Niwot Honors Veterans

Niwot Community Association &

Niwot Business Association

Veterans Day Banner Project

October 15 – November 15 2019


The NCA and NBA are proud to honor American Veterans through the Niwot banner project.  From October 15 to November 15, 2019, banners will be displayed in downtown Niwot and will include a photo, branch of service, rank, and years of service.  For details on this project, please visit the Veteran Banners Project details page.

Below is a list of the veterans honored and where their banner is on display in Niwot.  Click on each veteran name, or scroll further down this page, to read short biographies on each hero.

On November 10th at 2pm outside the Left hand Grange there will be a ceremony honoring all our veterans and those that made this project possible.

Download the map to view where each banner is located:Veterans Banner Map

 

Veteran Lamppost
Eugene N Betz Second Ave – 10
Willian Bowman Second Ave – 24
Cody J Buck Second Ave – 11
Helen Bulovsky Franklin St – D
Durrell Conner Second Ave – 3
John M Darwish Second Ave – 9
John ‘Jack’ R Dorvee Sr. Second Ave – 19
William L Evers Franklin St – B
Alejandro ‘Alex’ Garcia Second Ave – 0
Laura Strecker Gastelum Second Ave – 6
Joseph Gonsalves Second Ave – E
Sarah Strecker Hermida Second Ave – 21
Julie Strecker Hoxha Second Ave – 23
Owen Irby Second Ave – 22
Victor Johnson Second Ave – 25
Mary & Bill Kistler Second Ave – 12
Donald Larson Franklin St – C
William ‘Bill’ Mason Second Ave – 17
Leon V Mason Second Ave – 26
Jacqueline Melvin Second Ave – 18
Charles A Monroe Jr. Second Ave – 13
Clarence A Nelsen Second Ave – 27
Joe Pacheco Second Ave – 8
Richard Piland Second Ave – 7
Eugene L Ray
Randall S Rehn Second Ave – 15
Charles A Rodgers Second Ave – 16
Steve Rollman Second Ave – F
Donald Max Sartori Second Ave – 5
Gismonde A Silvestrone Franklin St – A
Kirk Stewart Second Ave – 1
Lindsay Copperberg Underwood Second Ave – 2
James Whitener Second Ave – 14
Franklin C Wright Second Ave – 4
James Albert Zander Second Ave – 20

Biographies


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Eugene N. Betz

 

Sponsor: Karlynn & Ed Spreder

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 10

 

Eugene was born in October 1922 in Blissfield, Michigan. He entered the service at age 21 and became a Medic in the Army. After the war he returned to MI where he met his wife-to-be, Alice at a dance in Toledo Ohio. They raised their 5 children in Sand Creek MI. Gene was a full time farmer and worked to support his family with a full time factory job. In addition, he spent 20+ years in church and prison ministry. He died at age 93.

Gene never talked much about the war except for a couple times when he described being caught in crossfire while he was trying to help a soldier that had been injured. He briefly mentioned a time he entered a concentration camp shortly after it had been liberated. He was part of the silent majority of American military heroes.


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William Bowman

 

Sponsor: Cornelia Sawle

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 24

William Bowman was born on a farm in Burlington, Indiana where he spent his childhood. He was quite athletic and was known for his basketball skills.

In World War II, he flew the “Hump”, the Himalayan Mountains, carrying supplies from India to China. This was extremely dangerous and made more difficult by a lack of reliable charts, an absence of radio navigation aids. When fully loaded, Douglas DC-3s could not climb high enough to clear all the peaks and were forced to weave a perilous path through the mountains, a task that was virtually impossible when the treacherous Himalayan weather closed in. Turbulence could force a plane to drop thousands of feet in mere seconds. He didn’t talk about his war days until near the end of his life when he described some of the Himalayan storms he had flown through. He was amazed his plane had stayed aloft during those flights.

After the war, he moved to Chicago and married Carolyn Doane and had three daughters. He joined his father-in-law’s family business, Cheshire, which designed and built machines that made address labels for magazine subscriptions at a time when Time, Life, and many other magazines were in their heyday.

In 1967, when he retired, William built a house in Dillon, Colorado where he and his family started spending much of their time there.

Eventually, William and his wife moved to Carefree, Arizona where his children and 9 grandkids often visited him. He lived to the age of 93 and was much loved by all.


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Cody J. Buck

 

Sponsor: Dayna Roane

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 11

Cody J. Buck, who attended Niwot Elementary/Sunset/Niwot HS and then enrolled in West Point and served eight years in the military.


