For The Journal
Rich and Sharon Veach Van Loenen celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Dec. 28, 2015. They were married in the First Methodist Church in Cortez on Dec. 28, 1965 across from Calkins School.
Rich was raised on a farm in Graham County, Kansas, and Sharon was raised on her parent’s sheep ranch southeast of Cortez and in Dolores County at Groundhog. Sharon graduated from M-CHS in 1958, and Rich graduated from Bogue High School and Kansas State University with a degree in geology. He went on to use that degree in the very first Peace Corps group sent to Tanganyika, East Africa (now Tanzania), where he mapped the Rift Valley. Sharon graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in geography and later got an assistant’s position at the Department of Interior in the Branch of Paleontology and Stratigraphy at the Denver Federal Center. This is where Sharon and Rich met (playing volleyball). Rich had taken a job as a geologist in the Branch of Mineralogy. They both worked there until retirement.
The Van Loenens became parents to two sons: Bradley William and Aaron Travis, who live in the area.
In 1970, Rich and Sharon built and moved into their home on 20 acres southwest of Denver, where they continue to live.
After retiring, Rich built a cabin at Groundhog that serves as a summer home.
The Van Loenens enjoy traveling, contacting Peace Corps friends, entertaining, reading, studying genealogy and the Bible, woodworking, and watching television and the Denver Broncos.
The Van Loenens celebrated their anniversary at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver with dinner and an overnight stay.