I was blessed to have known Clay Bader for several years. He was a humble man, seldom drawing attention to himself. But there was no mistaking his honest, smiling face when you saw him.
I loved talking with him when I visited with several veterans for the Veterans Day issue last year. His wife, Jean, helped me by finding and letting me use several pictures of him.
I loved seeing the two of them walking quickly to a Mancos high school football game, wearing their Bluejay blue jackets, hanging onto one another. Was it for support or for warmth? Both, I imagine.
Clay and Jean were Citizens of the Year for 2012, a surprise for both of them. During the celebration at the Mancos Valley Visitors Center they showed a humility and that was characteristic. It was heartening to see them both in the Mancos Days parade, riding and waving to everyone.
Clay was a big part of the Methodist Church, and I was happy to see his smile alongside Jeans on many Sundays.
His history in this part of Colorado is long and stellar, and his legacy of hard work, community and joy will be missed by many.