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Helen Bulovsky

 

Sponsor: Mary Claire Collins

 

Banner location: Franklin St. – D

Helen Bulovsky was born in Madison, Wisconsin on April 6, 1895. She graduated from Madison General Hospital Nurses Training in October 1917 and was inspired to join the Army Nurse Corps as the United States had entered WWI just six months earlier.
She was assigned to U.S. Army Base Hospital 22 located near Bordeaux, France but spent most of her time in tented field and evacuation hospitals close behind the front line in France and Belgium. Helen served from April 3, 1918 to April 12, 1919 and was in Europe from June 3, 1918 to March 5, 1919. She cared for the wounded, assisted in surgery standing in the ever present, ankle-deep mud, hungered for hot food and searched for drinkable water. Although homesick and lonesome she remained committed to “sacrifice anything to help the boys” so horribly wounded and incredibly brave.
Helen received a WWI Victory Medal and was recognized for her participation in these major battle grounds:
– Aisne-Marne
– Ypres-Lys
– Meuse-Argonne
Helen returned to Madison a hometown hero and died 4 years later of heart failure at the age of 27. She was buried with full military honors. From her obituary in the Madison Capital Times, “Miss Bulovsky was one of those rare souls who radiated cheerfulness and happiness wherever she appeared.”

Banner sponsored by her nieces Brooke Bulovsky Cameron and Janice Collins
and her great niece, Mary Claire Collins


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Durrell Conner

 

Sponsor: Leslie Kaczeus
(grandaughter) & Family

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 3

Durrell was born in 1918 in Tucumcari NM and moved with his family to California at the age of 4. Two years after graduation, he joined the United States Navy. He completed basic training in San Diego and was stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. On Dec. 7, 1941, Durrell was aboard the battleship U.S.S. California when the attack on the United States occurred. Fortunately, he suffered no injuries, but lost many of his shipmates that day. He was later assigned to several stations around the world including Japan, Guam and Washington D.C. After retiring in 1962, he and his wife Mahala (Kay) moved to Whitethorn California where they lived on the Mattole River.


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John M. Darwish

 

Sponsor: Thomas Darwish

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 9

 


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John ‘Jack’ R. Dorvee Sr.

 

Sponsor: Jim & Vicky Dorvee

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 19

Born in 1931 in South Glens Falls, NY, Jack grew up during a time when the atrocities, sacrifice and glory of World War II had a significant impact on his formative years. At age 19, Jack joined the US Marines at the beginning of the Korean War. He served two tours of duty, where most notably he fought courageously at the battle of Chosin Reservoir. As a result of a shrapnel injury, Jack was awarded the purple heart. He returned to South Glens Falls after the war and married the love of his life, Rose. They spent 60 years together before he passed.


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William L. Evers

 

Sponsor: Dayna Roane

 

Banner location: Franklin St. – B

William L Evers lived in Niwot from 2008 until his passing in Dec 2012


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Alejandro ‘Alex’ Garcia

 

Sponsor:James Fudge

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 0

Alex was born on April 21, 1920 in El Paso, Texas. During World War II, 1942 – 1945 he served as a Supply Sergeant with the U.S. Army Air Corp, 451st Bombardment Group, in North Africa, Sicily and mainland Italy.  Alex became a letter carrier with the U.S. Postal Service where he served for 24 years. Alex passed away June 27, 2019, and is survived by four sons and one daughter, six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.


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Laura Strecker Gastelum

 

Sponsor: Don & Patty Strecker
(parents)

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 6

Laura Strecker Gastelum is a Colorado native and graduated from Niwot High School as an Honor Student in 2001. She accepted a Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship at the College of Saint Benedict in Saint Joseph, Minnesota and graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Upon graduating and passing her national nursing licensure examination, she was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps.

Laura was assigned to Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, TX from 2006-2009 as a medical-surgical nurse. While there, she was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and voluntarily deployed with the 86th Combat Support Hospital from Fort Campbell, Kentucky on a 15-month tour to a hospital in Baghdad, Iraq. She was there from October 2007-January 2009 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Following her deployment, Laura briefly returned to Brooke Army Medical Center, was promoted to Captain, and then reassigned to Fort Richardson, Alaska. She served there from 2009-2012 as the Troop Health Clinic head nurse. After her Alaska tour, Laura chose to leave active duty and join the Army Reserves, in which she served from 2012-2016. She was promoted to Major in 2016 prior to leaving the Army Reserves and entering the inactive reserves where she currently serves.

