizona in the winter months and returning to Rangely during the summer until 2004, when they made a decision to stay in town year round due to their granddaughter’s illness. Kay regained her position as animal shelter manager for the town of Rangely and served another five years in the position. In 2009, the two worked together as campground hosts at the Rangely Camper Park. They continue to do this job until cold weather sets in and they once again head south for the winters.
Richard and Kay have five children: Wayne and his wife Analee who have three children, Lacey, Colt, and Cord; daughter Dena Hutton who has two daughters, Kaylean and Ashely, of Fort Smith, Texas, until recently when Dena and Kaylean moved to Arkansas; daughter Janalee Storey and her husband Rodney have four children, Erik, Kayna, Samantha and Christopher, who lives in Wyoming; and their daughter Gelean who has two daughters, Cassandra and Lily Chumacero who is married to Juan, they have two sons, JC and Whitney. JC lives in Grand Junction. The rest of the children and grand hildren call Rangely home which makes it nice to have family close.
Richard and Kay love the outdoors, they enjoy camping and fishing and clearly Kay loves animals as she has been so involved with the animal shelter for 30 years. The combination of work and play made Rangely a perfect fit for them as they said, “Rangely has always had a special place in our hearts.” The two are devoted to family and Rangely has provided an environment conducive to child raising. Kay said, “It’s given us security to raise our family.” They have seen their children grow up here and are now watching their children raise children in the same environment which they said, “says a lot for our town.” It is a place that changes as necessary but the values and safety continue to provide the best circumstances for children. It is obvious by their continuing to stay involved, and work with people that they enjoy the social aspect of the small town, and their work ethic remains, along with their desire to remain near their family.