Starbuck honored at 107th Old Timer’s Reunion

Ethel Starbuck (seated) was this year’s recipient of the “Spirit of the Pioneers” award at the 107th annual Old Timer’s Reunion, which was presented by her daughter, Paula (left). Standing are Jim Cook, Marge Rogers, and Ginny and Johnny Barton.
Courtesy Photo

RBC | The Rio Blanco County Pioneers Association celebrated its 107th Old Timer’s Reunion Dinner and Dance on June 1 at the Freeman Fairfield Community Center. More than 145 pioneer descendants, families and guests shared memories, rejoined classmates in reunions, and enjoyed a history that dates back to 1885 in fourth through eighth generation lineage. 

Rio Blanco County Historical Society President Teresia R. Reed encouraged attendees to avail themselves of the “Capturing Our Culture” video documentation of oral history interviews conducted during the event and which are also available by appointment at the White River Museum. These interviews of family, friends and classmates will serve as the basis to preserve the essential historic legacy of Rio Blanco County pioneers and families for a future edition of “This is What I Remember” Vol. 4 to be compiled and published in the near future.

A special highlight of the program was the presentation of the RBC Pioneers Association “Spirit of the Pioneers” award to renowned and much beloved educator, Ethel Stone Starbuck. Starbuck was recognized with an engraved plaque featuring a photo of her on her favorite horse, “Sugar,” and a biographical sketch of her history in the Meeker community,  read by her daughter Paula [Starbuck] Armstrong. Ethel was honored for her servant leadership and role modeling by her former students whom she positively influenced and mentored for more than four decades. Thousands of Meeker youth learned invaluable skills in typing and communications as well as citizenship and lifelong values which they continue to utilize.

Starbuck was joined by previous distinguished recipients of the “Spirit of the Pioneers Award” who shared congratulations and stories of their experiences in their long association with Starbuck. Previous recipients included Johnnie Barton in 2017, Leota Cook and Marjorie [Russell] Rogers, both in 2018. 

The theme of the 2019 event was “Grandma’s Kitchen,” depicting the early pioneer homesteads of the 19th and 20th century farming and ranching community. Dinner was catered in the homestyle community table tradition by Arturo Rodriguez and the staff of the Meeker Café and Mexican House restaurants.

Live entertainment and dance music were provided by the Main Line Band featuring traditional and memorable songs and tunes. 

Co-presidents for the 2019 event were Sam and Ginny Love, and Bill and Karen Stick. Daryl LeFevre served as Master of Ceremonies and was elected as President for the 2020 event along with the re-election of Treasurer Connie Theos, and Secretary/Registrar Haley Kracht.

Appreciation was expressed by the co-presidents and officers to all who helped make the 2019 Old Timer’s Reunion a successful and memorable occasion. It is hoped that an even larger turnout will be present to celebrate the 108th RBCPA Old Timer’s Reunion in 2020.

Additional information on the RBC Pioneers Association is available on the website at or on Facebook.

Special to the Herald Times