Since leaving active duty, Laura has been working as a hospice nurse in both home-based and inpatient settings. Her most recent job was at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center where she worked as the Assistant Nurse Manager on the hospice and palliative care ward.

Laura entered graduate school at the University of Minnesota in 2015 to pursue her Doctor of Nursing Practice with a specialty in Integrative Health and Healing. She anticipates graduating in May of 2020 and hopes to apply her degree to hospice settings and veterans in the future.

Laura is a graduate of the Medical Officer Basic Course, Medical Captain’s Career Course, Head Nurse Course, and Combat Casualty Care Course.

Her awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (1 OLC), the Army Achievement Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal (1 CS), and the Overseas Service Ribbon (2)

Laura is married to Sergeant First Class Uriel Gastelum who serves on Active Duty in the U.S. Army. They recently had their first child, Claire, and currently reside in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.


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Joseph Gonsalves

Sponsor: Pat Murphy

 

Banner location: Second Ave – E


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Sarah Strecker Hermida

Sponsor: Don & Patty Strecker
(parents)

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 21

Sarah Strecker Hermida is a Colorado Native and graduated from Niwot High School as Salutatorian in 1999. She accepted an appointment to the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point in June 1999.

Sarah graduated from the USMA in May 2003 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. She was commissioned as a 2nd LT in the Adjutant General (AG) Corps of the U.S. Army. Her first duty assignment was in the 1st Personnel Command as the Rear Detachment Commander, Detachment Bravo, 90th Personnel Services Battalion (PSB), in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Sarah was promoted to 1st LT in 2004.

Sarah then served as a Platoon Leader and Executive Officer, 90th Postal Company, 90th PSB. In 2005, Sarah deployed to Kuwait for one year in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) where she was the S-1 and Adjutant, 90th PSB. Her unit provided command and control for the reception, training, and redeployment coordination for hundreds of thousands of service members transiting throughout the Middle East.

Following redeployment to Germany in 2006 Sarah attended the Adjutant General’s Captains Career Course (AGCCC) at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and was promoted to Captain. While attending the AGCCC, she was selected by the staff of the Soldier Support Institute to serve as a staff planner and operations officer in redeveloping the core curriculum for both the AGCCC and the Adjutant General’s Basic Officer Leader Course (AGBOLC-B).

Following graduation of the AGCCC Sarah assumed command of the Ogden Recruiting Company, Salt Lake City Battalion, 6th Recruiting Brigade, in Ogden, Utah in June 2007. She commanded the Ogden Recruiting Company from 2007 until 2009, with the company achieving the honor of being the United States Army Recruiting Command’s (USAREC) top company for fiscal year 2009.

After relinquishing command in June 2009, Sarah transferred to the US Army Reserves and served in active reserve status with the 2215th and 2217th Mobilization Support Battalions at Fort Carson, CO. She was promoted to Major in October 2012 and transferred to the inactive reserves in January 2015.

Sarah is a graduate of the US Army Intermediate Level Education (ILE) Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSC), the Recruiting Company Commanders Course, the AGCCC, the Unit Movement Officer Course, and AGBOLC-B.

Sarah’s awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (1OLC), Army Achievement Medal (1OLC), National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, the U.S. Army Recruiter Badge, and the German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency (BRONZE).

Sarah is married to Major John Hermida, an active duty AG officer stationed at Ft Campbell, KY where they live with their two children Emily and Jack.


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Julie Strecker Hoxha

 

Sponsor: Don & Patty Strecker
(parents)

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 23

Julie Strecker Hoxha is a Colorado native and graduated from Niwot High School as an Honor Student in 2004. She accepted a Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Julie graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminology and law studies. She commissioned as a 2nd LT in the United States Army and was assigned to the Chemical Corps.

Julie’s first duty station was at the Army base in Schweinfurt, Germany where she spent three years, returning to the states in 2012. During that tour of duty Julie was promoted to 1st LT.
After Germany, Julie attended the Signal Corps school at Fort Gordon, Georgia, and transferred to the Signal Corps in 2012.

Julie’s next assignment was at Fort Hood, Texas, as the BN S6 with the 1st MED BDE. There she was promoted to Captain in 2012 and was sent to the Captain’s Career Course in Fort Gordon, Georgia.

In 2014, Julie volunteered for overseas assignment in Qatar and was deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan for one year during Operations Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Freedom’s Sentinel (OFS). Upon her return in 2015, she was stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

Julie transferred to the Army Reserves in 2018 and was also promoted to Major that year. She is currently serving in the Army Reserves at Fort Stewart, Georgia as the Logistical Support BN XO.

