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Rangely has witnessed the ups and downs of the energy industry over the years. Since 1947, through these highs and lows, the Humes have done their part to maintain small-town business and offer services in and around their community.
Bea Hume, 88, continues to lead by example. She works two to three days a week at the Nichols Store, which is now owned by her son.
Bea’s late husband, Raymond Roy “Junior” Hume, was born in Wichita Falls, Texas. As a young man he worked as a prison guard in Lordsburg, N.M. While in Lordsburg he met Beatrice Madero, but then left to join the U.S. Army during World War II. He served in Australia and Japan. Two days after Ray’s return from the war, he married Beatrice Madero on Nov. 15, 1945.
The young couple moved to Rangely in 1947. Ray worked on the rigs until he, his brother and their father joined forces to start Ray Hume Trucking. Ray and Bea also owned and operated the Headquarters Bar (now the Main Street Pub) for several years. Bea cooked, tended bar and did whatever was necessary to help her family succeed. Two harder-working people would have been difficult to find. Ray was the manager of the Rangely Elks Club, they owned an ice machine company and were partners in the short-lived John’s Cash Market.
In 1974, Ray, Bill and John purchased Nichols Market and the business offered employment opportunities for many members of the Hume family.
Ray and Bea always seemed to have several kids around them enjoying picnics, fishing, camping and hunting in the great environment near Rangely.
Bea has five children: Fern (Charlie) Arnn, Janice Porter, William (Julie) Hume, John (Becky) Hume, all of Rangely; and Barbara (Jack) Williams of Casper, Wyo. Bea also has 13 grandchildren, three boys and 10 girls; 27 great-grandchildren, 11 boys and 16 girls; and four great great-grandchildren, one boy and three girls.
Bea still likes to work in the yard and her children enjoy her cooking.
She feels very fortunate that all but one of her children live in Rangely. This has given her the opportunity to be around her grandkids and great-grandkids. “Having family reunions and picnics” has helped maintain close family ties. She smiled so sincerely as her kids shared stories about their upbringing. Their respect for her is clear and well-deserved.
Bea said she’s glad for the chance to work in the store because she gets to see people “who have been coming in for years.” She has worked behind the scenes of several successful local businesses. She is a proud parent, grandparent, great-grandparent and great great-grandparent. A picture hanging in her living room epitomizes small-town America and all it’s legacy of community pride and service. It reads “Three Generations – Proud to be Americans.” Pictured below the words are Raymond R. “Junior” Hume, First Sergeant; William R. Hume, Specialist 4; and David R. Williams, Staff Sergeant.
She likes Rangely, not in spite of its size, “but because it is a small town.”