Julie is a graduate of the Chemical Basic Officer Leader’s Course, Signal Corps Captain’s Career Course, Airborne Course and will attend the Intermediate Level Education (ILE) Course in late 2019.

Her awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (3 OLC), Army Achievement Medal (1 OLC), the Afghanistan Campaign Medal (2 CS), Overseas Service Ribbon (3), NATO medal, Parachutist badge, and the German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency (gold).

Julie is married to Major Bimi Hoxha who serves on Active Duty in the U.S. Army. They currently reside at Fort Stewart, Georgia.


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Owen Irby

 

Sponsor: Jan Kahl

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 22

Owen was born January 2nd 1923. He was inducted in the Army Jan 6, 1943 and became a waist gunner on a B17 named “I’ll Be Around”. He was shot down April 29, 1944 after 15 missions. And landed in The North Sea and captured by the Germans April 30, 1944 and was a prisoner of war until he was liberated by the British April 16, 1945 and discharged October 18, 1945.

He attended the American Academy of Horology in Denver Colorado to become a watchmaker. He married Rita Travis and moved back to his home state of Arkansas where they had four children. They returned to Colorado in 1962. In 1965 He purchased Schapell’s Jewelers in Boulder, CO. and retired 30 years later. He work with his youngest daughter at Niwot Jewelry & Gifts until his death in 1998.


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Victor Johnson

 

Sponsor: Joyce Johnson

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 25

 


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Mary & Bill Kistler

 

Sponsor: Tim & Carrie Wise

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 12

The banner is a picture of my (Carrie Kistler Wise) parents.

I do not have any written history of my dad’s service during World War II. What I do know is my folks met and fell in love when they were both working at Lockheed in Burbank, California. That was at the beginning of the war.

Mom was a “Rosie the Riveter”. Dad was a machinist. In a letter I found of my mom’s to a sister she said: “The photo was taken when Bill had a few days in California before being sent to Norfolk, Virginia”. Mom was still working at Lockheed. Mom wrote to her sister that they got along so well and she was so happy. Dad wanted her to move to Virginia and mom was concerned about leaving her job because they were moving her to another project and she was excited about it. Mom made the move to Virginia.

They were constant partners and loving companions. Mom & dad eventually moved back to California where they made a family with 5 children.


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Donald Larson

 

Sponsor: Larson & Hawksworth families

 

Banner location: Franklin St. – C

Colonel Donald William Larson was in the United States Army and fought for his country in three wars. He joined the Army during World War II and fought as an infantry paratrooper in the Battle of the Bulge. After returning home and graduating from college, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant and was sent to fight the near the Chinese border in the Korean War. While there he was injured by a hand grenade and received the Purple Heart. During the war in Vietnam he led troops in battles guarding the US Headquarters in Saigon during the Tet Offensive of early 1968.

In peacetime Colonel Larson was stationed at posts around the world, from Hawaii to Bavaria. Among these was a posting as a Green Beret officer in the Tenth Special Forces and another as the Commander of the 1st Battalion (Airborn), 506th Infantry (of “Saving Private Ryan” fame). He won many awards and decorations, including two Legions of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Combat Infantry and Master Parachutist badges.

Banner sponsored by the Larson and Hawksworth families.


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William ‘Bill’ Mason

 

Sponsor: Jill & Bill Whitener

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 17

William “Bill” Mason was born December 6, 1924 in Watertown, New York. At 18 years old, he registered for the draft since World War II was underway. He volunteered for the 10th Mountain Division ski troops. He needed 3 letters of recommendation which accepted him into the ski troops. It was February 1943 and he reported to Camp Hale near Leadville, Colorado. He was sent there by train. Some German soldiers who were prisoners on the train were unfriendly. The war was just beginning for him. He arrived at Camp Hale, altitude of 9500 feet in the middle of a blizzard. He was assigned to Co. F86th Infantry troop. He met many new buddies. Lots of training and exercises took place. After handling M-1 Rifles, Browning Automatic Rifles, machine guns, grenades, mortars and bayonets he got his ski equipment and trained at Cooper Hill which was about 6 miles from Camp Hale on Tennessee Pass. He would hike up the ski hill with heavy packs and rifles. He learned to ski with a heavy pack on his back in many special assignments. The 10th Mountain Division continued to grow and was made up of the 85th, 86th and 87th Regiments. The support groups included engineers, medical, artillery, M.P.’s and communications. They were then 10,000 strong. In 1944, he was shipped to Camp Swift, Texas in weather over 100 degrees to do some flatland training. They had 25 mile day hikes and combat training with ammo flying overhead. In November, 1944 the 86th Regiment left for overseas. They were shipped to Fort Patrick Henry in Virginia and a few days later boarded the U.S.S. Argentina for their trip overseas. They ended up in Naples, Italy in early December 1944. Naples had been hit quite hard. Then they were put on a small ship to Liverno. A few days later they were moved into the front lines and fox holes to live in. It was a great deal of patrol work scouting the German lines. In February, 1945 the troops moved to Riva Ridge in Italy. Company F86th Regiment was chosen to be one of the attacking units. It became an all night climb with fog at the top. That helped them. The Germans had trip wires along the edge of the ridge and one was set off. All hell broke loose! They had surprised the Germans and were able to take charge of Riva Ridge. On April 14, 1945 they started down the mountain and the German began to counter attack all night long. The 10th 86th F was able to hold their position. He received a Bronze Star Medal for his actions that day. The Germans were driven into Po Valley, were captured, and taken as prisoners. Soon after the 10th moved along Lake Garda and they were outside Rive when the war had been declared “OVER.” The job had been completed. The war ended May 8, 1945. He was transferred to Yugoslavia border for one month and then sent to Florence, Italy and shipped back to the states. He arrived home in August 1945 just as the Japanese had surrendered. He was discharged from Fort Logan, Colorado on November 26, 1945. He worked after the war and met his wife, Betty. They had two children. In 1953, he moved his wife and two children to Aspen, Colorado where he started the ski industry. They became dedicated Aspenites and are now buried in Aspen, Colorado. In September 2018, his two daughters and their husbands retraced their father’s steps on Riva Ridge in Italy. WOW!!! A very powerful experience and adventure it was.


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Leon V Mason

 

Sponsor: Sheila Ray

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 26

Leon V. Mason was born in Lawrence, Kansas in 1933 and graduated from Kansas University. In 1955 he was commissioned as an officer in the US Air Force and served two years active duty at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. He continued serving his country for another 26 years as a reservist, retiring as a Lt. Colonel. For three years, he was Deputy Commander of the Air Force Reserve Recovery Unit. His Technical Intelligence specialty took him to such assignments at the Pentagon, Wright-Patterson AFB, Lindsey AF Station, Germany, and Lowry AFB.


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Jacqueline Melvin

 

Sponsor: Chuck Klueber

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 18

Jacqueline was born in 1921 in Racine, WI. She longed to serve her country in the air, like her older brother Edward did! Stationed in San Diego, she was then chosen for Navy Flight Nurse school at Alameda NAS to specifically support Admiral Nimitz in the evacuation of wounded Marines from The Battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa ( VRE-1). Under treacherous conditions, flights were from Guam to the target areas, surrounded by kamikazees. LT Jacquet and 107 Navy flight nurses evacuated 9600 wounded in 3 months ( 1 April- 22 June 1945) and brought them to Guam. She stated that she was “ just doing my job!” After the war ended, she served at NAS Glenview. LT Jacquet married COL Martin Melvin, USMC, and had 8 children, 4 of whom served proudly!


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Charles A. Monroe Jr.

 

Sponsor: Kathy Koehler

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 13

Chuck was born in Boulder, Colorado in 1914 into a heritage family. He attended and graduated from Boulder schools, then graduated from the University of Colorado and was tapped by the Delta Sigma Pi (honorary business society). He was employed at the Boulder Daily Camera when he began service in the Army Air Corp, European theatre (Germany, Belgium, England) in World War II from 1942 – 1946. While in Europe, Chuck wrote articles to let citizens at home know what was happening in the war which were published in the newspaper. With an honorable discharge from military service, he returned to work at the Boulder Daily Camera as circulation and production manager for over 25 years.

He was a devoted family man and very active in the Boulder business community, church, charitable organizations, and he and his wife, Mary, were active CU alumni and avid supporters of the football program.

Chuck enjoyed bowling in the winter months and loved to golf. An accomplished golfer with a zero handicap, he consulted on the build and layout of the Boulder Country Club golf course in 1964-1965. He was President of the Club at the time of his sudden death in 1968.


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Clarence A. Nelsen

 

Sponsor: Julie Breyer

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 27

Clarence Andrew Nelsen was born in Colby, Wisconsin on May 15, 1922. As a child he was in an accident which caused him to lose the sight in his left eye. When the United States entered WWII he was one of the first in line to enlist. He was hopeful that the United States Army would take him even with his disability. He was sent from line to line receiving the same notification that he would be unable to serve until the last line where someone noticed that he had electronics experience. Clarence was enlisted, sent for training in California and then to Hawaii. He was soon stationed on Iwo Jima where he proudly served as a radio technician for the duration of the war.


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Joe Pacheco

 

Sponsors: Joe’s sons and spouses:
Joseph Pacheco and Joanne Neville
John and Marie Pacheco
Tony and Ericka Pacheco

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 8

Pvt Joe Pacheco Native American born January 18, 1928 of the Kewa Pueblo, NM (formerly known as Santo Domingo Pueblo) was one of many Native Americans from New Mexico who joined, fought and died during WW II. After Pearl Harbors attack my father joined the Army where he was assigned to the 4th infantry Division. My Father was deployed overseas to fight in Europe, during the European campaign he was injured during a street fight. He received the Purple heart for. After recovering from his injuries he returned back to his Unit. After the war he returned to the US and resided in Kansas City, Mo where he became a Jeweler, married my Mother Lilia Lopez and raised 3 boys. Dad didn’t talk much about the war once in awhile he would mention a few episodes. My father passed away at an early age, but his memories live on. The Pacheco family are very proud of our Father, he was a good man, a Great father who took good care of his family no matter what. The Pacheco family will always honor him for his service and duty and as an American Native who fought for his country.


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Richard A. Piland

 

Sponsor: Dixie Piland

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 7

Commander Piland’s Naval Aviation career began in while he was at Oregon State University as he began Aviation Officer Candidate School in the summers. He was commissioned in September 1969, and began flight training at NAS Whiting Field, Fla. and NAS Corpus Christi, Tx. Dick was designated a Naval Aviator in May 1971.

He was assigned to fly P-3 Orions conducting operational and training flights at Patrol Squadron 46 at NAS Moffett Field, Ca. and MCAS Iwakuni, Japan from 1971 to 1975. Their main mission was to spot, identify, and track submarines off the coast of Vietnam.

From 1975 to 1978, Dick returned to NAS Whiting Field, Fla. as a flight instructor. He was honored as Flight Instructor of the Year and was privileged to bring the new T34C prop jet trainers from the Beechcraft factory in Kansas to Whiting Field as a replacement for the T34B’s.

Landing on a carrier was a thrilling experience during training and Dick got to continue this while stationed on the USS Enterprise CVN 65. Although this tour sadly ended in dry dock in Bremerton, Wa., he continued to instruct and train pilots.

In 1980 to 1984, Dick returned to NAS Moffett Field and MCAS Iwakuni, Japan to again serve as a P-3 Orion pilot at Patrol Squadron 47.

The high point of Dick’s career was the Commanding Officer of Naval Air Facility in Mildenhall, U.K., a Fleet Logistics Support Squadron. He received the Meritorious Service Medal for his commitment and performance.

Commander Piland retired from the Navy in September 1989 to Niwot, CO. where he began a second career as a pilot for United Air Lines.


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Eugene L. Ray

 

Sponsor: Sheila Ray

Eugene L. Ray was born in Strawn, Kansas in 1922 and graduated from High School there. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in October of 1942. He trained in California and was sent to the European Theater of Operations for 21 months. He served as Crew Chief of a P-38 maintenance crew until November of 1945. He was awarded the Bronze Star for military achievement, 6 campaign battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation. He left the military as a Technical Sergeant. He married his high school Sweetheart, Berta and raised 4 children.


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Randall S. Rehn

 

Sponsor: Kathy Koehler

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 15

Randy died April 3, 2003, Serving Operation Iraq Freedom.

With 16 years of service since joining the Army in 1997, he was one of three soldiers killed when their Bradley fighting vehicle was bombed.

Randy graduated from Niwot High School in Niwot, Colorado in 1985 where he made all state in wrestling and was a standout football player. He planned to have a career in military service because, “he believed in what he was doing. He was fighting for the right reasons – to fight terrorism and make it a safe place for people to live. He was fighting for everyone’s baby and grandbaby,” said his older brother Joe.

Randy liked to golf and hunt, and he had an outgoing personality while being a practical joker always looking for new ways to make people laugh. “He was bubbly and full of laughter,” his brother Joe said.

At age 36, Randy left behind a wife, Raelynn, and Megan,a seven-month-old daughter, his mother, brother Joe, sister-in-law Penny and niece BreeAnna.


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Charles A. Rodgers

 

Sponsor: Debbie Lovejoy

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 16

Charles was born in 1935 in Niwot, joining the Colorado National Guard at the young age of 14. After graduating from Longmont High School, he joined Public Service Company of Colorado as a lineman. He married his high school sweetheart, Donna Cito, in 1953. They had four children and were married 66 years. Charles spent 38 years in the National Guard, attaining the rank of Colonel. During his lifetime, Charles held many leadership positions: Brigade Commander, IBEW Local 1436 President, Military Officers Association of America, Boulder Elks Lodge and the Colorado Labor Council. He was always willing to serve.


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Steve Rollman

Sponsor: Pat Murphy

 

Banner location: Second Ave – F


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Donald Max Sartori

 

Sponsor: The (Niwot) Steiner Family

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 5

Don enlisted in the Air Force in 1955 and served as an NSA-trained intelligence analyst and intelligence specialist at several bases inJapan. He received early promotion to sergeant for analysis performed during the Cold War.

In 1965 he was designated a Distinguished Graduate of the USAF Officer Training School (OTS) and commissioned a 2nd lieutenant. His assignments included Base Comptroller, Itazuki AB, Japan, Chief of Management and Budget, McConnell AFB, Kansas, and Accounting and Finance Officer, Utapao AB, Thailand, and Misawa AB, Japan. His awards included the USAF Meritorious Service Medal and four Commendation Medals all for distinguished leadership, and Vietnam Service and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medals. He took special pride in leading and being with troops in direct support of air operations. He retired from the Air Force as a major in 1978.

Upon retirement from the Air Force, Don moved his family to Boulder and continued to support his work with the military as an overseas adjunct professor for Boston University in Europe. He also taught at University of Hawaii, Oahu where many of his students were in the military.

After retiring from teaching, Don volunteered for the USO at the Denver International Airport and his church, Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Longmont until his passing.


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Gismonde A. Silvestrone

 

Sponsor: Paula Hull

 

Banner location: Franklin St. – A

Gismonde (Gino or Gene) Silvestrone was born in the small town of Cugnoli, Italy on Dec. 2, 1925. At the age of 12 he sailed with his Mom and older brother on the Italian ocean liner SS Rex from Genoa, Italy arriving at the port of New York City on May 13, 1938. That voyage of the SS REX was famously tracked and intercepted by B-17 Flying Fortresses of the United States Army Air Corp on May 12, 1938. After arriving in New York, the family was reunited with Gene’s father in Watertown, Massachusetts. Gene became a naturalized American Citizen and enlisted in the army in August 1944. He served oversees as PFC with Company B, 314 Infantry Regiment, 79th Division. While serving he sustained shrapnel wounds, was treated in a hospital in Belgium and was later awarded the purple heart. After WWII ended, he was transferred to Nuremburg Germany to guard German war prisoners, notably Hermann Goering, during the Nuremburg Trials. He returned home to Massachusetts in June 1946, married Catherine D’Amore in September 1951 and thereafter raised their 6 children. He owned and operated his own Beauty Salon for more than 30 years in Bedford, MA before retiring to Cape Cod and Naples, Florida, where he passed in February 2016. . In retirement, he donated photographs of Nazi concentration camps to the Naples Holocaust museum.


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Kirk Stewart

 

Sponsor: Kirk Stewart

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 1

Kirk received a Presidential Appointment to the United States Air Force Academy and graduated with honors in 1969. He served in Southeast Asia in 1968 planning air-to-air refueling missions with the Strategic Air Command. After commissioning he attended graduate school and was assigned AF Systems Command where he performed advanced technology development of space sensors and nuclear propulsion devices and defined and managed space flight missions for their testing. In 1974, he was transferred to the Secretary of the Air Force Special Programs, now known as the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), to oversee development of classified space programs. His main focus was on electronic intercept and space collection systems. He also managed the production of launch vehicle upper stages for synchronous orbit, and directed the launch of several satellites for the CIA and AF.

Upon leaving the Air Force in 1977, he moved to Niwot and continued work in space mission design, satellite development, and program management on DoD and NASA programs with Ball Aerospace, The Aerospace Corporation, and as an independent consultant to the Navy and small Colorado and California based aerospace firms. He received his Ph.D. from CU/Boulder in 1999.


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Lindsay Copperberg Underwood

 

Sponsor: The Copperberg Family

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 2

Lindsay was born in 1983 in Albany, NY and moved to Niwot, CO with her family in 1992. After living in Niwot since the 4th grade, and attending Niwot Elementary, Sunset Middle School, and graduating from Niwot High School in 2001, Lindsay attended the University of Colorado, Boulder, on an NROTC scholarship, and graduated with a degree in Aerospace Engineering.

She was commissioned in the US Navy as an Ensign in December 2005 from CU, earning a spot in Flight School. Lindsay moved between Pensacola, FL and Corpus Christi, TX for flight training, and received her Naval Aviator wings in September 2007. She served at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, CA, where she flew SH-60B Seahawks. She was deployed on board the USS Chancellorsville, a cruiser,  and the USS Gridley, a destroyer,  and flew SH-60Bs in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from those ships,, in the 5th and 7th Fleet AORs between 2009 and 2011. Lindsay subsequently moved to NAS Patuxent River, MD for US Naval Test Pilot School, where she became a developmental test pilot in support of the MH-60R and MH60S aircraft.

In December 2016, she earned an MSE in Systems Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, while continuing to serve as a test pilot.  Upon leaving the USNavy as a Lieutenant Commander in 2017, Lindsay continues to serve as a test pilot for the US Government.


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James Whitener

 

Sponsor: Jill & Bill Whitener

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 14

James Whitener was born September 7, 1925 in Caruthers, California. He was the second of four children. At 18 years old, in 1943, he enlisted in the Army Air Corp and was stationed at Davis-Moffat Air Base in Tucson, Arizona. It was there that he was trained as a navigator on the B-29 Superfortress which was an American bomber. After his training was completed his crew was ranked number one. He was held back from deployment in order to train the returning navigators on the latest navigational systems. The returning navigators were then returned to the war effort. After being discharged in 1946 he enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley in which he graduated in 3 years. After his first year at Berkeley he married his longtime sweetheart Mary Ann Wilber. After graduation he moved a couple of times before ending up in Fontana, CA where he managed a chicken ranch for a number of years. In 1956 he bought a ranch and moved to Hemet, California. At that time he had two sons with a third son on the way. In Hemet, he became very active in the Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Masonic Lodge. At 94, he is still very active in the Masonic Lodge and enjoys playing bridge and pinochle. His middle son, Bill, lives in Niwot.


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Franklin C. Wright

 

Sponsor: Henry Wright

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 4

Franklin C. Wright was born in New York City, New York on February 17th 1933. He spent his early childhood loving sports, deeply involved in playing the piano, listening to music and excelling in school. He graduated early, in what today is called an accelerated, gifted or International Baccalaureate program from George Washington High School in Manhattan. Frank began his collegiate education first at City College of New York and graduated with Associate or Arts degrees in Engineering that continued throughout his Air Force career. He had a strong desire to explore the world. He enlisted and graduated from Officers Candidate School, at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston, Texas in 1952 where he received his Second Lieutenant bars.

During his 20-year career in the Air Force, he was considered one of the most accomplished bombardier/radar navigators and instructors. He guided strategic and nuclear aircraft such as the B-29, B-36, B-52 and FB-111 during the Korean War, 13-day Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam Conflict. He obtained pilots credentials as needed to conduct Special Operations and engage in Atom Research Command. Lieutenant Colonel Franklin C. Wright retired from the Air Force in 1972 and remained on Reserve.

In his spare time he managed to coach various sports including basketball and golf. At one military installation, he convinced the base commander to support the basketball team and play. Frank was an accomplished athlete, playing basketball while in high school and winning the United States Air Force singles and doubles handball championship multiple times.

Always eager to learn, he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and his Master’s degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he lead, guided and grew the intramural athletic program, taught classes and served on selected committees. Frank retired from the University of Massachusetts following 20-years of service.

Frank was married to a loving wife, devoted partner and chief advocate Vandelyn T. Wright. To their union was born one daughter, Paula and a son Henry Wright, who both reside in Niwot, Colorado. He was a member of Saint James Presbyterian Church in New York City, New York. He was a long time church supporter and involved in many affiliated activities. Thousands have been touched by his kindness, generosity, love of travel and sports and willingness to serve God and Country.


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James Albert Zander

 

Sponsor: Jane Zander

 

Banner location: Second Ave – 20

Jim was born in Saginaw Michigan in 1915. Previous to joining the Navy, as a pilot, Jim served as a civilian flight instructor for the Army Air Corps. As a Navy pilot during WWII, he was stationed in Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, and Hawaii. Jim flew various aircraft, but spent most of his time in C-47s, F6F Hellcats, and Corsairs. He transported troops and supplies to and from the war and was on Kwajalein and Guam in the South Pacific.

After the war, Jim flew as a corporate pilot for Dow Chemical and Dowell, Div. of Dow for many years.

Jim resided in Niwot for 24 years, on Murray St.